Why do luxury hotels have old TV's and how is this a metaphor for failed Digital Transformation?
I stay a lot in once grand hotels that are rather outdated & thus now quite cheap. They struggle to rent out rooms because of poor reviews. And thanks to Hotel Tonight, I pick them a lot
Most of them are fine, but most things are a BIT wrong.
The TV's in the room are bulky 32 inch LED TV's, bought when they were vastly expensive.
The room carpets are luxurious but a little shabby.
The corridors are decorated via the finest contemporary mood boards of 2003.
The hotel rooms phones are clunky and yellowing.
The Gym has a weird mixture of very old & quite old machines, the steam room smells a little bit.
But there will be a lovely brand new lobby & the beds will feature new luxurious mattresses and wonderful sheets.
I always see the embarrassingly old TV and ponder on how it reflects badly on the brand, I think for $100,000 you could fit the latest 50 inch TV's in every room & it would make a big difference.
But while installing the new TV, you should really replace the phone, & if you do that you should really fit USB-A and USB-C sockets in the plugs, to add a little convenience.
& if you do that, the chipped desk in the corner should really come out. But that should do it.
But now you're spending $1m & have contractors on site and have made a business case for change, you may as well ask for $5m and replace the carpets. But then the poor state of the gym will be clear, & the steam room should be redone and since we're causing a lot of noise & disruption, we should close down for a bit, now we're up to $10m.
If we are closed down,we should do as much as we can, let's spend $20m on this, because with a new steam room, the pool will seem old, and the corridors leading to it should be repainted. And while it can't be seen, we need to replace some of the roof in the annex.
But now we're thinking of spending $20m and the hotel is still not amazing, it's not a leapfrog in design, it's just enough to not cause complaints. Perhaps we should invest some in staff training and recruitment to help boost our reputation and service levels
OK, but now we're spending $22m on design and training, we should really do some press around the refurb and the new look, so let's do some advertising and relaunch our hotel properly, and for $25m we can be the top place in town
Well, if we're spending money to bring people here, shouldn't we improve everything, let's close down the hotel for a 18 months, redo it all from scratch and spend $40m on making the best hotel in town
& then someone does the maths, calculates the time for this to pay off, realizes it makes no sense and for $50m you could just build a brand new hotel, never have to close yours down, deal with the complications of refurbishment,you can build the hotel in the best possible place, with a brand new reputation
This is why hotels have old TV's & this is why old companies crumble,VERY SLOWLY