Art Gensler, an architect based in San Francisco was in New York City for client work. He needed to reschedule his flight back to San Francisco so he called up his assistant and asked her to look into it.
She called back and refused to change his flight because the airline would charge a $1000 change fee. (They run a frugal shop there). Art suggested that she look into a new airline named JetBlue that was offering flights from New York to San Francisco for low prices. The assistant called back and told Art that JetBlue only offered economy seats and since Art is really tall, it might be a difficult flight for him. He convinced her to book the flight anyways.
As Art settled into his JetBlue seat, an announcement was made:
“Ladies and gentleman, this is David Neeleman, founder and CEO of JetBlue. I’ll be serving drinks with the flight attendants and I hope to talk to each and every one of you.”
Art was glad that he was seated near the back of the plane since it gave him extra time to think about how he would introduce himself to the JetBlue CEO. When David Neeleman reached Art, he asked what he did. Art replied “I’m an architect. I do airports.”
David Neeleman was pleasantly surprised.
He said he was trying to build a JetBlue terminal at JFK and was unhappy with the architect assigned to them by the Port Authority. They exchanged business cards and three weeks later Art was hired to design JetBlue’s JFK terminal. They have since done a dozen projects for JetBlue.
The point of the story?
Luck is what brought the JetBlue CEO in contact with Art. But Art seized the moment by introducing himself as an architect who did airports. Art put himself into JetBlue’s world.
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