Own Your Edge

IN: Branding, Creating, Success

Checking into a hotel can be a nightmare. Long lines. Tourists in hiking shoes. That bald guy pounding a beer. (At least, this was the scholarly scene I witnessed yesterday.) (Just kidding, I rooted him on.)

But hotels are reticent to replace humans with technology, because they fear they’ll be sacrificing “the personal touch.” Do you know how many times I arrive to a hotel and wish I could just swipe my passport at a kiosk, like I do at the airport, and have a key card, a drink ticket, and instructions printed for me? Do you know how many times I wish I didn’t have to go through the personal touch—especially when it costs me an extra twenty minutes of time to wait in a line for the privilege?

Most hotels are still operating under the assumption that we want the personal touch. That assumption informs everything else they do. But what if anyone dared to assume something else: Anonymity can be peaceful. Ease is a gift. Not having to have a forced dialogue with every member of the hotel staff, every five minutes, can be its own form of sanctuary.

And what if they created a business model around that?

And what if they set out to really own it?

Most businesses don’t have the guts. They’re terrified to go too far in either direction; panic-stricken at the idea of rocking the boat. What they fail to recognize, however, is that when you’re an entrepreneur, rocking the boat is the job.

It has a nickname, even.

It’s called “innovation.”

And no matter how scared you are, “new ideas” should never be a dirty word. It should be your credo.