This was a busy week with continuing stories from the Olympics, teens showing leadership, and the launch of a questionably moral new reality show from Netflix. Other stories this week take a deeper look at the potential of predictive banking, the rapid rise of StockX as a competitor to eBay and Emirates wonderful new ad that offers a much better solution to desperately asking for an upgrade every time you travel.

The Surprising Gamble That Might Save Moviepass

A few weeks ago, too-good-to-be-true movie subscription service Moviepass announced that a handful of high traffic theaters would no longer accept the service. In this interview, CEO Mitch Lowe reveals that the move was initiated by Moviepass to demonstrate just how much lost revenue there is for theaters that don’t participate. The strategic brilliance of this move is that most Moviepass subscribers will assume it was the “greedy” theaters that decided to stop accepting their cards, and it might just work – assuming those theaters actually feel the pain of the lost ticket revenues as intended.

Emirates Tells Desperate Travelers to Stop Asking For Upgrades

In a new ad, Emirates pokes fun at the extreme lengths that many people go to in order to try and secure an upgrade. The silliness of the requests and the highly relatable experience of desperately seeking a slightly more comfortable seat works perfectly to underscore the key message of the ad — that Emirates has the most comfortable economy class in the business. Sadly, that isn’t useful unless you happen to be flying somewhere you go via Dubai, but it’s a great message and creative delivery anyway.

How Stock X Is Crushing Ecommerce (And Beating Ebay)

StockX has become the go-to place for collectors of high end sneakers to do business with one another, and might be reinventing how online reselling works too. This article notes that “a team of around 15 authenticators unboxes 4,000 to 6,000 pairs of shoes every day” – which means StockX is replacing the necessity for buyer and seller ratings with third party verification of goods. In this sense, they are a sort of anti-Ebay, where anyone can easily get online and sell products without the benefit (or requirement) of a past track record. That’s a deceptively big idea.

Can “Predictive Banking” Improve Financial Literacy?

A few years ago I wrote about a trend I called “Automated Adulthood” to describe how technology was increasingly encouraging more “adulting” (your people taking on the responsibilities of being an adult). Now Wells Fargo aims to use past spending behavior to share reminders and alerts to help customers manage their money – a service being described in the industry as predictive banking. While it sounds sexy, the real challenge isn’t issuing reminders but rather to help people actually spend and save responsibly. Perhaps what we really need is some alerts on “predictive spending” – especially when you are about to waste money buying something you don’t really need.

New Netflix Reality Show Manipulates People To Commit Murder

Can a reality show push the limits of morality and actually convince someone to commit a murder? This is the premise of an actual show coming later this week to Netflix – and this article explores the many ethical issues this show raises very well. Anyone familiar with the Milgram experiments knows that humans can sometimes far too easily be convinced to harm one another and even to kill. So is this show just another over promoted way for us to get desensitized to violence or is the question they are asking really a valid one worthy of exploration? Visit the link to watch the short trailer for the show and you can decide for yourself.

Even More Interesting Stories This Week …