Monthly Archives: February 2009

Burj Al Arab Plans Dashed

I wrote this post about Dubai a long time ago and how I wanted to stay at the Burj Al Arab (Considered the best hotel in the world) for a night.

Every room is at least a 2-storey suite, and the smallest room is roughly 1,800 sq. ft.. I priced it out and found it would be between $2,000 and $2,200 per night (depending on currency fluctuations).

Well I’m officially spending New Year’s 2009-2010 in Dubai this year, so I thought whilst there I would snag a suite at the Burj Al Arab for the night and have a big party with my friends and then everyone could stay over.

I called around, and the problem is I can’t have that many guests (pretty much no guests at all)….especially to stay over. So what’s the point in getting a big room like that without the fun of throwing a big party in it? Basically it’d be me sitting in a big room….no fun.

So I think the limited guests policy they have officially nixed my plans to stay there. A little more poking around and I was told NOT to stay there. The reason I was told it’s rated the best hotel is each room is large, nice and has expensive gold finishes, art work etc….basically crap I don’t care about. The hotel I’ve been told is actually very quiet, boring and a little stuffy….it’d be great to stay at some point, but it’s definitely not a party spot nor guest friendly…deal breaker.

Friends in Dubai recommended I have breakfast or dinner there to get a taste of it, but staying might be a little much.

Still curious to see the rooms, a quick YouTube search showed several guest tours of various suites:

Who needs to travel, we have YouTube!

Adam McFarland

Kind enough to put me on his list of people he reads, I’d like to post the list of blogs I regularly read:

His is seriously the only blog I regularly read anymore.

I admire and relate to Adam because I think he’s in a very similar industry (ecommerce) and age bracket as me. I view him with a tint of envy and admiration because of two main things:

  1. He seems to have a really solid team: The company Pure Adapt has four members which each bring their own unique talents to the table. I’m not sure if I’d like that arrangement just yet, because owning a company 100% is sometimes better than 25%. However with a solid team I have no doubt these guys can build something HUGE…..and owning 25% of something HUGE isn’t a bad gig.
  2. Programming and Engineering Background: If I had to do it all over again I would’ve rather had an engineering or computer science background in college like Adam (come to think of it I did…but I was at the bottom of all my computer science classes and got kicked out of the program). Adam’s advanced understanding of programming allowed him to build his own custom ecommerce system which I find incredibly impressive….and do all sorts of unique and highly effective promotions like Detailed Image’s auto-ads and auto-site-specials.

Me reading Adam’s site:

(Forgive the old photo and bad Photoshop job)

Ok, enough brown-nosing….go read Adam’s Blog!

Kelleher Speech – 3rd Time Seeing

I saw Herb Kelleher the founder of Southwest Airlines speak again on the University of Texas campus, this time in front of a huge audience of around 800 people.

If you recall, Herb is the completely out-of-the-ordinary chairman of a very out-of-the-ordinary airline. The last time I saw him I pre-empted taking a funny picture with him with his favorite things: Wild Turkey Whiskey and cigarettes!

Ended up getting this picture with him last time:

He was a great sport about it, and I thought it was a hilarious and completely unique picture! This time for the photo I tried upping the ante and taking a funnier picture, but it was hard to top the last one. I tried dressing like an airline pilot (using a black suit and an old hat) but it didn’t work so well….it basically looked like I was wearing a black suit and old hat. So instead I got this picture with him:

Cigar smoking!

If you look closely at the enlarged picture you can see he kept the cigar tube on so he didn’t have to put his mouth on the cigar and waste it. He smokes like crazy, but not cigars apparently (Last time I saw him he smoked about 7 cigarettes in one sitting)!

He spoke predominately on the extreme importance of a good company culture, and unfortunately didn’t show the absolutely hilarious “Malice In Dallas” video like the last appearance I caught.

Incidentally the Southwest Airlines Archives JUST posted a short YouTube clip of the Malice In Dallas video (I’m actually quite surprised it’s not fully up on YouTube already):

(Thanks to Drew)

It’s crazy how precisely the companys attitude reflects its leader. What he seemed to be most proud of was keeping a fun company culture despite being such a large company (something most of his peers said couldn’t be done).