Category Archives: Business

Government and Airlines helping to Disrupt Business Travel

I think the government and airlines are working together to accelerate disruptive innovation that will upend the business travel industry.

Now, not only is business travel expensive, uncomfortable and time consuming, but the US Government has added concerns about border controls and is now considering disallowing use of laptops and tablets on board international flights into the US from Europe (and has already done so from other countries). In fact they may require them to be checked. I don’t know about you, but most companies have a policy that laptops should stay on your person at all times, so they don’t get stolen and information possibly lost (whether encrypted or not).

At the same time airlines are working hard to make air travel miserable, eliminating meals, seat space and civility. We’ve all seen the video of bloodied passengers being dragged off United, or family members threatened with jail and thrown off a Delta flight despite paid seats.

Meanwhile there has been an increasing trend toward virtual meetings, either voice or video, or even no meetings at all.

It looks like this will all come together in one big disruption, sooner than expected.

Taking Time

Many things in nature take time.

There is a certain time frame (typically 9 months) to have a baby. You cannot accelerate the process. If honey hardens you can soften it in warm water but it takes time, boiling water won’t make it faster – it will just ruin the honey. You do not accelerate the process so that you have teenagers the week after they are born, it takes time to get there.

Why in business do we limit ourselves to very short time horizons, when some things take time?

The answer is presumably that we do not know the outcome, so want to manage the risk and limit the cost. With a pregnancy you pretty much can expect it will take 9 months, there is past experience.

That said, there are companies that are doing extremely well since they do take a long view, ignoring the chatter around them. We know who they are.