Half-Baked Idea: Nap on the Fly

They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, so I’m going to cavalierly borrow an idea from the Bill Simmons’ B.S. Report called “Half-Baked Ideas”, where Kevin Wildes joins Bill to talk about some great ideas that just aren’t fully baked, but baked enough to give you a taste of what it would be like. 

This weekend Bethany and I flew out to Minnesota to watch our friends Joel & Katie get married, and while we were here on Sunday we tried to kill some time before our flight by going to the Mall of America.  We originally planned to spend a few hours at the Mall, but given our disappointment in the attraction (which probably warrants a future blog post), we cut our trip short by 1.5 hours.  At that point we were trying to figure out how we could kill another 90 minutes, while feeling fatigued and wiped out.  At that point all we really wanted to do is sleep, but it’s not like you can go get a (reputable) hotel room for that amount of time, and there aren’t a lot of places where it’s acceptable to sleep in public.  The airport is one of those few places, but it’s an awkward and uncomfortable experience.

The light bulb came on in my head: Why doesn’t someone start a business where one could essentially get a cot or a simple bed for a nap – at the airport?  Imagine that on the terminal there is a room you could go into which houses many cubicle-like partitions.  Each partition has two things in it: a bed/cot and an alarm clock (or a phone for wake up calls).  You check in at the front desk, reserve your partition for a period of time and catch some Zzz’s before your next flight. All of the sudden these painful layovers aren’t as bad, you have an answer for those awkward few hours between being hotel-less and waiting to get on the plane. Bethany even came up with a name for the business: Nap on the Fly

Some questions arise from this business model – but fear not, I have (half) thought this through:

Why wouldn’t this be a cheap hotel?

Because you have a set time limit – you can’t rent a cot longer than 4 hours.  We all know that in reality any nap over 2 hours takes you well best the groggy stage where your next night of sleep is pretty much ruined.  If you have a layover that’s more like 8 hours, then you may be better justified in getting a hotel room anyway.  This isn’t meant for those airline snafus that keep you in a city over-night, so you’re not really competing or replacing hotels.  Also the rooms are incredibly spartan: no TV, no furniture, and the lights are incredibly dim – because after all you should be napping.

What about your bags? Aren’t you supposed to keep an eye on them?

Yes you’re right, and the way you can do that is by supplying the partitions with a locker-like case where you can store your bag next to you while you sleep.  It’s one of those cases where a key locks it and you can pull the key out and pull it in your pocket.  Now your luggage is in a safe place.  Yes there is not an additional component in your partition, but we’ll draw the line at these three things and allow nothing more.

What about couples and families traveling? Will you have rooms for them.

Sorry, but these are individual napping quarters.  Each cot is a twin size, and each person must have their own partition.  This will also ensure that people are not doing other things besides sleeping in these cots.  I know this leaves families out of luck, but maybe the next expansion of this business will include a solution for families.

This sounds great, but how much will all of this cost?

I don’t’ think it would be too unreasonable to charge $10 for the first hour, since there are inherent costs with changing/washing sheets.  Killing an hour with $10 is cheaper than spending that same hour in an airport bar somewhere.  It would be up for debate how much the additional hours are, maybe after the 2nd hour the price drops by half.  $30 for 4 hours of quiet rest should be decent trade off, especially for business travelers.

 

What other holes would you poke into my idea? Feel free to ask any questions you’d like to fully bake my idea.  Also if you like this idea enough to run with it, go for it – I just ask for a modest founder’s fee 😉

108mph on my bike?!?

For the past 2 months I’ve been using Runkeeper to track my biking activities.  It’s really come in handy in my goal to ride my bike to work pretty much every day this summer (I only live ~1.5 miles away from work, so I don’t have an excuse not to).  For the most part it’s been a wonderful tool in tracking my riding activities, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the progress I’ve made.

This morning’s ride however, showed some interesting results. My 1.5 mile ride turned into a nearly 16 mile ride.  With the 2-3 traffic lights my average speed is about 10-12mph on the ride to work – but this morning’s ride gave me an average of 108.37mph.  I love that I rode my bike faster than I’ve ever driven.

Originally I thought RunKeeper screwed up in bringing a decimal point too far.  However when I went to the site and looked at the map, it became all too clear to me what happened.

RunKeeperMap

If you look at my route, I started in Greeley and did a bird’s eye cross over to my neighborhood in Fort Collins. RunKeeper uses the GPS to track your route (and calculates your speed, etc).  I was in Greeley yesterday and ran FourSquare to try to check in at my jazz band gig last night, which was the last time I used the GPS on my phone.  When I activated my Runkeeper activity this morning, I pressed “Start” before the GPS had time to re-calibrate and figure out I wasn’t in Greeley anymore.

Luckily RunKeeper makes it super easy to go in and modify the map, and I’ve already corrected my route – but it’s pretty cool to think that I went 108mph on my bike…

LeBron-pocalypse

We knew it was bound to happen. While the romantic in me was hoping that LeBron would stay with Cleveland, the team didn’t do him any favors by not getting him the right help to win a championship. I’m not quite sure I see the appeal in going to Miami.  There is the innocent “I’m going to play with my friends” aspect which I can definitely understand.  However, LeBron has always been very self-aware of his image and understands his potential legacy – and it baffles me that the part of him didn’t consider that now he’ll be looked on as a glorified Scottie Pippen to Dwayne Wade’s MJ.  Wade is now always going to have one more ring than LeBron, and it doesn’t help add to LeBron’s legacy of not being able to win one on his own – that stigma followed Kobe around until last year. Now LeBron’s just prolonged his tarnished branding.

It’s still funny to see this build-up reprehension against LeBron. Not longer than a few hours after the announcement, owner Dan Gilbert tarred LeBron in a letter on the front page of their web site – using the  Comic Sans font! For those without a designer’s eye, Comic Sans is the web equivalent of crayon.

lebron1

Crayon-writing aside, the letter is definitely worth a read. Gilbert likes to put words like “King” and “motivation” in quotations, many of them very unnecessarily so.

However nothing tops the front page of The Plain Dealer out of Cleveland.  The best part is the little arrows pointing to his ring-less hand.

lebron2

So we’ll see where all of this goes. It seems like overnight three superstars 2 superstars and 1 gravy-train have seemingly changed the landscape of professional basketball, forming a Yankee-like evil empire.  We’ll see how long it’ll be before they win any championships.  Any predictions?