What Do You Think of Innovation in the Credit Union Industry?

By Tim McAlpine

In my continuing role as the very unofficial CUNA GAC Foreign Correspondent, here’s another post that’s kind of related!

I received this question through a Twitter DM yesterday from a fellow CUNA GAC attendee. That’s a pretty loaded question to answer in 140 characters, but I’ll give it a try.

“I’d give innovation in the CU industry a 5 out of 10. There are pockets to be sure, but for the most part, CUs have outsourced their brains.”

By the way, that would be an Exactweet, “The wry satisfaction that comes from typing exactly what you want to say and ending up with exactly 140 characters used.”

Rating innovation is all relative. While offering a mobile app to check your account balance may seem innovative, it’s not at the same level as making the first mass-produced car

When I think of innovation, I think of companies and individuals who have fundamentally changed things. The Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, the two Steves at Apple who ushered in the future with the Apple 2, Mac, iPod, iPhone, etc. Bill Gates at Microsoft who made a bazillion dollars off of commercializing the operating system for the emerging PC market. Atari with the first game console. Alexander Flemming with the invention of Penicillin. Elon Musk with privatizing space and making the Tesla Model S. Or smaller innovative achievements like Southwest Airlines wiggling out a new niche in the crowded airline business. Howard Shultz and Starbucks through taking caffeine addiction to epic levels. You get my drift. Big, far-reaching inventions, significant commercial achievements and massive improvements get a 10 out of 10 in my book.

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