“Life it what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”
John Lennon – “Beautiful Boy”
On a personal level, this line is the single most definitive I have ever heard, and it is one of the more prevalent conditions we as humans encounter in our “hurry up” work-to-die lifestyle. I think that in many ways, we can all relate. From the time of our earliest memory, we are making plans for the future. Whether it’s learning to ride a bike, planning to ask someone to a dance, deciding what college to go to, or where your first house will be, we are often consumed with planning things and fail to realize that life is casually passing us by.
Taking the line a step further, I would say this simple line has a parallel meaning in a business sense as well. Very often, companies meet and plan, plan and meet, with the ultimate intention of starting or changing some aspect of their business, only to discover that when the decision is finally made, it’s time has passed. The cycle then begins anew.
In recent years, we have actually experienced this cycle in the limousine industry. Technological advancement has been a slow process with limo services, and even today’s necessary technology – dispatch and reservation software – was a hard sell 20 years ago for some companies. There were also few technologies available at that time, and most mirrored their competitors. Today, there are dozens of options with varying degrees of complexity. As far as O’Hare-Midway’s experience is concerned, we have worked with developers since the 1980’s to develop a “user friendly” option with a reasonable price tag. Unfortunately, by the time all of the planning, meeting, and development were done, the product was already obsolete, and years had passed. When years pass, changes occur in the industry, and the cycle begins again.
After a few attempts at products that were presented to us, we made the decision that we would seek someone out to build a product we thought would not only be relevant now, but would also be relevant down the road. We also wanted something that would be adaptable to a changing environment, which is why we enlisted a company to develop proprietary software instead of buying an “off-the-shelf” product. While there are many good products on the market, making changes can be difficult or near impossible. Owning our software makes it easy and convenient.
I am in no way implying we have found a way to beat “the system”. But the ugly truth is that…for OML…or any Chicago limo company, the pace of change in the limousine industry can be manic. If we were forced to meet and plan, and plan and meet about replacing dispatch and reservation software every time our product proved to be obsolete, life would pass us by, as would clients and sales.
At the end of the day, my take on this one line of one song – and not even one of his best known – is John Lennon saying to his young son Sean; “make the most of every moment…every opportunity, because your life is short”. That applies to us all.