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As you know, last week I had the opportunity to go to New York to accept an industry award. Everything about the trip was supposed to be fairly mundane – fly in on Thursday, get a nice meal, wake up Friday and shake some hands at the award luncheon, and fly back to Atlanta Friday afternoon. That is – until my mother decided to text me some eerie news the night before my flight to NYC.

The article she shared referenced a terrorist organizations implied intent to do some sort of damage in New York City – where I would be right around that time. Not only that, but I stayed in Times Square and the ballroom where the ceremony was hosted was right in the heart of Times Square.

This brings me to an interesting dilemma… “The business of terror”. What if – for instance – the award ceremony I was at was canceled due to the idle threat? That would have only been one minor event out of hundreds (if not thousands) that likely would have suffered the same fate. At a tremendous sunk cost I’m sure (i.e. food, drinks, space, support, and all the other peripheral costs of events were already spent). Just my trip would have been about $1,000 down the drain, and I imagine there are probably a couple hundred thousand people in and around the area that would have the same fate. So what’s this all cost? Several hundred million dollars? A billion? I don’t have a solution for minimizing the business of terror (and the impact is has on all of our daily lives), but it’s an interesting conundrum nonetheless. Either way – terrorists are lame and we shouldn’t let them dictate our lives.

Til Next Time,

Michael

So today was the big day where I got the chance to network with some of my peers and fellow overachievers in New York and get recognized for Cablefax’s “Overachievers Under 30″. Going in, I had no idea what to really think of the event or the gravity of the situation. Upon arrival, though, I realized that it was actually a more humbling experience than I first thought, and that I am truly honored to be surrounded with such bright and forward-thinking leaders in my industry. It really gives me a lot of hope for the future of the industry, and I got to make some great connections that will last a lifetime. Of special interest were several of my interactions with mentors and peers from companies very closely aligned to mine (e.g. Comcast and Mediacom), and I have full intent to keep in touch with those individuals often. Events like these can sometimes be a glorified dog-and-pony show, but I do really feel that this one was a highly-worthwhile event. Cheers to Cablefax and the whole Access Intelligence family for putting on such a great event.

Now I’m off to LinkedIn to ensure I get these contacts in my network ASAP!

Til Next Time,
Michael

It is pretty crazy to think that we can get WiFi on airplanes. That being said – I think technology like this has advanced society’s expectations to a point where we are no longer rational consumers. For instance, I am on a transcon flight from SAN to JFK right now, and couldn’t be more upset with how spotty the GoGo In-Flight WiFi has been. Evolutions like this are often healthy, but it does still worry me that we’ve all gotten extremely complacent and are basically walking around with entitlement syndrome without even knowing it. So, being the entitled technology brat I am, I stated poking around google to see exactly why the GoGo’s of the world can’t “fix” this (what I perceive now to be major) problem.

And then I stumbled upon this article – talking exactly about this dilemma! It will be interesting, for sure, to see exactly how/when the premium in-flight internet options will become available. I know that I will be one of the many that anxiously await and embrace the evolution. Hopefully it comes soon!

Til Next Time,

Michael

marriott-starwood

This news will certainly rock the travel and loyalty industry, so I figured I’d share the news on here. In a deal valued at $12.2B, I was actually surprised at the price. Seems really low for a chain and loyalty brand/cult that is much stronger, especially at the premium luxury levels. I think SPG brass probably had deal fatigue by this point since they’ve effectively been on the market since earlier this year. Either way – it will be interesting to watch and see how the chains start to fold in together (crossover rewards, earning/redeeming points, loyalty tier matches, etc). Seems like the acquisition is pended for completion in mid-2016 with the operational merger and loyalty brand assimilation to follow shortly thereafter. Fingers crossed that this may mean something good not awful for SPG Platinums like me!

The Points Guy reacts to the acquisition here.

Til Next Time,

Michael

golden-circle-marketing-method

A friend of mine shared a great article with me today. It is all about the culture of why, and how Apple turned archaic marketing strategy and methods on their head (putting WHY at the core instead of WHAT) in order to drive better brand, product, and employee engagement.

I think “WHY” we do things absolutely needs to be at the core, regardless of whether we’re talking about products themselves, or the people who support their growth, evolution, sales, and support. The other points made in this piece are fantastic too; I have actually developed my own internal application insurgency methodology which focuses specifically on the engagement of early adopters. I think the quicker you can turn that faction into brand champions and advocates – the quicker you’ll realize deeper market penetration (again – this isn’t just specific to traditional retail products – I take my internal applications through this evolution all the time!).

Article courtesy of Kissmetrics.

Til Next Time,

Michael

My friend pointed out this article to me today, and I thought it was worthwhile to share. I’m not an opponent of A&S degrees, of course, but I do think there are some “Aha” moments when considering the meat of the article.

What do you think? Are we in a cycle where other more technical degrees have risen to the top from an income-earning ability perspective? Or is that sort of how it’s always been and always (may) will be?

Til Next Time,

Michael


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