Babson Business: 1.800.Flights
Name of business: 1.800.Flights
Mission:Providing toll-free flight status, gate, and terminal information by phone for airlines and airports nationwide.
Where: Houston, Texas
Founder: Seth Stolbun, Babson Ugrad; firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-866-447-9937
Employees: Four-member startup team
How the idea began: 1.800.Flights was the result of my two-week senior internship with my dad, Sam Stolbun. My dad has owned the 1-800-Flights number since 1987 and had not been using it. I came up with the concept of using voice recognition technology and an advertising-supported revenue model for a flight status service that would be free to consumers and provide nationwide coverage with one-number convenience.
Initial Preparation to germinate idea: I had to identify a company to develop the software and host the phone calls for 1.800.Flights. Also identify and hire a second company to provide ours with the most up-to date flight status information. To execute the idea, we merged the two services into one, unique service; and determine the length of advertising spot. I led the development of the branding and marketing for the new service.
Favorite thing about the business: The huge potential this business has to grow into, given the millions of air travelers in the U.S. annually.
Worst thing about the business: I always ask the system when I call How's your day going? but all it ever says is I'm sorry I did not get that.
Biggest challenge: To bring all of the outsourced companies together to produce a great service.
Lesson learned: I have learned patience. When I first came up with the idea for 1.800.Flights I thought we could just buy some pre-packaged software and launch and sell the company before the end of my two week internship. Instead I had ten months of research, development, and beta testing before we were ready to launch 1.800.Flights