A quiet few weeks for inPLANEterms, as I finish off papers and prepare for my presentation in Geneva on April 9th (Bigger is Not Better: A new approach to terminal design). In the midst of my self-imposed solitude, I was forwarded an article (thanks Ben Kraal) which struck a cord.
Although Doug Stephens target is the reinvention of the retail sector, I think what he writes about is particularly pertinent to the current state of the Aviation industry. A few excerpts from The Real Competition Isn’t Your Competitors by Doug Stephens:
The reality today is that the industries being radically disrupted aren’t being rocked by known competitors at all but by complete outsiders. And we’re not talking about pushover industries either … each of these startups began out of a very simple premise – that current industry alternatives sucked and that there had to be a better, more consumer friendly way. They weren’t shackled by the historic constraints and limitations of their categories.
They simply imagined a different reality.
… there’s a good chance that the corporate DNA that got you this far is the very thing that will kill you in the end. Somehow, you need to start thinking like an outsider … throw away any paradigms you have about the way your industry works … not defend the deficiencies of your current model but rather reinvent it.
Amidst growing passenger numbers, slim profit-margins and escalations of passengers behaving badly, there is certainly enough smoke to suggest that things need to change. Air travel has become both cumbersome and complex, yet it need not be. We have the technology to make air travel simpler, the challenge that remains is to transcend the organizational inertia and consider the problem from an outsider’s perspective.
The rest is easy.
Source: The Real Competition Isn’t Your Competitors by Doug Stephens