Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Airplanes, Tutoring, and Values

After re-reading Raising the Bar, (June's book of the month) I moved on to what will probably be July's book of the month - Mavericks at Work. This one relates to education as well, though it's related to business education more than general education/inspiration like Raising the Bar. However, I came across an early passage that I'd like to highlight as something CK strives towards. Southwest has always been one of our business "idols" for certain reasons, chief among them mentioned below:

Southwest has become such a mass-market icon that it's easy to lose sight of the utter distinctiveness of its approach to the airline business. The company's direct point-to-point route system avoids the high costs and endless delays of the hub-and-spoke system around which the mainstream industry is built... Yet low fares don't mean sullen service. Quite the opposite: the company's gate agents, flight attendants, even its pilots, are famous for their flashy smiles, showy personalities, and corny sense of humor... This is a company whose distinctive value system, rather than any breakthrough technology or unprecedented business insight, explains its unrivaled success.

Southwest flourished because it reimagined what it means to be an airline. Indeed, Roy Spence insists that Southwest isn't in the airline business. It is, he argues, in the freedom business. Its purpose is to democratize the skies - to make air travel as available and as flexible for average Americans as it has been for the well-to-do.

Our website is a great tool that allows us to keep costs low, but it's not by any means a breakthrough technology on the level of Google's search engine. We may not have the corny sense of humor of Southwest, but we're on the same page as them when we believe that our low prices don't mean "sullen service." And of course we're trying to reimagine what it means to be a tutoring company. As stated before on this blog, on our company website, and in our communications, our goal is to democratize tutoring - that is, make tutoring and mentoring available and affordable for the average family. And if we keep our company values and sense of philanthropy along the way, then we will begin to be satisfied with our journey.


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