Brad Feld

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Signing Credit Card Slips

Dec 09, 2011

Let’s put this in the category of “pet peeves” around things that are obsolete.

One of my goals as a VC is to help create companies that cause obsolescence of existing products, companies, and industries. As a result I think about what’s becoming obsolete all the time. I don’t just think about this in the specific areas that we invest in, but in all aspects of my life. I find that this frame of reference – namely “will we be doing X in 20 years” is a fundamental part of my approach to what I do.

I’m at DIA this morning. I just spent $13.19 at the “Newsstand” on four Clif Bars, a bottle of water, and two packages of gum. I gave the guy at the register my credit card because I hate paying in cash, having to deal with change, and then submitting an expense report for a cash expense of $13.19. By putting it on my credit card, I don’t have to deal with any of this stuff.

A little piece of paper comes out of the register. Then another piece of paper comes out of the register. He gives me the second piece of paper and asks me to sign it. He hands me a grimy ballpoint pen that I don’t really want to tough and I scribble “pooh bear” on the slip. I hand it back to him. And leave.

Why the fuck does he ask me to sign a credit card slip for $13.19. This is so incredibly obsolete. While I don’t know his cash register system, it looked pretty modern (yes – it was a computer) so I doubt he does anything with the slips at the end of the day other than put a rubber band around them and send them to someone somewhere. And I’m quite sure no one will ever notice that I signed the credit card slip “pooh bear.”