Author Archives: Braden Kelley

It is hard for me to believe that we as airline customers accept being packed into airplanes like sardines for six hours on a cross-country flight (seven if you are stranded on the tarmac for an hour waiting to take off), only to then also face the choice between starving or being forced to buy a stale ham and cheese (or wrap) or a $3 giant Three Musketeers bar. It’s almost as if the airlines have decided to say “let them eat cake.”There is a better way…I have noticed that some restaurants in airports have started to sell chilled ‘To Go’ items. This doesn’t constitute an innovation by any stretch of the imagination, and is even less exciting when you take into account that most airports have dismal airport food choices. The airports need to recognize that the airlines have chosen to put the airports in the food business and … Continue reading

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I was fortunate enough to fly to New York City this week, but I found myself disappointed that nothing has changed in the past few months. Airlines are desperate for profits, yet everything seemed the same or worse from a passenger perspective. We all deserve a better travel experience, so in the next couple of articles I’ll be covering a couple of areas of potential profits that the airlines could capture while improving the customer experience, starting with:1. Airlines should auction off available first class upgradesSome airlines reward frequent fliers with “stickers” that they can attempt to use to upgrade themselves on future flights. Each sticker can be used to upgrade 500 miles of travel. I have been trying to upgrade myself for years now on American Airlines and still have 17 stickers in my account (I think I was successful once in the last 24 months). I would imagine … Continue reading

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The television industry has been fighting against progress for the last several years, but finally appears to be coming around and accepting that change is inevitable. First it was Tivo and the industry worrying about customers skipping commercials. At first the networks fought against it, but now, willingly or not they are shepherding a return to more integrated advertising. Sadly, it hasn’t resulted in a reduction in the number of commercial breaks, except for the people using Tivo or any other Digital Video Recorder (DVR).Now the networks are struggling to adapt to the Internet. At first they seemed to ignore that it existed, then they built websites, and now almost all shows try to extend the viewing experience into the online world and try to build a community around the show. ABC is the most forward thinking of the networks, becoming the first to sell television episodes immediately after they … Continue reading

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I came across an interesting article today on stackable cars that is a good followup to my article about vehicle ownership and whether the combined Zipcar and Flexcar represent an innovation in the automotive industry.The stackable electric cars are being developed by MIT with a grant from General Motors, along with an electric scooter. Unlike Zipcar’s round-trip rental policy, MIT is advocating a one-way rental system both for the electric scooters, but also the stackable electric cars. This is similar to the way that free bicycle systems work in several cities around the globe. The main downside will be whether or not a one-way system can maintain even coverage across the city to serve customers.There is no reason that Zipcar couldn’t benefit from this invention. Assuming that these cars could be purchased by Zipcar, they could make more cars available in a smaller amount of space. This could be …

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I’ve been hearing for a while now about the big bulb projector being on its way out soon, which will be a happy day to the legions of consultants traveling around and helping organizations around the world. I personally will be happy to say good riddance to the expensive, unreliable technology that have been a source of frustration and embarassment for millions of people. Whether they will be replaced by LED or laser-powered projectors or something else, isn’t really important. Let’s instead focus on innovation that is on its way, how it will impact behavior, and maybe a little bit about my vision for the future of information sharing.Microvision, a Redmond-based company, is working on a product called PicoP that will allow you to plug in a mobile projector to your mobile phone, and possibly have one embedded in your Motorola mobile phone beginning in 2009. Why is this …

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Earlier this week Zipcar announced that it was acquiring Seattle-based Flexcar. For those of you not familiar with either company, they are both pursuing the same innovation – rental cars available by the hour parked down the street–not by the day parked at the airport.Most people these days operate on the paradigm of owning a car for every adult in the household (if not more than one). A car used 15,000 miles per year at an average speed of 30mph equates to 500 hours of use (less than 1.5 hours per day – or about 2hrs/day at 20mph). This results in most cars sitting idle 22 of every 24 hours. If the owner takes public transportation to work, idle time increase to 23 of every 24 hours for the vehicle.Depending on your tastes, it costs about $6,000 to have a car (loan pmt., gas, insurance, repairs, etc.) – or coming … Continue reading

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Build a common language of innovation on your team

A good example of a charity investing in technologies that could lead to a better society is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and their $22 Million investment in a company called FoldRx. Check out this article in the Boston Globe. The article talks about how this investment could be a good example of how charity and private enterprise may better be able to collaborate together to undertake development efforts that will help society at large, but may not make sense on paper for bottom-line oriented investors. In this case the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation investment will serve to attract other investments that ultimately will allow for full funding of a research team that might not otherwise exist. This is but one example of the type of venture philanthropy and social venture capital solutions that are possible when donors, charities, and philanthropists think in new and different ways, innovative ways. Don’t miss an … Continue reading

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