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July 7, 2014

Even days after the close of #HITEC2014 in Los Angeles I'm still recounting the details of this tremendous industry event and takeaways that I will use in the workplace. My mind continues to download information, insights and new connections to my network. 

I know that there were many of my respected colleagues who have shared their thoughts from last week. I look forward to reading these blogs once I get my email inbox back under control. When I was asked what I thought of HITEC 2014 there was one thing that immediately came to mind: Move Fast and Break Things.

This phrase was borrowed from the offices at Facebook. There is a part two to this mantra: What would you do if you were not afraid?, to which there is an arrow pointing back to Move Fast and Break Things. This is defining.

If you missed the Tuesday morning session with Rachel Botsman you probably have missed the best session ever at HITEC. Yes, I said ever. I won't even try to bring a summary of this fantastic, enlightening and inspiring message but I will tell you this: in today's world it is the old way of thinking that will get you into trouble. For example, the old thinking had a 12-month timeline for research, discovery, planning and implementation. In the year 2014 that is not a luxury any company can afford. If you aren't making decisions quickly you will find you are wasting time spinning wheels and are destined to repeat your steps. Technology moves too quickly. Being quick doesn't mean being careless, but rather thorough and decisive.

Technology is outpacing regulation and legislation. You don't have to look far to find Airbnb, Uber and Lyft. These companies, and more importantly these ideas, are disrupting the established communities. While it took Hilton Hotels more than 90 years to reach a number of available guestrooms upwards of 610,000, Airbnb surpassed the same number of available guestrooms in only four. 

The success of an idea or a company in 2014 relies on realizing a friction point and resolving it. Botsman said, "Once the public decides there is a new way and the new way is better, there is no way to reverse." No one wants to be the Eastman Kodak of the hospitality industry.

At this juncture, there are only three choices a company can make: Put the proverbial head in the sand, fight or pioneer and embrace the change as an opportunity. 

It's the end of the world as we know it. Understanding this disruption, the momentum and ideas that it brings with it will define your work in 2014. This clarity might help you Move Fast and Break Things. And I am hoping you won't be afraid to try. 

I greatly enjoyed the session by Rachel Botsman and I hope that HFTP will release a stream of this session so I can watch it again!

To see selfies and other event photos from HITEC 2014 go to www.twitter.com/genevarinehart

About Geneva Rinehart

Geneva Rinehart is Senior Vice President and Managing Editor of Hospitality Upgrade magazine, the No. 1 source for technology information for the hotel, travel and foodservice industry.

Contact: Geneva Rinehart

geneva@hospitalityupgrade.com / 678-802-5302

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