Uncommon Knowledge — audio edition
About This Show
Updated every two weeks, the Uncommon Knowledge podcast brings you fascinating discussions with today's biggest thinkers. View full episodes at http://www.hoover.org/uk Also check us out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UncKnowledge.
Most Recent Episode
How JetBlue Does It
6 days ago
Recorded on February 14, 2017
CEO Robin Hayes and Hoover Institution board member Joel Peterson talk to Peter Robinson about how JetBlue has remained successful, despite all the regulations, competition, and pitfalls of running an airline.
Peterson and Hayes argue that consolidation and the limited number of airlines in the United States have allowed for sustainable operating margins. JetBlue continues to have double-digit operating margins and great customer loyalty by focusing on safety, culture, and delighting customers. JetBlue has been voted best airline for customer satisfaction by JD Power for twelve years in a row.
Hayes and Peterson support the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) managing the safety aspect of regulations, but they prefer that another independent entity run the operations aspect of the airline industry. Although the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978 deregulated the airline industry, the airlines are still one of the most regulated industries in the United States, with more than 13,000 pages of FAA regulations. Additionally, 21 percent of the cost of the air ticket goes to the government via taxes. Legacy airlines, like United, American, and Delta, will charge high fares until a new airline comes in; then the legacy airlines will lower their fares to try to drive out the new airline/entrant. You need a low-cost structure to compete, which JetBlue has; JetBlue has not had to go into debt to fund its airplanes.
They discuss how JetBlue has become synonymous with innovation and its decision to bring JetBlue’s investment arm to the Silicon Valley to further integrate disruptive technology into their airline. JetBlue, which wants to use technology to improve customer relations and track equipment, has invested in FLYR to study how the pricing method can be disruptive and thus improve ticketing.
JetBlue’s keys to success and longevity are a great culture, innovation, great products, and maintaining cost advantages. JetBlue seeks to create a culture in which all employees are empowered to improve customers’ experiences, from the time they check-in to the time they pick up their bags. (Playing time: 40:54)
Rated 5 out of
Peter Robinson does a great job as an interviewer. He's always done his homework and you can always know he'll help you learn about the subject. He seeks truth, not gotcha moments.
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 5 out of
Best production podcasts ever
Informative, accurate, and thoughtful comments on current events. Nice to hear a carefully considered point of view.
Date published: 2014-01-07
Rated 4 out of
Reliably Informative and Engaging
Peter Robinson and his trademarked "Last Question" always make for interesting interviews. He knows how to stay out of responses, letting guests make answer questions at length, but he also knows when to steer guests back to the original topic for discussion. His best interviews are normally with Thomas Sowell, though I loved the one he did with Harvey Mansfield. For the unaware, Sowell and Mansfield are famous conservative academics. The show features a strongly conservative focus, normally featuring the best the American right has to offer.
Perhaps one issue with Robinson, however, is that he is a bit too deferential with his guests. While I certainly would not enjoy him tearing into guests--there's enough of that on the 24 Hour Cable News networks--I would like him to press harder when a guest makes a questionable assumption. Also, the variety of guests could be wider. Robinson too often pulls out of the Hoover Institute, where he and the show are located. The effect is something of a public relations wing for the HI, though you have to follow the show closely to notice.
For those who do not know, Robinson is somewhat infamous for posing his "last question" five or six times before he is really finished. By this, I do not mean he poses the same question so many times but that he discovers his last question opened up a new question he simply has to ask. If you aren't keeping track of the time passing while listening to the podcast, you know you have about ten or twenty minutes left (out of forty to fifty) when Robinson first says he's asking his "last question."
Date published: 2013-12-10