24.2.06

Trip Planner

I am planning a trip to AsiaPac.

With a Vice President of Engineering, and an Executive Vice President of Product Development. Who have neither of them traveled in AsiaPac before. Visiting two of our staffing vendors. And 50 of our contractors. And a bunch of potential customers. And some sage people in the biz. In 3 cities. In 2 countries. Covering 18,575 miles. On 7 different airlines. In 4 different hotels. Over the span of 11 days. It is like herding cats. It gives me a headache.

And it throws into stark relief some interesting points about doing this outsourcing thing in Asia.

Some thoughts that are front of mind:
  • Visas are stupid. More on this later.
  • When it comes to visas, vendors are stupid. More on this later too.
  • Bangalore India is a boom town. Good luck getting a decent hotel room with less than 6 weeks notice.
  • Vendors are a critical in-country support mechanism. All global staffing vendors should become vertically integrated and offer trip-planning as a value-added service for busy software executives. More on this later.
  • Traveling alone is a lot easier than traveling with your boss. And his boss.
  • Traveling in India, as a software executive, is best treated as an amusement park ride. Buy your ticket, stand in line, get on, and go for a ride. You have little control. That's okay. Become comfortable with it. More on this later.
  • Getting shots before a trip to Asia is probably a good idea. Who knew? This fact will likely freak out the average software executive who has never traveled in Asia. More on this later.
  • Expedia is better than Travelocity. Faster, more comprehensive, and better at finding flights between cities in Asia.
  • As an aside to that point, trusting Expedia, or our own travel agents, makes me very nervous. God knows what our connections and flight transfers are going to be like...

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