In the last two years GSP has grown close to 30% due to the work of it’s CEO, Dave Edwards. He brought Southwest to Greenville and revived a lackluster airport, into an airport handling over 1.75 million passengers a year.
They have maintained the small airport atmosphere while still handling a large increase in travelers. GSP is currently undergoing renovations under the name of “Wingspan”, increasing their capacity, adding restaurants, and creating an even better atmosphere.
My business partner and I met with Dave Edwards last week and we are excited about building a relationship with GSP. I will be posting more information in the future as things develop.
My hero is someone that seems unrelated to airlines, airports, and travel: Ron Paul. Ron Paul is someone I have always admired and respected since I was 16 years old. I began researching him back when I was 16 and I was drawn to his free market Austrian economics and the way he bucked the system. His three time run for president ignited a revolution in the hearts of young people across America. No matter if people agree with him or not, they recognized his courage in sticking by his beliefs no matter if they were unpopular or popular. I think his story settles well with the entrepreneur because one of the most important things in entrepreneurship is not taking “no” for an answer. If we truly believe in our business concepts then we will present them to anyone and everyone, realizing that like Ron Paul anyone can start a word-of-mouth revolution if they are passionate about their business.
Inflight entertainment is changing rapidly with companies like Row44 and Gogo forging ahead. Traditionally there have been a few cabin screens, or seat back entertainment. This can cost significant amounts of money for an airline, around $500,000 per plane! So, what’s a better option? Row44 and Gogo have started streaming content on some of the Wi-Fi networks they have established. Now consumers can sit back and rent movies on their laptops and personal devices. It sounds great, but one big issue with this content, as well as the internet, is that it’s not free. In fact it can be quite pricey. Will there ever be content that you can stream to your personal device without paying $14 dollars?
Yes. If SkyFlix can accomplish this we can attract more users than our competition.
Many airports are beginning to compete with each other based on free Wi-Fi. Secondary international airports especially are beginning to offer free Wi-Fi to try to compete with giants like Atlanta. Here are a few airports in the south east with free Wi-Fi.
Greenville/Spartanburg International Airport
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Charleston International Airport
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
Birmingham International Airport
The list will continue to grow in the future as more airports begin adopting the free Wi-Fi service. Customers are acquainted with free Wi-Fi in restaurants, coffee shops, malls, downtowns, and they are beginning to expect free Wi-Fi at airports.
Travel is a passion of mine. I don’t get to do it as much as I would like, however, I have always been fascinated with other cultures, countries, geographies, and mountains. I have countless maps in my room that I have spent hours pouring over, planning my next trip. Sometimes, like many people out there, I’ll spend hours researching travel blogs, looking up pictures, and reading about other people’s experiences.
The first time I flew I was 12 years old and flew to Mexico. I loved the flight, except for the part where I threw up into the barf bag. (Yes, apparently people still use those.) I thought airports were awesome because it was a gateway to all the cool destinations I’ve always wanted to go to.
Because of my love of travel, SkyFlix is an easy fit. I want to help people like me, that love to travel, to stay entertained while they travel.
One big problem I’ve discovered with traveling is all the waiting people do. I’ve had a 6 hour layover, many hours of delays, with nothing to do but watch the one TV at the gate and go to the cafeteria. This is a problem that many people have and I have connected with it.
I want to do SkyFlix because I love travel, I love airports, and I want to solve a problem with traveling.
Brains on Fire is a powerful book about creating movements, empowering people to be advocates of the business,moving it from simply a product, to a powerful message. SkyFlix “Chapter 11″ would be about the way we are going to create a movement. One of the most important aspects of a movement in relation to SkyFlix would be about finding, empowering, and learning from frequent flyers. SkyFlix needs to find advocates for our business and who better to advocate it than those people that would use the service the most.
One of the lessons of the book that I have taken away is the importance of what tech author calls ” burning the non disclosure agreement”. Why is this important? In a technology/ software business like SkyFlix, people can become obsessed with the security of their technology. Instead we need to embrace those people who want to use and advocate our business. We need to do three things: find advocates by offering the service to select users at first, empower the advocates to suggest new content for streaming, and provide a premium version that would have a barrier to entry. That barrier of entry could be a membership with one of the select airlines, or a monthly fee.
How can we make advocates feel like rock stars? Most advocates would also be a premier member with an airline. We could offer premium content that other users didn’t have.
Another important aspect is to create a community that is both online and off line. The book talked about the importance of having an off line following. For us that means we need to embrace our users love of traveling to create a community of users.
Our chapter 11 is about finding our advocates, giving them ownership of the movement, and loving what our customers love! Our movement, like every movement, must be based on passion, not product. What is the essence of SkyFlix? It is about keeping people entertained while they travel. People wait a huge amount of time while they travel. Our movement needs to be based on solving this problem.
I love to travel, I love mountains, and I get really excited about seeing the world. But, I’m not a big fan of waiting. I am by excited abo it SkyFlix because I know how useful it would be for me when I travel! I know there are people out there like me and those are the people I want to find.
American Airlines has onboard entertainment options for longer flights. On http://www.AA.com, they discuss exactly what they have on flights, not as impressive a selection as Delta though.
As far as news they have NBC Nightly News, TODAY, Dateline, MSNBC, CNBC and The Weather Channel.
They have complete episodes of The Office, Monk, Psyche, Parks and Recreation, and others. Sports highlights, comedy shows, and entertainment news are the rest of the categories available.
In premium cabins they have Bose noise canceling headphones with inflight movies.
Overall, if you are flying first class, American Airlines is a good choice for entertainment.