Tag Archives: Single

An American Airlines Captain Just Did Something Resourceful and Kind for Every Single Passenger on His Flight. His Stunning Story Went Viral
September 9, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

Wichita Falls is a city of about 100,000 people in northeast Texas. It looks like there’s a lot of stunning natural beauty nearby.

But what the airport at Wichita Falls doesn’t have, apparently, is a place to get a nice meal near the airport, especially if 100 or more people unexpectedly show up all at once.

This became relevant last week, when American Airlines flight 2354 from Los Angeles to Dallas-Fort Worth was diverted there due to extreme thunderstorms. Passengers were looking at the likelihood of having to scramble to find a place to stay overnight, to say nothing of finding a bite to eat.

And the captain on their flight came up with a very simple solution.

In short, he called up the local Papa John’s and ordered 40 pizzas for his 159 passengers. As far as we know, he fronted the entire bill, $ 500 or more, himself. And his simple gesture went viral.

The captain’s name: Jeff Raines, according to CNN. His actions–in fact the moments when he found himself running back and forth from the terminal to the Papa John’s delivery car–was all captured on video by an airport worker named Josh Raines (no indication they’re related).

As Josh explained later in his Twitter feed, the passengers were going to travel the rest of the way to Dallas via bus. But Wichita Falls Municipal Airport is actually a mostly military airport, attached to Sheppard Air Force Base. It’s just not equipped for a sudden, unexpected influx of passengers.

Jeff Raines (the captain) apparently followed the whole thing up with an explanation on Facebook:

Thanks for the compliments however this was a “TEAM” effort. My First Officer was on the telephone with crew tracking / hotel desk arranging for our release and hotels for the entire crew.

The Flight Attendants manned a galley cart from the aircraft serving waters, juice, and sodas to all the passengers in the terminal. All while the Envoy SPS Personnel were arranging for a bus, re-booking flights, and answering a flurry of questions from these passengers.

Thanks to everyone for your help – there is no “I” in TEAM.

It’s unclear whether the passengers continued to Dallas via bus, as both Josh Raines and Jeff Raines seem to have suggested, or if they flew there the next morning, as American corporate P.R. says. I suspect it’s possible some passengers might have continued on to Dallas via bus; others waited for the flight the next day.

But the real point here is an airline employee taking it upon himself to do something that’s clearly not listed in the American Airlines handbook, but that has a lot of potential to increase passengers’ affinity for the airline.

We’ve seen this repeatedly lately, for example with the Southwest Airlines captain who rerouted a flight to enable a passenger to get an amazing photo of the Great American Eclipse in 2017, and the Southwest flight attendant who worked to allow a passenger who has Down syndrome to fulfill her dream, at least for a day, of working as a flight attendant.

These little actions help any business’s reputation, and they often pay big dividends. For its pilot’s $ 500 pizza outlay, American clearly got a lot more than $ 500 worth of brand equity or marketing.

It doesn’t even really matter if the passengers like pizza. Simply by making the effort, the captain bought goodwill.

“We are always proud of our crew members who take great care of our customers who fly on American Airlines,” American said in an email. “We are fortunate that our crew members are the best in the business.”


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20 Years Ago, Steve Jobs Revealed the Single Word That Led to Apple's Great Success
November 27, 2017 12:13 pm|Comments (0)

The power of focus.

Without it, you’re doomed to a life of distraction. A life in which others’ priorities dictate on what you spend your time. As you move from one shiny object to another, you may get lots of things done–but few things ever get done well.

Or, you may find your life is ruled by procrastination, where doing great work is derailed by social media and YouTube videos.

But how can you learn to achieve focus, in a world that is built to distract?

20 years ago, Steve Jobs answered that question.

In 1997, Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple, the company he had been ousted from over a decade before. He was answering questions from developers at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference when someone raised the topic of “OpenDoc,” a software engineering framework that Jobs decided to kill upon his return.  

