Posted by: danielrashke | January 22, 2010

It’s Like Riding a Bike

In Wisconsin, during the cold months of winter many of us can’t help but fantasize about outdoor activity.  Maybe that explains why I was thinking of bicycles the other day…

The bicycle was invented in 1817 by Baron von Drais.  He envisioned it as a walking machine to help him get around the royal gardens faster.  It featured two same-size in-line wheels, mounted to a frame which he straddled.  He propelled the device by pushing his feet against the ground, thus rolling himself and the device forward in a sort of gliding walk.

Can you imagine the looks he must have received when he first rode his invention through the royal gardens in Germany?  Surely some people must have thought he was crazy.  Meanwhile, his bike had some major design flaws.  It was made of wood, which besides making it heavy and ungainly, must have made for a bumpy ride.  The bike’s practicality was limited.  There were no pedals, so forget about going up hill.  And without brakes, going down hill was probably no treat either.  It took several enhancements to his invention, but two centuries later, children the world over learn to ride a bike as a rite of passage.

That’s the way it often goes with innovation.  Many people of the time thought the automobile was a contraption and a passing fad.  Few besides Henry Ford thought the car would last.  He believed in it and pioneered something that was truly innovative.

At TASC, we’re also convinced of the importance of innovation.  Take for example the TASC Card.  Later this year we will dramatically expand the way the Card can be used.  The Card is already a convenient debit card that’s used in connection with a health reimbursement plan.  Later this year, the TASC Card will enter a totally new arena: the addition of “cash purse” transactions, meaning the Card can also be used for cash at an ATM.

No one else in the industry is offering a Card that can be used at an ATM, and we’ve worked hard to get this far.  Meanwhile, we know that the road to innovation can be a bumpy one indeed.  And we know that it might take some additional tweaking before the TASC Card comes with a completely smooth ride.  Remember when you first learned how to ride a bike?  Did you fall?  More than once?  Did you scrape your knees?  Your elbows?  Did you quit?  Probably not!  Instead, you got back on your bike and tried again, because you knew there was a lot to be gained by learning to ride a bike.

We will continue to explore, expand, and innovate.  We may fall once in a while, but in the end, we know there is a lot to be gained.  In the end, we are sure you will agree.  We just need to get past the initial bumps in the road.


%d bloggers like this: