I was listening to The Hustler’s Guide to Gettin’ Paid, and the CEO of Earnin was talking about how a alarming 40% of American’s don’t have access to $400 if they needed it for an unexpected expense. Banks with excessive fees and loan providers with excessive interest are making this problem so much worse. Earnin provides a no-fee service that gives people access to capital as soon as they work, so they don’t have to wait until the biweekly Friday pay-cycle. The notion of a ‘payday’ means that companies are withholding access to money so that they can put it to work versus the people it’s owed to. It’s great that Earnin is trying to fix the problem.

This made me think about some of the cycles that modern society is seemingly stuck in. Some that are top of mind:

  • The daily 9-5 cycle, created as a by-product of the industrial revolution but no longer relevant in a knowledge economy. Within this is also the daily commute cycle, a 2-3 hour block of lost productivity.
  • The cycle of higher education as the only path to unlock success
  • The cycle of reactive, symptom-focused care perpetuated by the modern medical industry.

Some are norms that have been perfected for years for us to inherit. But, the internet has given us infrastructure to pass information and value in real time, so it’s time to apply first-principles thinking and think of the best solutions to these problems.