You have to admire the lengths that certain industries will go through in order to make a buck during a recession – even if those lengths are laughable at best. Monday’s New York Times had a great article that talked about how the cell phone industry is funding research that proves smartphones help student perform better in the classroom.
Imagine that! The cellphone industry is publishing a report that suggests the education industry – one of the largest in the United States – should invest in smartphones for its students. Brilliant.
This reminds me of a situation that came up at my job last year. We were engaging in a contract with a lobbyist to advocate for more dollars to be spent on education facilities. One of the ideas that our boss at the time had was to generate an in-house report showing the need for more facility dollars and how our organization was well positioned to use those dollars most efficiently.
I almost jumped out of my skin.
Can you imagine being a legislator and having ABC Company come up to you and say, “We need more money for Project X. Here is a report showing the need for more money for Project X. Please note that ABC Company is the best organization to utilize extra dollars allocated to Project X.”
Talk about self-serving! Any legislator that is worth their skin would laugh off that report and – if they are really interested in whatever “Project X” happens to be – would commission an independent report. Luckily, through some arguments and some luck, my company partnered with a highly regarded university to create an independent report on the idea of more money for school facilities. It was a much better option than having us do a report in house that essentially says, “Give us money.”
Anyway, you can read the full text of the New York Times article, but trust me – it’s slightly ridiculous.