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Friday, March 18, 2016

Double-Double-Triple, too sweet...

On Thursday this week I was in Boston on business. We arrived at our downtown meeting place, at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Streets… that is about 300 yards from the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

We were early for our meeting, and it was St. Patrick’s Day. Boston is a most exciting city, on the 17th of March each year… a great parade takes place to celebrate the greatness of Irish Pride… we decided to walk a little toward the Starbucks on the corner. It was a beautiful day, mid-60’s… lots of people around… "coffee"? "Of course"!

We entered Starbucks… it was the first we had been in that didn’t have a seating area… just a narrow storefront, about six baristas, working steadily, to keep up with the 15 or so deep line up… it seemed not to move, but people were coming in and going out…

As we headed to the end of the line… we noticed a sign on the cash registers… hand- scribed… it said… credit and debit cards won’t work todayjust cash and Starbucks cards.
We arrived at the end of the line, followed by three young people, a lad and two lassies… clearly celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, wearing the green… they were excitedly discussing the payment signs… apparently, they always paid with their debit cards… and didn’t have enough cash to have the double-double-triple ‘too sweet what-evers’ that they wanted. 

I was mentally calculating if I had enough cash to gift them their coffees... but not fast  enough...

They had quickly realized that it would be at least five minutes before getting to the front of the line, and the cash register… they discussed "how long would it take to download the Starbucks app"?… "up-load their debit or credit information"… "pay for their treats"… of course… less than the time to get to the front of the line in a Starbucks… so they did! And happily they had changed from a cash to a debit, to a membership card society...

Life has changed!

When we later met with our business associates, we told the story... to support our thesis of changes coming, in retail medicine… how easily the young 'in green' people had adapted to the new reality in Starbucks… 

One colleague indicated that daily, he takes the Green line train on the MBTA into the city… when he has to change from the Green to the Red line at the Commons Interchange, he goes on his iPhone Starbucks app... orders and pays-for his regular double-double from the Boylston and Berkely Streets Starbucks… five minutes later, he comes up out of the Red Line subway station , conveniently in front of the coffee shop, picks up his double-double (without lining up), and walks across the intersection to his 20th floor office… 

Life has changed not only for the young people… we elders, too... our lives have changed!

This is but a small discussion of how things all around us are changing… are we ready?

No.... Better Get Ready...

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Blueknowser

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Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!