In addressing the question about OpenDoc, Jobs took opportunity to drop some major wisdom.

“I know some of you spent a lot of time working on stuff that we put a bullet in the head of,” begins Jobs. “I apologize. I feel your pain.” The audience laughed appreciatively.

He continued:

“But Apple suffered for several years from lousy engineering management. And there were people that were going off in 18 different directions–doing arguably interesting things in each one of them. Good engineers. Lousy management.

And what happened was, you look at the farm that’s been created, with all these different animals going in different directions, and it doesn’t add up. The total is less than the sum of the parts. And so we had to decide: What are the fundamental directions we’re going in? And what makes sense and what doesn’t? And there were a bunch of things that didn’t. And microcosmically they might have made sense; macrocosmically they made no sense.

…When you think about focusing, you think, well, focusing is about saying yes. No. 

Focusing is about saying no.

Boom drops the dynamite.

Focusing is about saying no.

This ability to say no was arguably Jobs’s greatest skill. When Apple brought Jobs back, his first order of business was to shrink the product line–and make sure whatever Apple made, it made extremely well.

“Steve was the most remarkably focused person I’ve ever met in my life,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief and the man Steve Jobs once described as his “spiritual partner.” Ive went on to explain why achieving focus isn’t as easy as it appears on the surface.

Jobs would regularly ask him: ‘How many things have you said no to today?’ Ive says he would have “sacrificial” things he turned down. “Well, I said no to this. And no to that,” he would tell his boss. “But he knew that I wasn’t vaguely interested in doing those things anyway.”

“What focus means is saying no to something that you [think]–with every bone in your body–is a phenomenal idea,” he continues. “And you wake up thinking about it. But you say no to it because you’re focusing on something else.”

Putting It Into Practice

Whatever your role or position, you’re faced with choices about your work on a daily basis. Should I join this meeting? Do I really want to take on this client or project? Should I focus on this task at the expense of that one?

For many, it’s not easy to say no. You may try to rationalize: “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They won’t understand. I’ll find a way to get it all done.”

No, you won’t.

Learning to say no begins by sharpening your emotional intelligence–the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you. By refusing to let temporary emotions lead to permanent decisions, you’ll realize that lack of focus easily leads to regret.

Then, instead of trying to do it all…

You can simply do it right.

So, choose wisely.

Because every time you say yes to something you don’t really want, you’re actually saying no to the things you do.


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This May Be The World's Single Largest Industry By 2050. Are You Ready For It?
September 6, 2017 9:43 pm|Comments (0)

Few things are getting as much attention as driverless cars. Google’s Waymo spinoff recently announced that its driverless cars have driven over 3 million miles, rumors are floating about Apple patents for autonomous vehicles and potential play in driverless, Uber and Lyft are both planning driverless fleets, and myriad companies such as Nutonomy, Torc Robotics, Mentor, Lvl5, and Skymind are all fueling what will be one of the most disruptive innovations of the last 200 years.

Autonomous vehicles (or AVs) will likely be the single greatest opportunity for the creation of value and wealth during the 21st Century. A study, done for Intel by Strategy Analytics, predicted a $ 7 trillion industry by 2050 making it one of, if not the single largest global industry.

Given the impact AVs will have it’s worth taking the time to understand the facts and to consider how AVs will impact you and your business trust me on this, they will! Yet, much of what we hear and read seems to either border on absurd promises or threats of a dystopian future in which cars are making life and death decisions in a crisis moment about whether to take out a family of four or a little old lady crossing the street in her walker.

So, I’m doing something a bit different with my Inc column this month. During September I’m going to run a series on autonomous vehicles, drawing on interviews I’ve had with CEOs of AV companies and developers of AV technology, lawyers, insurance companies, advocacy groups, first hand accounts with AVs, and excerpts from a new 2018 book I’m wrapping up, Revealing The Invisible: How Our Hidden Behaviors Are Becoming The Most Valuable Commodity Of The 21st Century.

