It is fascinating to think about missing the boat. Blackberry missed the boat and they have been waiting at the port ever since. Myspace missed the boat. Digital cameras, except for the professionals, have all but disappeared. Embedded GPS systems in cars are useless. Not only do you save $1,800 for the GPS and add-ons that you might not want, but on your smart phone you have the best GPS system in the world.
So when I was staying at a hotel the other day, I was thinking of how hotels have also missed the boat in terms of ‘hotel innovation.’ Instead of adapting fast, they still hold on to all of those things we do not need. The telephone in the room, the clumsy alarm clock that nobody can ever work, room service that sucks, and is not available when you want it, dry cleaning and washing facilities that are so horribly expensive that you start to wear your underpants inside out every other day, and who pays for movies on tv? Nobody unless you are a loser. What about the gym? One treadmill, a tired looking universal weight system, and a mat that has not been replaced for four years does not compete with the state of the art gym I can grab using my phone to locate. Incidentally, I do not have to ask somebody to call a cab, I already Ubered it and it’s waiting outside for me. Fact is, armed with my iPhone and my Netflix account, I can get everything that I want.
Why don’t hotels get into our groove and stop trying to provide us with things that we do not want or need and rather sink into what we’re doing and access information? Incidentally, if I have to walk by another discarded plate of somebody’s breakfast, lunch or dinner in the corridor, I’m going to lose my mind. What do hotels need to do? Provide great beds, decent lighting, a great shower, charging facilities, a hotel app so that I can easily access things that are close by, and provide products that you can see and use. The rest I will take care of myself.