Lemmings

Credit unions are lemmings.  Nobody ever wants to be the first one to do something.  Then, slowly, as some credit unions adopt the new technology/process/whatever more CU’s start to follow.  Pretty soon it is a mad rush because nobody wants to be the last.

From Wikipedia:

…groups will reach a cliff overlooking the ocean. They will stop until the urge to press on causes them to jump off the cliff and start swimming, sometimes to exhaustion and death. Lemmings are also often pushed into the sea as more and more lemmings arrive at the shore.

We always talk about being innovative but save for a few exceptions, CU’s don’t like change and don’t want to innovate.

Gen Y Entrepreneurs

Chris Saad, of Data Portability fame, posted this video on his blog.  It clearly demonstrates what Gen Y’ers think about when they build a company.  I also think that many other Gen Y’ers look for environment like the ones described when they are looking for employment.  And if credit unions can’t attract Gen Y employees, they are probably going to have a very difficult time attracting Gen Y members.

Distributed computing at CU's?

Our CU has a ratio of three employees to one server.  Astronomical.  Barely any of those servers get used all day long and rarely do their resources get maxed out.  To me, it seems like a wonderful opportunity to use credit union resources for the better good: distributed computing projects.  While there are many projects, Folding@home may be one of the largest, most well-known projects sponsored by Stanford University.  It studies the folding of proteins and how “mis-folds” can cause diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and many types of cancers.

Seems like a perfect project for credit unions to get involved with and just think about how many unused, or rather available resources, you have in your servers/data center.  Then think about all of those desktops sitting around at night doing nothing.  A search for credit union returns nothing.  I’d love to see my credit union’s name in that list.  Imagine how much work we could contribute if we installed the distributed computing app on all of our clients.  We’d snap our fingers and have close to 200? computers running the app.

A credit union could “go green” and implement real power savings plans for their clients as a community service or let the computers run and contribute to projects like this.  So why aren’t more credit unions doing this?  The thought of managing another app?  NCUA?  Bandwidth?

I’m going to create a generic credit union team that anyone can join and I’m trying to come up with a good, self-explanatory name.  credit_unions is pretty straight forward, but doesn’t have quite the edge.  Ideas?