The ludicrous press release awards – “have you leveraged your blockchain?” edition

SUMMARY:

Yes, it’s time to put a satirical buzz saw to the PR flatulence around “game changing” tech. This time around – blockchain. But to my surprise, my snark got (partially) disrupted by genuinely interesting use cases.

chocolate-peanut-butterBy popular demand, we’re back with another edition of ludicrous press releases, this time honoring those marketers who are so high on blockchain that even a rocket from Elon Musk couldn’t bring them down.

I’ve got nothing against the blockchain – far from it. I like the use cases for enterprise blockchains. I’m watching the launch of the Diamond Ledger chain with interest in the new year (see my latest update, Is blockchain enterprise-ready? A Hyperledger gut check with Executive Director Brian Behlendorf). But let’s face it, some folks are getting a little carried away with the blockchain revolution. Or are they? Let’s find out with our infamous PR review.

If you missed my AI game changers edition, here’s the rules:

  1. Head over to PRnewswire.com at 6:00 pm ET on November 3, 2017.
  2. Enter the search phrase “blockchain.”
  3. Evaluate the first twenty results for consideration. No company is excluded, no matter how large or how small, no matter their relationship, financially or otherwise, to diginomica.

I now present the finalists, in no particular order. To ensure I don’t give in to the debilitating snark of total cynicism, I will also include, in the last section, a few decently-executed press releases also.

The finalists – don’t revolutionize without them!

Glance to Launch Rewards-based Cryptocurrency for Glance PayAI in Fintech Market Worth 7,305.6 Million USD by 2022
from: Glance Technologies Inc
snark: looking forward to counting my millions in 2022 once again!

award qualifications: hyperbolic outcomes are always a terrific mix with announcements of plans not yet realized and products that don’t yet exist:

Glance Technologies Inc. is pleased to announce that it intends to create a new cryptocurrency whereby customers can earn cryptocurrency every time they pay with the Glance Pay app.

Yeah, and I’m pleased to announce I intend to build a steam-powered bicycle over the holidays.

bonus points: fine job leveraging disruption:

We are excited to leverage blockchain technology to disrupt the global payments industry with our proven mobile payment and anti-fraud technologies.

Good to hear – I for one welcome disruptions, especially when I’m conducting international commerce.


The Legends Room brings Brody Jenner to the Blockchain
from: Legends Room Nightclub
snark: put your hands in the air if you’re a real playa!

award qualifications: nightclubs and blockchains are a convergence we desperately needed:

The Legends Room has reimagined the nightlife experience using blockchain technology.

That’s good because bumping and grinding against hot bodies all night long with a good buzz on was getting pretty boring.

A leading Las Vegas online publication described the club “as richly textured in glass and leather and suede and perhaps the most intimate club in Vegas.”

clubbin'Oooh… did someone say something about blockchain? Oh yeah, you can pay with your tokens now:

The Legends Room is the only destination in the world where guests can spend an ERC20 token and receive real world goods or services – in this case, a premium club experience.

Cool – can I pay with gold coins from Big Y as well?

bonus points: “reimagine” mothaf@@kas!


chocolate-peanut-butterDeloitte Unveils New Reimagine Platform Roadmap, Building on Co-innovation Relationship Based on SAP Leonardo
from: Deloitte
snark: you put your chocolate in my peanut butter!

award qualifications: you managed to shoehorn “Reimagine” into the product name? You win.

Since SAP unveiled SAP Leonardo at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW & ASUG Annual Conference and announced Deloitte as the launch partner, both organizations have mobilized to bring clients the best of both worlds

And what, pray tell, can customers look forward to from this magical and serendipitous blend of peanut butter and chocolate? A buzzword or two, methinks?

While SAP provides digital innovation capabilities to help organizations run simple…

You’ll have to explain to me what that means next time I see you. And Deloitte brings?

Deloitte brings industry sector leadership combined with digital, business transformation experience, all strengthened by market-leading strategy, operations, technology and human capital capabilities. The result of our collaboration is the Deloitte Reimagine Platform.

What a coincidence, I was just talking to a customer who told me they were desperate for “market-leading strategy, operations, technology and human capital capabilities.” Oh yeah, and blockchain’s getting reimagined also:

Latest roadmap extends to talent and customer engagement, with integrated use cases to support faster transformation leveraging blockchain, machine learning, IoT and advanced analytics.

We are just getting started.

Is that a promise or a warning?

(p.s. rough luck for SAP getting pulled into this jargonwreck, given that SAP put out a much more level-headed Leonardo press release that includes customer quotage on results).


Honorable exclusions

I’m not gonna lie – I started this post eager to skewer “blockchain changes everything” hyperbole. But aside from a few crytocurrency absurdities and “leveraging” opportunities, begrudgingly, I saw plenty to like. From this sample, I am left to conclude that the hype around AI and machine learning is more ridiculous at this point in time.

I found intriguing blockchain use cases in decent press releases:

As grouchy as it makes me to put my snark in check, if half these things come to fruition, the world will be a little better. But putting press releases on a buzzword diet – or dispensing with them entirely – is still a good idea.

Image credit - Screen shot from YouTube video of Reeses Peanut Butter cup commercial. Screen shot of Big Y coin from Big Y.

    1. Gotta love “traceable turkeys”.

      I see Blockchain more ripe to remake core enterprise software but just as AI depends on Machine Learning, Smart Contracts depends on Blockchain.

      Thus can we remake core enterprise software w/o industry standards, are we trying to ‘force the dream’ before it’s ready. Hence the above PR claims.

      1. Jon Reed says:

        “Thus can we remake core enterprise software w/o industry standards, are we trying to ‘force the dream’ before it’s ready. Hence the above PR claims.”

        Clive good point on standards and to be fair, i could do this kind of satire with almost any emerging tech, as PR is always going to slather it on a bit thick. I could easily do the same with augmented reality right now, which also has some reasonable use cases, though I’d say less impact that blockchain or AI.

        What I found interesting was how my determination to mock blockchain hype was tested – I couldn’t find as much totally absurd hype as I was expecting. That may be because this is really the second big wave of blockchain PR and more reality is setting in, I don’t know. I still had some fun though….

        – Jon

    2. “traceable turkeys”..

      I hope the tracer that links the turkey to the blockchain entry is biodegradable
      (just saying, we all know where it ends up in the end !!)

      1. Jon Reed says:

        Martin I thought somebody might go there 🙂 I was going to make a snarky joke along those same lines but since that section of the piece was my snark-free section I held off on it. Glad you didn’t though…

        – Jon

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