How’d It Get To Be That Way?

We were at a conference to meet with some specialty lending divisions within the company. I wanted to meet with a specific business line manager because I was having a hell of a time getting something done for a client.

Basically, there was a threshold value that had to be met on this particular line of credit and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why it was what it was. So I tracked down this manager and asked.

“Look,” he said pulling me aside. “15 years ago we created that product at a conference like this based on demand. We sat in a breakout conference room, talked over what made sense, and arbitrarily came up with that number.”

“The number that’s keeping my client out of being able to use this thing today?”

“That’s the one. I’m sorry, but we just said it sounded like a good floor to put in place and now it’s the standard. There’s nothing we can do about it, but there’s no logic beyond our guts 15 years ago so I’m sorry. It’s just the way it is.”

I share this story because you’ll never know why things are the way they are sometimes until you ask. Sometimes it’s for a good reason, sometimes it’s for a “ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!” reason.

Every industry has them. It’s something to be aware of. Here’s what got me thinking about it – check out this story about why breakfast is the most important meal of the day (and see why you can thank Grape Nuts for that pitch).

Why Cereal Has Such Aggressive Marketing,” via The Atlantic. This article is WAY more nuts than you can even imagine. If you read it, I promise you will never see the name Kellogg the same way again. Ever.