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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

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 8.59.59 AM

So I was recently selected to be part of a distinguished group of cable leaders called the “Overachievers Under 30″. Which is actually a really cool honor, but it kind of points to me as a fish out of water. The industry I work in is generally dominated by industry veterans who have been in their positions or learning the ropes for decades. It’s rare to be a younger person in this industry, which actually sucks to be honest. It’s tremendously difficult to command respect from people who are 10, 20, or 30 years your superior. I guess that’s the plight of the millennial though. I just wish there were better ways to foster collaboration and drive execution excellence outside of your age range – then maybe I’d look at awards like this with a slightly different lens? Either way – it’s still a great honor and I will definitely post more here to share my experiences as I meet the other honorees in a few weeks in NYC!

Read more here.

Til Next Time,

Michael

I know I’ve touched on conferences before, but as I sit on a flight out to my next biggest conference – I figured I’d dust off some of my thoughts around conferences and their relative value in Corporate America. This will be the biggest conference I’ve ever been on the hook for – almost 900 participants.

My thoughts:

  • It’s really hard to get 900 people on the same page without some great materials, strategy, and energy
  • Planning for an event like this should really start 12 months out; I unfortunately probably did 80% of the pre-work within the last 90 days (partially my fault/procrastination, partially at the discretion of other team members/senior leaders)
  • Having 900 people is awesome because I got to engage a production company to support things like stage design/setup, audio/visual, and other items
  • Having 900 people sucks because organizing that sort of chaos is extremely difficult on the people logistics side (i.e. how do 900 people all get a bathroom break in 15 minutes if bathrooms around the facility only have capacity for 4-5 at a time??)
  • The biggest challenge in this sort of endeavor is making sure everyone’s voices are heard
    • This is my job every day, and it is simultaneously the single most rewarding and the single most frustrating thing about my job
    • Inevitably, many voices will not be heard, or will not be voiced
    • Even for those who are “heard” – there is still a very good chance the voice may be ignored by competing priorities or varied direction that is preferred by senior leaders
  • I love and hate conference planning and execution at the same time – I really mostly just wish I had the ability to care a little less about the details

At least this one’s in Vegas – wish me luck!!

Til Next Time,

Michael


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