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Bloomberg’s War on Soda & IT Diets

Mayor Bloomberg announced last week his latest quixotic crusade against gravity challenged Americans (i.e. fat people) by proposing a ban on 32+oz. soft drinks.

In keeping, or perhaps in spite of his tech-business background, this silly idea is rooted in the same kind of simpleminded dogoodery that IT organizations have used for years to justify productivity killing, anti-user policies.

I know you want it and I know it isn’t illegal but I don’t trust you to make good decisions about your own business so I’ll remove your ability to make them.”

There are many reasons to prohibit the activity of the masses for their own good. Security of the network being one but the cloud is forcing us all to come to terms with the power that the end user now has to drive how they want to consume IT.

By controlling the devices they use, users gain access to the services they want and we need better ways of promoting good habits around data protection. Simply saying you cannot have it is not good enough. If you make the cups smaller, customers will seek out vendors on their own that differentiate with free refills or some other mechanism and get around the ban. Nanny IT can’t put the cups high enough in the cupboard to keep them away from users they see as toddler technologists.

Neither can IT argue that “easier can’t be done” anymore. The people have seen it work and they want it and are willing to starve your budget to get it. IT needs to embrace those technology providers that appreciate this new market and work with them instead of around them.  We have to turn “no” into “how and why.” A harder job to be sure but far more effective in the long run.

The same is true for weight loss. Forced portion control produces nothing but resentment and greater failure on the back end (pun intended).  You have to change the way people think about it so that ultimately they take greater personal responsibility for managing the consequences of misuse .

A final observation. Any movie theater concession worker will tell you that the impact of Bloomberg’s Anti-Weeble attack will not even amount to a rounding error on the caloric intake of the committed obese. Everyone knows that when ordering the large buttered popcorn and Jr. Mints it has no calories because you drink Diet Coke.

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