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Fixing Stuff We Hate

Which do you dislike more?Woman Angry 

  • Paying ATM fees when using an ATM not associated with your bank;
  • Watching thirty-second commercials on the ATM screen.

Twenty-Five year old Clinton Townsend of New York is betting that you would rather watch a short commercial before, during and/or after your transaction rather than pay non-bank ATM fees.  He is so convinced that in 2012 he'll rolling out several thousand advertising funded ATM's across the country.  Here is the story from our friends at KCCI-TV 8 Des Moines.

It's said that "Necessity is the Mother of Invention"...but so is fixing things that drive us...crazy.  The smart money is on hyper-listening to consumers, finding out what angers them and going to work to build something...better.

That's the case with Des Moines based Dwolla.  Ben Milne took the frustration of thousands of businesses who are being charged 2% to 4% for transaction fees, lowered those costs to $.25 and has a winner.

Sometimes we'll even be willing to pay more for something...if it works.  In our case we hooked my 91 year old mother to Mediacom for Internet and telephone.  Heck, it was only going to cost $9.95 for each and because she watches her funds carefully, it seemed like a good idea.  However, it didn't work.  In the end we figured that having phone service she could count on was worth spending more.

People hate paying interest on their charge accounts.  Decades ago our friends at Von Maur understood we would pay more for high quality items so they got rid of interest charges and coined the tag line, "Our only interest"  Folks, love it.

So, the next time you're considering the "next big idea" make sure it fixes something consumers hate...really hate.  Bet you'll have a winner.




If you want to connect and leave a comment here, feel free. Or we can get together on Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page is Thanks for reading. - Michael