Gut feel is better than big data, is hotel search broken? direct bookings in the airline world
Decisions are still made by real people
The big data story isn't a lie, but it does tend to be hyped up to a point where people expect computers to think on our behalf. Reality is the right data, properly analyzed and clearly presented inspires and directs one's attention on the right problems but the decisions need to be done by real people. I found this article excellent and it's worth a read, especially for hoteliers. Maybe the real issue is that data should be served faster so humans can make more informed decisions.
Reinventing airline distribution
Skyscanner's recent whitepaper made the news last week and that is quite interesting. While they seem to be doing something similar to what OTAs did back in their days, they quite clearly are moving the way airline distribution works, it isn't direct, but it is different. It is sort of a mix between an OTA and a Booking Engine. Now the question is will they open their integrations to third parties and spark a whole new system?
Hotel Search isn't good enough
Last week a startup called YellowRoom announced that they are building a visual search engine for hotels, while that concept has been done before, it points to the fact that hotel search doesn't seem to satisfy everyone yet. I for one agree, there is something tedious about searching for a hotel especially in a new location. Despite the hugely efficient OTAs, a new better way has yet to be created. Voice or Artificial Intelligence is a promising path, but when will it be ready? For now, we can go for visual.
Pricing and Scaling a Startup
If you're into the startup world of creating new products and finding markets for them (hopefully not in that sequence) you'll be interested in this article by Jerry Chen. Hotels would probably call this revenue management. But in the startup world, finding the right balance between speed to market and cost of acquisition isn't quite that easy, especially since unlike hotels, you're probably one of the early ones to be doing what you're doing.
"History will teach us nothing"
A famous teacher turned rock star once said. But history does add a dimension of understanding to things. This article on the history of travel to Europe, is quite a great read in even for Europeans like me. We tend to take for granted how easy travel has become in Europe. But travel is important because it makes people better, more tolerant and understanding. Let's not forget that. So while history is strewn with human rights violations and we should know our human right (via Sting), history can help teach us what we should or shouldn't do again.