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Tag: commercial

Are We Hard Wired?

Hardwired Control Matrix

It has been a challenging month at Social Flights.   Our soft launch story was broken by FAST COMPANY, then it was quickly picked up by  THE NEW YORK TIMESBLOOMBERG TV,  FORBESINC. TECH,  WASHINGTON POST, and MASHABLE, then picked up by various other magazines and bloggers across the web.

Huge Interest in The Business Model

Social flights picked up tens of thousands of hits and several thousand members within a very short period of time.  We also received almost a thousand RFQ’s for charter service and our web traffic rank according to Alexa.com is under 20,000 – better than any other private jet broker in the country, including NetJets.

I personally communicated with dozens of 3rd party entrepreneurs that want to plug into our value proposition and we are discussing multiple high value partnerships in North America and around the world.

Are We Hard Wired?

Introducing such a radical approach brings many challenges, especially in the area of customer expectation.  People are hard wired to schedules, and lines, and pat downs, and waiting, waiting waiting. Social Flights was never conceived to dictate on a market how they should fly and to where.  Social flights will certainly not take people someplace where they don’t want to go – like an airport hub for transfer.  Social Flights will never hold a passenger’s dignity hostage behind some hidden cost or irrelevant regulation.

Losing The Hard Wire

We estimate that Social Flights will optimize at about  2.5 Million members – or roughly 5000 people in each of 500 locations across North America.  At that point our service model will begin to “simulate” the selection and convenience of the commercial airlines.  Keep in mind – this system will “simulate” scheduled service except without hard wires.

5000 people X 500 places model

  • This is the point where there will be a high likelihood that 8-10 people will all want to go to the same place from the same place within reasonable intervals of departure times.
  • This is the point where fluctuations in price and schedule such as de-icing costs, landing fees, fuel cost, or seat cancellation policy can be absorbed across the whole system rather than an individual passenger load.
  • This is the point where ground support vendors will commit substantial discount incentives to controlled bundles of passengers.
  • This is a point where the data that is generated by The Value Game and held solely by the players becomes valuable enough to predict the outcomes of future Value Games.

Not An Easy Puzzle to Solve:

Social Flights is attempting to do something that has never been accomplished in social media with such high value shared assets.  We seek to answer the question: Can people organize themselves around the concept of “Value” much like we have organized ourselves around the concept of “Money”.  Based on our earliest readings, the answer is that people are not as Hard Wired to money as those who control money would like us to believe. Looks like they’d jump the first plane out of Dodge if given a chance.

Watching The Birds Play The Value Game

To some entrepreneurs, the problems with the aviation industries signal many insurmountable obstacles.  At  Social Flights these challenges portend an extraordinary opportunity for a new business method to bring efficiency, order, social value while eliminating artificial barriers.

Social Flights value proposition is very strong for travel ranging from 200-1000 miles between smaller airports. Social Flights can deploy quickly in response to specialized market needs, environmental condition, opportunities, or events. Social flights adapts the mission of the aircraft to meet the opportunities presented to the market.

Conversely, commercial aviation struggles dearly in this segment because they try to get the market to meet the pre-ordained mission of the aircraft. The entire air transportation system would be best served if commercial aviation concentrated on the long haul/high volume “migration” service.  There is no reason why private aviation cannot perform the job that gridlocks commercial aviation.  This would make both industries more efficient.

Commercial Aviation’s Race to Nowhere

The Deregulation Act of 1978 in the Commercial Aviation system led to the development of the Hub and Spoke system whereas commercial carriers would fly people from small locations into a one or more large “Hub” cities where they would transfer on to the next destination – usually another hub, or on to the final destination.

Deregulation undermined point-to-point service regardless of market demand, ignoring social objectives of the passengers, having no regard for the final destination of the passengers, and blowing off the “time-value” of their passengers.  Recently, the ever expanding security layer has reached the point of personal privacy invasion.  With the age of the Internet, sites such as Travelocity and Expedia diluted the “service class” market segmentation of the airlines in favor of the “price class” segmentation of airlines.  These forces caused the commercial airline experience to become a deceptive, deeply invasive, and physically strenuous experience.

Private Aviation’s starvation diet

Meanwhile, the private aviation sector has fallen under the thumb of listing agents who tie up the industry behind the gilded walls of Charter Brokerage Houses.  FAA regulation hampers the ability to attract passengers on a per-seat basis, which gives private operators a hugely limited marketing position.  Brokers took over to mark-up the price of chartered flights far beyond the reaches of a mainstream market.

For these reasons, the private aviation sector has had difficulty organizing itself into a self-sustaining cooperative, until now.  In Fact, the smaller the airplane and the more widely distributed the airports, the simpler and more efficient the whole social system can become.

Social Flights changes the Game by Changing the Mission.

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