Paul Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of ITL
When I interviewed Howard Schultz for a magazine cover in the late 1990s, I was struck that he didn’t just talk about imagining Starbucks as a chain of upscale coffee houses like those that had charmed him on a trip to Italy as a young man. He talked about Starbucks as a “third place.” We all have our homes and our offices, he said, but he thought we could all use a “third place” that was somehow positioned between home and office and that let us pursue business or leisure however we cared to.
That thought has stuck with me as I’ve pondered the forms that innovation can take, and the term resurfaced for me when I read a recent interview with Kevin Kelly, a co-founder of Wired magazine and one of the more intriguing thinkers on innovation. He, too, had heard Schultz use his “third place” term and was thinking that the idea of a “third” way could be applied in many areas today. For instance, he said, Uber drivers aren’t really employees in the traditional sense, but they’re also not non-employee contractors. They’re a third thing and should be treated as something new in employment contracts, in insurance and in government regulations.
I think that “third” idea could be important for insurance in two ways… continue reading >