A word from our readers: the addendum edition

This week we’ve aggregated the musings and factoids of our readers from past posts.

America’s success is Japan’s ikigai

After reading our Index Card Summary of “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”, one reader likened the American Success (TM) model to the slightly more sophisticated Japanese idea of ikigai, which adds societal need into the equation of success.

So now before you quite your job to start your Yelp for people app, ask yourself the critical question – does the world need it?

Working people! Make some ambient noise!

On the topic of focus, we covered a music platform populated by music writing software that knows how to get you on the right wavelength: brain.fm. A reader shared that once you’ve picked the right music, it’s handy to choose the right volume – which happens to be 60 decibels for ambient noise. This is why coffee shops are an ideal work environment for creative people – like satirical bloggers!

We’re all Spider-Man deep down

In our re-branding of the solar system from ancient gods to modern ones, we heard a compelling argument that Earth should really be renamed Spider-Man, because Spider-Man is the Every-man that we all want to be and would be if we could…because deep down, we all want to be from Queens.

Cheers to our readers for the thoughtful feedback!




Adventures in re-branding: Hotel execs get wrong what Airbnb gets right

Hotel execs must be reading my blog; I think they loved the re-branding of the solar system so much, that they’ve decided to keep doing what they are doing, but re-brand it as giving a “feeling of home comfort”. Now at hotels like The Standard, the concierge is labeled the “personal concierge”. You can have laundry access, just like a home – but limited to two items per day. Some tasty snacks will be ready in your room – all for the already rolled in $100 surcharge. And at a week or longer, you can get up to 40% off of your rooms (already a common practice among hotels).

These hotels marketing a homey experience are doing nothing different to what they’ve always done; the ingredients to their conception of a “home stay” are not so earth shattering as is their marketing. And this is also where they reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of their unique selling point.

What differentiates hotels from coach surfing and home sitting is the guarantee of comfort – a good night’s sleep in a clean room and a comfy bed, and your own personal space with no house rules to follow. What makes Airbnb competitive is the lower prices and good locations, more so than the home-made experience. So unless a hotel grows legs and moves to a more optimal location or slashes prices, fresh muffins in the morning ain’t gonna win those customers back.