Friday, December 3, 2010

Dear Pilot, I just discovered a new product opportunity for you!

I am at Gate C-12 in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, directly across from the Hudson News store. I had arrived in plenty of time for my connecting flight to Kelowna, BC and was catching up on email. Then I remembered I am actually entering another country, the country of my birth, and it requires that I fill out a Customs Declaration Card.

No biggee - I pick one up from the gate agent to discover I have no pen. Just my trusty mechanical pencil. No dice for filling out an official government form.

Ah ha - Hudson News will have one! And yes indeed, I debate between the plain blue Bics, or the Seattle souvenir types when I spot it - the Pilot G2-Pro, black ink, fine tip just like I like it. And I grab a pack of Rolos for the flight.

Then it hits, I CANNOT get the plastic "impenetrable-by-humans" packaging open. You know the kind I mean, that rips your hands if you even try without scissors. So I ask the gate agent if they have a pair I can borrow. WHAT am I thinking - we are in a secure airport at a boarding gate. No dice x2. I can run to the Guest Services Desk 10 gates away and miss my flight?

So Pilot ... I'm thinking, you probably sell a lot of pens in airports, with Hudson News and others. What a HUGE product opportunity, a package that you can actually open without sharp objects. Airport safe. And I can imagine there are countless other brands too, who could substantially improve their customers' experiences by developing something easy to open, airport safe.

Have no fear, I am now on the plane, seat 12D, with a bandaid on my right thumb.

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