A new entrant into the Web 2.0 app space, PlanHQ brings collaborative business plan creation and collaboration to the web.  I think this is a great idea that will gain traction with the niche it is designed for.  Go check out their site.  It seems fairly well put together and informative.  Anyone looking to collaborate on a business plan (I’m thinking this is a great tool for CUSO’s to use) should try it out.

Just another side thought…  This seems like a natural line extension from 37Signals.  Maybe we’ll see a buyout sometime in the future…  Everyone I know seems to love their products!

WalMart in the news about offering financial services

WalMart LogoThe Financial Times published an article today, “Wal-mart to open 1,000 Money Centers“, providing some details into the major retail chains entry into the financial services market.  Although WalMart dropped their ILC plans in March 2007, they’ve decided to utilize pre-paid money cards to get into their customers wallets.  WalMart will bring a new level of competition to the marketplace for the under-served.  Their in-store “branches’ will be open 7am to 9pm 7 days a week.  Show me a CU or a bank that has those hours…  In addition, they plan to partner with other large financial service companies to distribute their products to the WalMart consumer.

“Instead, it is working to expand its products with financial partners, including GE Money, which is issuing the pre-paid card, and ShareBuilder, which is testing online new share and money market savings accounts that can be linked to the prepaid card.”

Whether good or bad, WalMart will be here for a quite a while and their MoneyCenters may cause some major changes in the financial industry.

Don’t fly US Air

I got back from my travels to the east coast this past week.  Barely.  My trip out was a nightmare and my trip back wasn’t any better.  My flight leaving Boston for Philly was delayed an hour so I’d miss my connection to Portland.  There was no room on the earlier Philly flights and I didn’t stand a chance on the 15-passenger stand by list.  I got rerouted through Vegas then on to Portland, but every US Air flight I touched was at least an hour late.  Rather than landing in Portland at 11:30 Pacific, I got there at about 2:30 AM.  US Air, of course, lost my luggage, so I had to deal with that until about 3:30.  Back home at 5 AM.  I said it in my last post and I’ll say it again, don’t fly US Air and avoid Philly like the plague. 

On a brighter note, it’s nice to be back!  I worked a half day on Thursday, seeing as I didn’t get to bed until 5 AM, and then we had a servant-for-a-day promo on Friday were myself and a handful of our senior management played servants to FSR’s, tellers, and a cell center rep.  I got lots of food, ran a fair amount of errands, and made quite a few phone calls to our members!  It was a great time!

So much for the city of Brotherly Love!

I flew out to Providence Monday night to go visit Charlie and the gang at Andera and then I’m cruising up to Boston to go to Outstart‘s Strategic Customer Advisory Board. 

Andera was pretty cool today and I’m looking forward to Outstart for the next two days, but Philly really let me down.  The red-eye from Portland to Philly went ok, and we only landed a few minutes late.  But after sitting on the tarmac for 20 minutes or so we finally got out of the plane and I had about 20 minutes to make my connection.  We landed at gate B5 and my flight was leaving from F38.  Just like in Home Alone, I’m running through the concourse, and racing to the shuttle to take me across the airport.  I make it to the shuttle and then sit and wait for 5 minutes while they’re doing something that’s obviously more important than getting me to my connection on time. By the time I finally get to the F concourse and have ran the entire distance, I’m greeted by a closed door and a less than chipper flight desk lady saying,

I’m sorry, we’ve stopped boarding.

me- But I can see the plane right there.

her- I’m sorry, we’ve stopped boarding.

me- But the plane doesn’t leave for 7 minutes!

her-I’m sorry, we’ve stopped boarding.  Let me get you on the next flight.

I get on the next plane which leaves two hours later, we wait for the flight crew to get there, which makes the plane another 30 minutes late and then we sit on the tarmac some more, which makes my already two hour late plane another 1 hour late.

Even the place I ate breakfast at was shockingly non-consumer friendly.  It looked like they didn’t even want us to be in line!  Anyways, that’s enough ranting.  Just don’t flying US Air and don’t connect through Philly.