The intent with this series of articles is to provide a realistic view of how AVs will evolve, the obstacles they face, and the dramatic changes they will bring.

So, lets start with the problem that AVs are trying to solve.

The Facts

There is no way that we can support 10 billion people with the same sort of vehicle infrastructure and culture we have today.

The automobile is part of the fabric of the modern world. We build an intense cultural and personal bond with our vehicles. They define a person’s identity. They are also the backbone of commerce. As an industry, vehicle manufacturing is large enough to represent the equivalent of the world’s sixth largest economy, employing over 50 million people and producing nearly 100 million vehicles each year. Yet, there is simply no way that we can support a global population reaching 10 billion people with the same sort of vehicle infrastructure we have today. Our cars remain idle 90% of the time. There’s no other individual asset nearly as expensive to own that gets that little utilization.

Vehicle’s account for 1.3 million deaths each year.

That places them as the 10th leading cause of death globally and the only non-disease related cause in the top 10. If you adjust for the fact that there are only one billion vehicles globally, as opposed to the fact that all seven billion people are subject to the other 9 risk factors, you could make the claim that vehicles are the leading cause of death for those who own or interact with an automobile.

Automobiles have a strained relationship with an aging population.

Few of us have not had to deal with the very hard conversation, or worse yet unilateral decision, of taking the car keys away from a parent. The automobile is perhaps one of the greatest statements of independence in modern society. When it’s taken away it takes with it not just the license to drive but the license to live a full life. According the AAA seniors are outliving their ability to drive by 7-10 years on average. This will be you soon enough.

Autonomous vehicles are going to be a watershed moment in our acceptance of artificial intelligence.

Once we feel safe enough in an AV to transition from driver to passenger, and have experienced its ability to transport us faster, keep us safer, and understand our behaviors better than we can ourselves A.I. will have arrived. There’s no doubt in my mind that the AV will be the proof point and the watershed moment for AI’s acceptance.

The impact of vehicles on global pollution and climate change.

And lastly, let’s not forget the impact of vehicles on global pollution and climate change. According to a study by NASA vehicles are the single largest contributor to climate change. Today transportation contributes more to greenhouse emission than the entire energy sector of the US economy. 26% of greenhouse gases come from vehicles. Even without moving to electric vehicles the reductions that come from the efficiency of AVs in terms of their ability to communicate with each other (V2V – Vehicle to Vehicle)) and infrastructure (V2I – Vehicle to Infrastructure) would eliminate traffic congestion and the need for street lights.

When you consider all of these factors converging it’s impossible not to believe that it’s just a matter of time until AVs are an essential part of our world. Does that mean that there aren’t technical, cultural, social, and even ethical obstacles ahead? Of course not! This is likely to be one of the most profound transformations we will experience in our lifetime. But it’s also likely to be one of the messiest as hundreds of companies race to bring AVs to market, regulators try to set standards, and driver learn how to become passengers.

In my next column we’ll look at some of those challenges through the eyes of experts in the industry who are driving (an unavoidable pun) the evolution of autonomous vehicles. And more specifically at how we define what an autonomous really means.

Stick with me, it’s going to be a fun ride!


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8-year-old golf prodigy kills a drone with a single swing
December 9, 2016 2:20 am|Comments (0)

Ruby Kavanaugh — remember that name. The eight-year-old golf sensation has a swing that rivals PGA professionals, and recently put it on display for a drone photographer in Australia. Kavanaugh lines up her tee shot and crushes a beauty headed straight for the center of the fairway. Unfortunately, a Yuneec Typhoon H hexacopter happened to be in her path. The apologetic eight-year-old then watched as the $ 1,900 drone dropped from the sky. Of course, not everyone believes the shot to be legitimate. Some have concluded that there’s really no apparent reason the drone plummeted to the ground like it did. The blades were operational, the…

This story continues at The Next Web

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