Using Airbnb and Uber!
How to embrace disruptions using new technologies
A true story about using Airbnb and Uber and understanding the real business and personal value of innovative technologies and platforms.
I had the pleasure of being in Sydney to deliver some work with a Microsoft Gold Partner.
In this case, I was working with the sales team and their customers at an event to increase awareness of the tangible value that can be realised when an organisation adopts and embraces Office 365 in the right way.
Not a feature-fest, but serious consideration of common business scenarios across Human Resources and Sales – and how aspects of the Office 365 platform aligns to those use cases.
The business breakfast event was a great success – a good blend of speakers covering a few different angles – and good questions from customers. In fact – one of the first events I have been to in a long time where no one stood up and ran out of the room at the end of the event. As a speaker to see a room full of people hang back, and have deeper conversations with each other and the team in the room is a great sign of success.
Using Airbnb and Uber. This story is about what happened when disruption saved my bacon on the day my day was disrupted. Click To Tweet
To speak at the breakfast event, I flew in the day before. Anyone who knows Sydney knows that accommodation can be expensive in the offseason… and when you are booking only a few days before you arrive, it can be horrendously expensive. As a start-up founder cash flow is absolutely king – which meant this was a great opportunity to start using Airbnb to save a few hundred dollars.
Through using Airbnb, I found a great room just out of the CBD… near a train station. I arrived at about 8 pm, met the host, settled into my room and had one of the best nights sleep I have had in a long time. Hotel beds are always uncomfortable. Comparatively the spare bed in someone’s unit seems to be the ultimate in comfort!
Fast forward to the next day. I get up early to get ready for the speaking gig in the city. I try to do it as quietly as possible to try not to wake my hosts. I get out of my room, walk to the train station and go to pay for my ticket. *Pat* *Pat* – hmmm can’t find my wallet. *Zip* search through my carry on bag – hmmm no wallet. Then the realisation that I left my wallet (and as I soon find out my car keys as well) in the Airbnb unit. *Headslap*
I walked back to the unit and rang the doorbell. No answer. I rang again. No answer. I sent a very apologetic text. No answer. I tried to call. The phone is off. I am stuck – I can’t get to my wallet and keys, and I can’t get in touch with my host.
How technology saved me!
Normally – when you are 10km from where you need to be in an hour, and you have no money on you-you are in trouble. Luckily some disruptive technologies came to the rescue!
- Uber enabled me to get from my Airbnb unit to the speaking gig on time
- After the event, I was able to use the Commonwealth Bank app on my Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone to make a contactless / NFC payment to pay for my lunch.
- After lunch, again using the CommBank app, I could get money out of an ATM using their cardless cash feature.
Which meant that I could pay for my train ticket to the airport, check in on my phone and get on my way home!
Identity theft and technology
So what happened to my wallet? After 6 hours of trying to get in touch with my hosts, they connected their phone to the in-flight WiFi on the plane they were sitting on, on the way to the Philippines. The simple fact that they could contact me from the plane again put my mind at ease that my wallet and keys were locked in their unit. The unfortunate thing was that no one had a spare key and they needed to send my wallet and keys to me once they were back in Australia in about five days time.
When I told others about the story – the first thing that came to mind was identity theft / cancel your credit cards. But here is why I knew that the world we are in, reduced the risk of that happening:
- I had verified contact information, names, mobile numbers of my hosts. They knew that if anything went wrong, trouble for them was just a phone call to the police away. But more importantly…
- I had the power to review the night with them, and if anything happened to the wallet and keys, the negative review would severely impact their ability to have the room booked on Airbnb again.
… and what do you know, my wonderful host,s express posted everything to me, wrapped up securely so they couldn’t be tampered with. I am now reunited with my wallet and keys!
So why am I telling you this story?
Apart from sharing an example of how the focus on data/feedback/reviews in the new sharing economy means there is implicit protection for participants in the system… the lesson for me from this experience reinforces a lot of what we do here at Adopt & Embrace.
Having awareness of what is possible (the ‘A’ in Prosci’s ADKAR model) helped me get out of trouble. Without the awareness that I could use my mobile phone to make payments using the Commonwealth Bank App, or get cash out from an ATM with my phone – I would have been hoping to bump into a friend to borrow some money. The desire was there instantaneously (I need to get home!) which took care of the second “D” step! But I didn’t have the knowledge (“K”) to get the money out. The confidence to learn “just in time” is a wonderful thing!
I was a regular user of Uber before I got into this situation. However, this example has simply reinforced their value proposition for me. The fact that I didn’t need cash or a credit card with me and can still access the service ensured that I could get to my customer engagement without any fuss. Without Uber, I would not have been able to get to the CommBank ATM to get the cash I needed. I would be stuck. Uber enabled me to get from A -> B and because my business credit card was on file, it gave me the mobility I needed.
What does this mean for your organisation?
It is difficult to understand the true value of innovative technology solutions when you start using them. Sure you can see what the vendor says on their website, or what you hear from others. Something might sound like a gimmick at first. Then, one day, circumstances mean that you can unleash the real potential of the platform in front of you. And that day is magical.
You can’t prepare for every single permutation of what is possible – but you can arm yourself with the awareness you need to make the right “just in time” learning decisions you need.
When it comes to Office 365 – it is impossible to train your workforce for every single permutation of how each feature of the platform can be used individually, or together. Instead, give your workforce awareness. Give them the confidence to discover value on their own terms and give them the platform to share their success when the overcome adversity using Office 365.