Monday, February 27, 2017

It's How You Choose to Look at Your Situation

I had a good morning.  I took the later flight out which meant I did not have to get up at 3:30am.  I was able to kiss my kids and wife and get them off to school and work.  I was able to walk the dog.   I was able to get some work done and still get to the airport with plenty of time.   I was upgraded.  It was going to be a good day.

Then, the flight was delayed. Only 30 minutes but with a tight connection, I felt confident I could make it.  As the 30 minutes passed and we still had not boarded, I called the Delta Platinum line and was told I could stay in Tampa until 6:42 and catch a flight to Detroit (It was almost 2pm). I decided to take my chance and get on the plan to Cincinnati. I arrived at 4:08. I made it to my gate by 4:10 (it was only a few gates down but I ran).  The door was closed but the plane was still sitting there.

The gate agent assured me in Tampa they would likely hold the flight if it was close.  Nope.  Not even for a Platinum (I wonder if I was still diamond...?).  I had made it on time but they close the gate 10 minutes early and I know this. So I wasn't too upset except that I had my expectations raised by the gate agent (not her fault).

The gate agent told me not to worry, I was rebooked through Atlanta 2 gates down and they were boarding.  OK, I headed off.  I got to the gate and they were oversold and I was not going to get a seat.  I didn't pitch a fit but I was annoyed.  I just smiled and asked him to make sure I got to PWM tonight or give me the vouchers they were giving everyone else (I somewhat hoped for the voucher).

10 minutes later he had me booked through Detroit to Portland.  I wasn't sure if I was happy or not. I had become a fan of the idea of getting a free ticket for my trouble.  I determined I was disappointed when I realized I lost my first class upgrade.

I stopped and looked at the situation realizing I was getting in about the same time (I had a long layover anyhow) that I had originally planned.  So why did it matter?  It mattered because I had elevated expectations and that was my own doing. I quickly reframed the situation. I was getting to my destination at the right time. I was not stuck in middle seats even if they weren't first class.  I had the sky club to sit in while waiting.

When things aren't going right, ask yourself if your perspective changed if things would be ok?  If so, attempt to reframe your expectation.  It made my night much better.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Simplicity Wins

I just tried to use Cortana to add an appointment to my outlook calendar.  Yuk.  It was clunky and worse it didn't get the date or subject right.

Compare that to my google phone which gets it right 99% of the time and is easier to use.  Microsoft Cortana is way behind, but they will catch up.

Although Google is the best at voice recognition and understanding what I want, I still talk to Alexa more. The reason?  I don't have to press anything.  Yes, I have "OK GOOGLE" on my phone but the phone still has to be awake (screen on) for that to work. I suspect they'll fix that at some point but for now Alexa wins the simplicity battle.

I use Alexa a lot.  I was starting to regret buying the Tap last year after buying the DOT this Christmas.  The always listening feature is really simple and has me adopting more interaction with Amazon.  I've even started buying supplies via Alexa.  I was in the kitchen realizing we were almost out of dog food when I thought, "I'll try Alexa" and told her to reorder.  5 seconds later I was done.  Then I re-ordered 2 more things I might have run to the store for instead of buying from Amazon.

Whatever you are building, you have to keep it simple to build momentum.  Once people use  a tool, they'll ask for more.  It still has to work well (Siri is still very flawed) to be useful which is another reason Alexa kept their features limited at first.

As they've taught for years, Keep It Simple Stupid works now more than ever.