Before your mind goes racing for words that begin with the letter 'L,' I'll save you the trip. 'L' stands for "Luck." My apologies to anyone thinking this was going to be a "Love" story.
Seth's post is interesting and while I still like to think I live in Thomas Jefferson's "the harder I work; the luckier I get," world; I know luck, fate, karma, destiny, and fortune play a role in all we do.
The more interesting part of Seth's rerun is how much companies and fads have changed since 2004. He references X1, a fee-based desktop search engine that has experienced a head-on collision with Google's free-based Desktop search product. He mentions the Krispy Kreme madness that drove Wall Street wild until someone connected donut consumtion with bad cholesterol. Friendster.com was all the rage in 2004. Of course now, its MyPage.com.
From my perspective, the right place, right time, right people, right product, and right price (there are four P's in there somewhere) balance luck. The real issue, however, seems to be staying-power. The examples Seth cited in 2004 are yawners or goners in 2006. What a difference two short years can make!
As travel professionals, we are learning that staying-power has little to do with Factor L and much to do with delivering relevant value . . . today. As travel agents shift from being "agents" for suppliers to being "advocates" for travelers they see their staying power and luck improve. Travelers want knowledge, expertise, experience, one-stop convenience, personalization, and recommendations. Those former travel agents who are "lucky" enough to understand what clients want and deliver are earning six-figure incomes.
Maybe "luck" means finding out what the customer wants and doing more of it while at the same time finding out what the customer doesn't want and stopping that all together. Of course, that's a simplistic definition of marketing. Is marketing, then, just luck masquerading as active listening and effective communication. Hmmmm . . . .