10 Things That Caught My Eye: Week of 8-9-10

Sometimes in summer it can be tough to find 10 things, but this week there’s some IPO news,  a flight attendant snaps and Google sells out the web:

  1. Skype files for an IPO. I know they’re only trying to raise a $100M, but the financial numbers look bad. Low margins, less than 2% of registered users are paying customers. The plan is still to convert more users from free to pay, but hasn’t that been the plan for years? What’s the definition of insanity?
  2. This story takes crazy to new heights. Not sure what’s going on with unruly passengers. Had a similar situation on a recent US Air flight with a COMPLETELY crazy passenger who was dancing, crying, cursing, drinking all through the flight and then tried to get up while the plane was still taxiing. But in this case the flight attendants did nothing, while my wife had to step in as we were traveling with our six-year-old daughter.  Advertising Age talks about the difficulties JetBlue is having dealing with the popularity of the renegade flight attendant in social media.
  3. Plenty of people had things to say about the Google-Verizon Net Neutrality proposal, but Wired had the best headline by far.
  4. Time Magazine details their Top10 Travel Trends. Not much new here for those of us in the travel industry, or even those who travel a lot, but I always think it’s interesting to see through the prism of what the rest of the people (i.e. actual customers) will believe are the top trends because someone like Time tells them so.
  5. Spend Matters’ Jason Busch analyzes the recent deal between Rearden Commerce and Southwest Airlines.  Busch feels “Southwest is clearly making a statement that this chosen partner is fundamentally different than others in the market”, and part of a strategy to increase its business travel revenues.
  6. Delta launches “Ticket Window” on Facebook. It seems not to provide any more functionality than the Delta.com site or take advantage of any truly social aspects or Facebook’s OpenGraph. PhoCusWright’s Douglas Quinby was surprised that there was no additional functionality, but as I tweeted back to him, it shows the still fairly large gap between being on social platforms like Facebook and having an actual social strategy that is tightly integrated and aligned with the rest of the corporate strategy. This is still a pretty common position for many brands. So kudos for Delta’s initiative, but there’s still plenty of work to be done…much like with their “revamped” website.
  7. Oracle sues Google of patent infringement over the use of Java-related IP in Android. The suit stems from Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems last year and with it Java.  Oracle claims that Android competes with Java as a mobile device OS and so the suit. A ploy to get some cash from Google? If Google does indeed have to pay Oracle for Java – it was only a few years back that Sun got Microsoft to cough up $1.6B – will they be able to continue to give away Android for free? This should be fun to watch.
  8. Expedia to power Yahoo! Travel in Europe. Interesting to see the progeny of Microsoft do a deal with Yahoo!
  9. Will the most fuel efficient airlines get a boost in sales? Is it a coincidence that the airlines who lead in MPG also have the best reputations for service?
  10. In other IPO-related news, Makemytrip.com, India’s largest online travel company, went public with a bang. MMT had the strongest first day gain for a US IPO since 2007, surging almost 90%.  TechCrunch’s Sarah Lacy gives some tips on what other Indian entrepreneurs (inside and outside of travel) should learn from MMT’s success.
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