Anderson: Challenge not technical

What a bank-tech executive said in 2015 in commenting on “Paper to Persona”


Bill Anderson (link) is a retired, Seattle-area bank-industry CTO and business-school colleague of Mike Fancher who consulted for several years to RJI and the Information Valet Project. He wrote this in an August, 2011, email after publication of the RJI report, “From Paper to Persona.”


“Bill Densmore has recognized that the only way for the news industry to survive is to join together and form an association of competitors (the ITA) and develop your own network. I don’t mean that you have to buy a lot of expensive equipment and spend hundreds of millions of dollars developing software. Much of what you’ll need is already available and relatively easily adaptable for your use. Micro accounting systems used by the cell phone companies are very mature and easily adaptable. Clearing and settling systems are well established in the banking system. Interoperability between web sites is well established. The challenge facing the news industry is not a technical challenge, nor is it a challenge of a lack of customers. The challenge is facing the fact that no one is going to solve your problem for you. The time for debate is over. Unless you ACT now you will lose the opportunity to determine your destiny.. Bill Densmore has painstakingly and eloquently laid out a pathway for you.” 


In 2015, Anderson was also quoted in the RJI article,In the new news ecosystem, getting paid requires asking, listening, personalizing, bundling”:


“There is definitely a need for microaccounting, like recording minutes on the telephone,” says Bill Anderson, a retired chief technology officer at Seattle’s Seafirst Bank (now part of BankAmerica Corporation) and an expert participant in how banks began and built the Visa credit-card network. “Aggregation is going to be necessary but the models of how to do it are all over the place.” (See Dec. 12, 2014, interview with Joel Getezendaner: “Dee Hock and the creation of the ‘Visa’ card: Lessons for an Information Trust Exchange?”)

Anderson envisions a single subscription that might track, for example, his access to The New York Timesbusiness section, The Seattle Times local-news section and The Guardian’sU.S. politics coverage. He sees each publication getting discrete records of access and paid based on a bundled subscription priced by whichever service offers it. The offer could come from any of the three news organizations, or perhaps from a specialist in bundling, such as Amazon. Anderson became interested in the challenge of network content payments and subscriptions during visits to RJI and consultation with the Information Valet Project.

“The actual striking of the code, we could do that,” says Anderson. “But we need others to tell us what they want it to do. You could pick IBM to operate it, or First Data, or EDS.”

Anderson finds ApplePay intriguing. “Apple is in charge of the identity tracking; no one else gets access to it,” he says. “They are doing it, I presume, so they can control the data, just like the iTunes store. They are the ones that know when I touch my iPhone to a grocery store or clothing store. They know what I bought, they know exactly where I bought it. They know my patterns.”

%d bloggers like this: