Jan 28, 2014

Casually… giving away control of the chain of value! Part 1

It has been a long time since I have put on my developer hat! Well, not so much, just one month… But in languages, coding, martial arts, yoga… one month is a hell of a long time!!!
Ok it wasn’t eastern holydays but I had to pass my penitence and now I’m back with my two favorite hats: Touristology and Web-Engineering!
Let’s see what these two perspectives can offer to these posts… Different Business Models mean different technology schemes. You know that (you’d better, because this will be one of the questions in your final test!!!).
We will see the business model to keep control of the chain of value in this post (Part 1) and we will deal with the technological scheme that would allow you to implement this business model in the next post (Part 2)
Ready? Steady? GOOOOO!
As you know, the bedrock of Touristology is the chain of value, and 1,2,3 theory is the framework Touristologists use in order to manage it, foresee threats and opportunities, build up a successful business model and last but, definitely not least, to provide servuction from the beginning to the end of the trip.
As usual, the main features that give you control over the chain of value are economies of scale and innovation (the most powerful being the control over a community of users as we saw here and here.
I like to represent these ideas with this picture:
The strategy followed by some Chinese enterprise is a good case in point about how to use economies of scale in order to control the chain of value. When western companies find out the possibilities of delocalizing production to China, looking for lower salaries and less restrictive environmental laws (when I was younger this it was called social dumping!), they believed that they had found the Holy Grail. In reality, they, casually, gave away control of the chain of value to Chinese companies… and as you know the one which controls the chain of value wins… Chinese companies, nowadays have international customers low price orientated (number 1) they are the only ones able to produce with a very low cost thanks to economies of scale (number 2). If you try to recover the control of the chain of value (number 3) they just implement a distribution center in your country.
They win the low cost battle; the only hope is in specialization. In tourism and I believe in any other sector… As I always said, follow Touristology’s mantra Specialization, internationalization and Groups!
By the way, try to do this kind of analysis using one popular so-called framework, used nowadays in order to define/improve a business model:
My opinion? Canvas is a set of fancy words beautifully orchestrated, NOT a framework which enables you to understand and foresee the evolution of your business model!
It thinks about enterprises as some architects which plan a building without thinking about the eco-system where it will be placed. Touristology see enterprises / tourism destination as a part of an eco-system, as a living organism. It is, in fact, a complex system. You have to analyze the system to see further on and be able to predict the success or failure of a new enterprise or Tourism destination.
But let’s focus on the business model of a big enterprise or a small one who aims to get the trust of a community In both cases they must aim to control the three C’s in the way that we explained here.

If you are a big company, usually, you will try to do ALL by yourself in order to get Economy of scale power. If you are a small enterprise you have to use the 3C’s from all the members of the chain of value, then do a kind of integration and provide the output to the customer in a way never seen before.
My advice? No matter who you are… try to do both!
A big enterprise? Try to improve your servuction try to be at the cutting edge. You can offer the services or, as usual, buy/hire SME that are trying to offer them! Try to build and manage a loyal community (Do as Apple does!)
A small enterprise offering what’s never been seen before? Try to become big! Get economy of scale, get critical mass!
Let me see… who is able to do this kind of analysis, to implement these kinds of solutions? I’m glad you asked! My Touristologists do! They have the knowledge, the skills, the vision… to deal with both, the Business Model and the Technological Scheme.
In this post we have reviewed the Business Model in the next one we will focus on the Technological Scheme. I Love Touristology’s games!!!

Jan 21, 2014

I like Mixtures!

I like Mixtures… Consilience is a mixture, Touristology is a mixture, Speaking, Writing, Reading… Thinking in three languages is a mixture, coding in three languages is a mixture…
The other day, I handed out the final test to my Touristologists.
- You can answer it in Catalan, Spanish or English. You can mix the three languages if you wish… I like Mixtures!!!- I say to them trying to be funny in order to keep their nerves at bay!!!
While I was waiting for my Touristologist to give in the final test, I began to think about what I had just said… I like mixtures… Ummm, someday I will have to write about this…
People which only speak/read/write… THINK in a single language are not better. The excuse /argument … “I speak only one language BUT better than you” It’s only an excuse for lazy minds.
Developers which only code in one language are not better developers. Usually, A-players can deal with more than one language, usually they’re full-stack developers. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about Java, Python or Javacript (You can name the languages you prefer. I just give my selection!).
Steve Jobs gave a very interesting insight about programming and A-players. Who better than himself to explain this:

Are you an A-player? Interested in Tourism? Do you like the way I propose to mix Touristology and Web-Engineering? We, definitely, have to talk!!!!
I love full-stack developers, I love polyglots!!!
Jordi!? What on earth has this mixture thing got to do with Touristology!!!?!??! Plenty Touristologists!
First, languages AND web-engineering are important for anyone and I, strongly, believe that especially for Touristologists.
Who wants the world be his/her office more than a Touristologists?
Who wants to provide services before, during and after a trip making all departments and members of the chain of value work as a single organization?
Don’t even try to achieve that without Internet and associated technologies and a set of languages, Touristologists!!!
Second, because Touristology, as a science, needs open minded people ready to deal with different ideas, concepts, frameworks, tools… from Economy, Psychology, Sociology, Engineering, Geography… For that reason I claim to be a consilient thinker. To me there’s only one science as Edward Wilson explained I his seminal book “Consilience”.
The knowledge of any decent Touristologist enables him/her to deal with any kind of enterprise. We know how to deal with the main opportunities-threats nowadays enterprises are facing Internationalization, multiculturality issues, customer integration into the organization (I mean the Chain of Value, of course!!!) web 2.0.. You name it!
Wow! Definitely, Touristologists are intellectual warriors!
Wow! Definitely, Touristology is a science!!!
By the way, remember the exam we talked about at the beginning of the post? Guess what…most of my Touristologists choose to do the final test in English! I couldn’t be prouder of them!

Jan 14, 2014

The king of metaphors… Your humble Touristologist!

I believe that, at the end of the day, I have been teaching the same ideas over the last 20 years. Same ideas but using different metaphors!!!
As you know (because you hear me saying this often), in OUR classes, seminars, in-company training, sessions of mentoring star-ups, motivation of my own crew in OUR own enterprise….  It’s never been about me it’s always about YOU! So, it is not about my knowledge it’s all about my skills to convey it... AND metaphors are a good tool !!!
Let’s review the last example that I use in the battlefield (NOT you, definitely, are NOT the enemy, Touristologists. We have a common enemy: Ignorance, lack of knowledge, lack of motivation, lack of vision, conformism, this-is-the-way-it-is-and-always-will-be… You know how much I hate those enemies!!!)
I played this video about blue ocean:

I think it’s a good metaphor about what is going on in our beloved sector. Especially in mass tourism. As I said here, In order to increase your profits in mass tourism you have to use economies of scale’s power. You need volume, you need to apply the big fish eats the small one law. This is happening with intermediaries and infomediaris: Priceline bought Booking, then Kayak… Expedia make a partnership with Travelocity , they also bought Trivago.
Apart from increasing profits they also want to stop other initiatives. Have you seen google Hotel Finder? In my opinion, it gets all the good ideas of the best data aggregators. Deal Angel’s idea about assessing the price of the hotel in comparison with the latest prices? You get it!
Room77’s idea of seeing the view from the room? You get it!
Tripadvisor’s idea that a hotel is as good as its users decide? You get it!
You want to select hotels by location, by category, by kind of features the hotel provides (Or amenities as Google call it) You get it!
Is this a good evolution for service providers in mass tourism? I don’t’ think so! The bigger the intermediaries the more focused on price they will be and this mean that they will try to convert you into a commodity.
I don’t know about you BUT I don’t like this… NOT a single bit!!!
So, this is the scenario of red waters.
Can you see the blue waters one?  Not yet? Maybe you would like to explore these posts and make your own conclusions…
Identity refreshment
Swimming Pool
If you have any doubt... I will here (in blue waters) looking for new opportunities, dreaming about higher salaries and powerful start-ups for my Touristologists AND building my own pirate ship to sale those seas!!!
Enjoy your journey Touristologists! The world is your office, your passion is your compass AND TOURISTOLOGY OUR SCIENCE!!!!


Jan 7, 2014

Good Location? We decide what a good location is!

Mr. Conrad Hilton once famously said: "The three most important things when planning a new hotel are location, location and location."
It won’t be me, who says Mr. Hilton was wrong, I only want to, Touristologistly, say that:
Good location? We decide what a good location is! It will be the place we choose to become a magnet. 
- What?  How is it possible, Jordi? Tourists want to go to central places; near to relevant monuments… all these places, usually, are already taken!
Have I never mentioned before that we have two kinds of Tourism, Generic and Specialized? While, it is possible, to use the following ideas in generic tourism, clearly, where you can realize its full potential is in specialized one.
Let’s see, everything begins with a good segmentation, remember?
In specialized tourism it is very easy to define and try to bring together in a trip the following three sub-segments:

1) People who like this activity/service (Programming, Cooking, Sports… ) OR people who are members of a specific segment (Grandparents travelling with their grandchildren, Musicians locking for a place to stay... Couples facing a divorce BUT willing to give themselves a second chance …).

2) People who are wannabes or PRO-AM. We can divided this sub-segment into two categories
     2.1) The ones willing to take a step forward and transform their hobby into their profession. We represent them with the ascendant blue arrow in the above picture.
   2.2) The ones thinking about the possibility of becoming a professional and offering their services or products to this segment. Like, for instance, a psychologist focus on improving the grandparents-grandchildren relationships, or lawyers-counselors for marriages with problems. We represent them with the retroactive blue arrow in the above picture.

3) People already professionals and earning a living with this activity. As “actors” in this activity/ service (The ascendant blue arrow) OR as providers of services (The retroactive blue arrow).

Once you have the three sub-segments together, based on this community power, you can develop a Super3. That means become an intermediary for other tourism destination or lodging facilities desiring to make business with them. You will have a beautiful butterfly, as we saw here! A wing will be your segment, the other one the suppliers of services to them!
Anyway, the most relevant feature for this post is… As you have this community trusting you at your place, you become like a magnet for layers of profit:
A) People /companies who want to sell something to the community,
B) Or do marketing research in order to offer something to them in the future,
C) Or find the best experts in the field to sponsor them or hire them…
D) Or people willing to learn how you developed and manage this kind of magnet…
The layers are endless! You can learn more about these ideas here.
You can’t deny community’s power! Your place will become the place to be for somebody having any kind of relationships with this activity/service.
This is the kind of actions My Touristologists are able to do, of course they can set up a Google or Twitter campaign, of course they can make deals, both, technological and commercial with OTA (On-Line travel Agencies) CRS (Central Reservations systems) GDS (Global Distribution Systems), data- aggregators, channel managers, shoppers, SNS (Social Networking Sites)… you name it!
But, definitely, not only that! As the definition of Touristology claims “Touristology is the art and science of travel motivation promising improvements in quality of life, international contacts and broader perspectives for the tourist AND a way to take care of culture and create richness and employment for the tourist destination.”
We are Touristologist!
We know what makes people travel
We know how to transform your tourism resources into a product / service customized to one or several specific segments
We know how to communicate and commercialize through a chain of value
We know how to set up this chain of value
 We are the best minds working in the best sector ever!... And YES… Good Location? We decide what a good location is!
I began this blog three years ago, after 109 post I still strongly believe that Touristology is a science. What about you?