Revenue? Profits? No! It’s about the Guests – Part 2

This post is a quick follow up to a post from a couple weeks ago. Long story short, after submitting a question to Mr. Fuerstman via Montage Hotels and Resorts web site ( I received a phone call from the Director of Communication on behalf of Mr. Fuerstman. Yes that’s right, someone in management there […]

The real e-proof is in the real e-details

“Web Sales with a Human Touch” by Edward H Baker is in the latest issue of Strategy+Business ( talks about Sales Next, a product/service from 24/7 Customer ( that aims to make a science out of customer support & sales web chat. Very interesting stuff, eh? However, as one would expect, there are some questions […]

Obama says, “Another one bites the dust”

At this point, we’re all fairly familiar with the fact that Mr Obama’s campaign announced the selection of his running mate via mobile phone text messaging. Another historical first. Sure, there were some technical glitches but for the most part the event, as covered in the mainstream press, went as planned. However, the real story […]

Revenue? Profits? No! It’s about The Guests

From the New York Times, “A Hotel’s Secret: Treat the Guests Like Guests” by Perry Garfinkel (Saturday 23 August 2008). This brief interview of Alan J. Fuerstman, the chief executive of Montage Hotels and Resorts, packs a mountain of insightful punch. In fact, we have all trudged though 200+ pages of a best seller to […]

An open letter to Mr. Michael Phelps

Dear Mr Phelps, Congratulations on all your hard work paying off. Kudos to you for accomplishing something that no one else has ever done! The feeling must be amazing. Very impressive to say the least. And thank you for sharing those moments with all of us. On the other hand I think you should know […]

Is Google a Media Company?

From the New York Times, “Is Google a Media Company?” by Miguel Helft” (11 August 2008). This is easy. Two quick things… 1 – First and foremost Google is a publicly traded company. It’s #1 job is to maximize shareholder value. It can say what it wants but that is going to drive it is […]

A simple lesson from the world’s fastest man

One of the most insightful lessons behind Usain Bolt’s world record time (“Bolt of World’s Fastest – by a Mile” by Lynn Zinser, New York Times, 16 August 2008). Just year ago Mr. Bolt’s event was the 200 meter dash. After begging his coach Bolt put some time into the 100 meters and look where […]

We love print (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.) as much as anyone but… – Part 2

While we don’t want to be accused of beating a dead horse, here are three more nails in print’s coffin: – Free audiobook downloads from your library. – Similar offering. – “Download books and more” is there motto. This is the experience of the next generations. Just out of curiosity I did […]

Rolling Stone mag: “Downsizing” to the Jones to keep in sync with The Guest Experience

Another goody from Monday’s New York Times, “The Classic Rock Magazine Is Swithing to a Smaller, Rack-Friendly Size” by Richard Perez-Pena. First, kudos to Mr. Jann Wenner, chairman of Wenner Media (owner of the magazine), for having the vision to fix something that by many arguments wasn’t even broken. Sure, their new stand sales are […]

Targeting Search Engine Rankings

“Targeting Search Engine Rankings” by Jonathon Love from Internet Retailer ( not only aims to shine some light on the stepchild of search (i.e., organic search,not paid search) but it actually stumbles upon something very interesting that inspired a letter from AU to Jon and IR. Good morning Jon Interesting article. Thanks. However, the other […]

Nintendo Eyes Top Console Slot

From the consumer electronics trade mag TWICE ( “Nintendo Eyes Top Console Slot” by Peter Suciu (21 July 2008 print issue). Bottom line… In less than 2 years Nintendo went from “Are they crazy?” and “They don’t have a chance against Sony and Microsoft” to the killer of not just one giant but two. More […]

An Old Rocker Gets Digital

Pulled from an article about Peter Gabriel “An Old Rocker Gets Digital” by Fred Goodman (New York Times, 10 August 2008): “More recently, outside services like Apple’s iTunes,, eMusic and Rhapsody have succeeded to the point that paid digital downloads — which also include ring tones — now account for nearly 25 percent of […]

A tall, cool drink of… sewage?

“A Tall, Cool Drink of…. Sewage?” by Elizabeth Royte (Sunday Times Magazine, 10 August 2008). Orange County’s vision is impressive and inspiring. As was Ms. Royte’s portrayal of the OC until, “The stuff that’s removed is washed back to a pipe that discharges into the ocean.” That was it. Nothing more? While this approach probably […]

Search? No, find

“The road to finding is paved with data: Web analytics and user experience” by Louis Rosenfeld (, Think Tank section) is a brilliant blend of Information Consumption and The Guest Experience. So good that the AU value add on this one is simple… Read it!

It’s The Excellence and The Guest Experience, Stupid! – Part 2

With regards to the previous post about my letter published in CRM Magazine, I forgot to mention a couple NY Times ( articles that seem to help to answer my, “Why?” question. They are both by Janet Rae-Dupree. “Bright Ideas: Innovative Minds Don’t Think Alike” (30 December 2007). “Unboxed: If You’re Open To Growth, You […]

It’s The Excellence and The Guest Experience, Stupid! – Part 1

It’s so nice to be appreciated and acknowledged by those in your field/area of interest, isn’t it? After reading a couple great articles in CRM Magazine ( I wrote in to provide some additional AU insights. The editors in turn decided to merge the two letters and publish them in their print version (July/August 2008 […]

Here’s what happens when you admit to eating at McDonald’s

Another goodie from Chief Marketer ( Mr. Tim Parry, their managing editor, not only admits to eating at McDonald’s but decides to stick it to ’em too. To read his quick one page article, please click here. Now here’s the quickie that was zipped off to Tim: Hey Tim, Just read your article. I hear […]

More food for marketing thought

The NY Time’s “Restaurant Chains Close as Diners Reduce Speding” by Michael M. Grynbaum is a perfect example of what happens when a brand is built on the cookie cutter me-too approach. In discussing the troubles at Bennigan’s and others in their space there’s a quote: “Another hurdle facing these restaurants is their copycat nature. […]

It’s All About The Lighting

One more from the WSJ: “It’s All About The Lighting” by Robert Lee Hotz. 1 – Could this be why we seem to be losing our ability to reach for the stars? 2 – Not only does this indicate an increase in lighting but it can also be seen as an increases in power consumption […]

Productive Brainstorms vs. Unproductive articles

Another from the WSJ, “Productive Brainstorms Take The Right Mix of Elements” written by Kelly K. Spors. It certainly is interesting and we all agree that innovation is important, especially in today’s business environment. However, it seems as if this article might be an infomercial. If you notice there is no reference to success stories. […]