Engineer Out Negative Value

From the archives, 2014

Here I am (2014) at Cambridge, Massachusetts, visiting #Harvard and home of #HBS and staying at the #Doubletree suites by #Hilton. I have been rereading Rethinking The Network Economy by Stan #Liebovitz. He rightly argues that many of the mantra of the Internet boom period are economically unsound. It is not the first mover that succeeds but being the best in service and operational efficiency. Take my current experience.

Hotels like this one are finally deciding to provide free Internet to guests. Or rather, it is wrapped up in the price of the room. I don’t pay extra for the pillows, the shower, nor the ironing board. Why not internet? And finally Hilton does. But here’s the rub. In order to get it I have to go online and put in a password for each of my digital devices. And I have to do this every day! Moreover because of the way it is configured, I also have to reboot each of the devices to do this.

This is negative service, negative value. It is no help to the hotel because it uses the same password for everybody in the hotel. I don’t even have to say who I am. Nor does it prevent people casually raiding their Wi-Fi service, because the hotel location means that there are no people wandering about. Anyone in or about the hotel is visiting it as a guest or friend of a guest. It means that guests like me phone reception when they can’t get their Wi-Fi to work, then have to phone the remote service that has to log my details in order to prove that they dealt with it before telling me that I have to reboot. This is value destruction for Hilton and guest.

My complaint is not about the internet. It is about the thinking.

Time for some real education. Be smart.