What do hot dogs and stock options have in common? Nothing. That’s the point. We are continuing our ongoing discussion of innovation with respect to the ancient Near East and the Bible with a look at thinkorswim stock option brokers.

In the world of commoditized stock brokers, this company went out on a limb and specialized in trading options. They created a customized trading platform and started an educational site to help options newbies learn the ropes. But, a great trading platform wasn’t enough. People have to be drawn to the trading platform before they will ever use it. In other words, tradeorswim had to create an emotional connection with potential customers in order to pursuade them to try out their platform.

That’s where the hot dogs come in. In announcing that tradeorswim has more commision options than ways to customize your hot dog they made people stare at the computer screen for more than half a second. What’s crazier than comparing trading options with a hot dog? It causes people stop, question, and think–it hooks the reader in. Once they got them hooked, then they could give them relevant information. Furthermore, thinkorswim took two seemingly disparate subject matters, hot dogs and stock options, and produced an interesting correlation.

Bible and ancient Near East tie in: You may have great ideas with wonderful substance, but you have to package them in a compelling way or very few people will read them. Also, certain elements in biblical studies and the ancient Near East may seem separate and uncorrelated, but maybe this disunity is in appearance only–search out the correlations that lie hidden from plain sight. The fields have a long history of brilliant scholars. There are new discoveries and innovations to be had, but you and I are going to have to work extra hard to find them–the easy pickings are few and far between.

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Charles Halton

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