Grayson Brulte

Grayson Brulte

@gbrulte | @gbrulte

Grayson Brulte is an Innovation Strategist and Co-Founder of Brulte & Company.

In addition, he is the Host of The Road To Autonomy Podcast and Host of the SAE International Tomorrow Today Podcast.

He formerly served as the Co-Chair of the City of Beverly Hills Mayor's Autonomous Vehicle Task Force and was an active member of the city’s Smart City / Technology Committee which advises the Beverly Hills City Council on technology. In 2015, the City of Beverly Hills was chosen by Google as one of America’s digital capitals.

Along with his Beverly Hills guidance, Grayson was appointed a Global Health Economics Fellow at The University of Vermont College of Medicine.

From Autonomous Vehicles to politics, to the future of entertainment and more, Grayson has written articles about innovation, technology, and strategy for Continental’s 2025AD, General Electric Reports, the MIT Sloan Executive Education [email protected] Blog, RealClear Future, Futurism, VentureBeat and The Washington Times among others.

His written opinions and insights have been used by organizations such as the Consumer Electronics Association in presentations to the Federal Trade Commission.

Grayson has spoken in front of numerous audiences, including the FLDOT’s Florida Automated Vehicles Summit, New York International Auto Show, Princeton SmartDrivingCars, Consumer Telematics Show, XII Metropolis World Congress, TU-Automotive Detroit and Autonomous Vehicles Silicon Valley.

His comments have appeared in numerous publications, including The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The International Business Times, The Telegraph, Automotive News, Axios, Bloomberg, Forbes and The Hollywood Reporter.

For speaking engagements, editorials and media enquiries please email [email protected].

In-Flight Innovation

Would you like in-flight Wi-Fi on your next flight? It will cost you a premium in addition to any movies or food that you might purchase on board.

If you are traveling on a plane that offers Gogo, and you would like to connect to the internet, it will cost you $14 for a daily pass, and a monthly pass for a airline you frequent will cost you $39.95, according to Gogo’s “Buy Before You Fly” service pricing chart. Forget to buy access before you fly? That will cost you extra. Should it? I don’t think so.

Airlines are not innovating and enhancing the in-flight entertainment experience. Instead, they are falling back on their existing model of adding new fees and raising existing fees for services. Fees do not create value—they create customer service headaches.

It is time for an airline to become an industry leader and to cannibalize their existing in-flight entertainment offerings. The first step should be an all-encompassing in-flight entertainment package that creates value for their paying passengers by offering a great experience. Whether traveling on business or for pleasure, passengers will gravitate toward an airline that is offering them value.

Perhaps Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansk of Global Eagle Entertainment will be the innovators who will change in-flight entertainment. They are already starting to innovate by providing the technology that powers DISH’s free live TV programming on Southwest Airlines. Passengers can watch live TV using their smartphones, tablets or laptops for free as long as the promotion is active. But why stop there when it could be complimentary all the time?

Imagine a complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi service that would allow you to stream HBO GO and Netflix on your next flight? Or starting a movie on your iPad and continuing to watch from where you last left off on the screen behind the seat? What about an in-flight entertainment system that would allow you to load your favorite movies, games, and music before you even stepped foot on the plane?

Now imagine if all of this were complimentary.

In-flight experiences like this will happen when an airline steps up and says we want to be a leader and an innovator. We want to create value for our passengers and change the way you fly. This is the future of commercial in-flight entertainment. The only question is which airlines are willing to fundamentally rethink their existing in-flight business model to create value for passengers?

According to Gogo, only about 6% of fliers used their in-flight Wi-Fi service in the first quarter of 2013. With only a 6% adoption rate, the market is demonstrating that there is little to no demand for paid in-flight Wi-Fi at their current prices and restrictions in tandem with a substandard internet connection.

Will Richard Branson be the innovator who looks at the numbers and notices that less than 16% of passengers aboard Virgin America flights pay for in-flight Wi-Fi, according to The Wall Street Journal? Will he build on Virgin’s heritage of risk-taking by cannibalizing an existing revenue stream to create value for Virgin America passengers?

The innovations suggested above would allow airlines to slightly increase the average fare, as consumers would be more focused on value-added services rather than strictly upon the price. Alternatively, the airlines could sell non-invasive in-flight advertising to make up for the lost revenue. At the current prices, in-flight Wi-Fi is primarily appealing to the frequent business traveler; that would change if an airline offered complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi.

“I would be more inclined to fly an airline which offered complimentary Wi-Fi and a bespoke in-flight experience,” said Jeanne Caputo, VP of Sales and Industry Relations for MTC Limousine & Corporate Coach, a global transportation company based in Bedford Hills, NY.

Airline executives: it is time to start innovating and creating value for your passengers. Frequent Flier programs and updated airport lounges are no longer innovative. Innovating is disrupting and sometimes cannibalizing an existing business model in order to grow the business and create value. Passengers are full of great ideas—sometimes you just have to listen.

Would you fly a particular airline if they offered complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi and offered an in-flight entertainment experience tailored to you? Please share your thoughts.

In-Flight Innovation is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte that was originally published on The MIT Sloan Executive Education [email protected]™ Blog.

Let Children Play, Explore and Dream

Let Children Play, Explore and Dream is an opinion letter written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte that was published in the Wednesday, August 14, 2013 edition of The Financial Times.

Sir, Emma Jacobs’ article on New York’s kindergartens (“The serious side of child’s play”, August 9) is a vivid reminder of what is wrong with today’s educational system.

Instead of forcing children to grow up and test well at such a young age, we should be focused on the child’s long-term growth potential. When children are forced to grow up too soon and participate in regimented testing at three years of age, they lose their ability to play, to explore and to dream.

In my humble opinion, play is the best thing for a child’s growth and future success. Parents need to grasp and understand the importance of play in a young child’s life and how it will allow them to grow up to become the unique person that they want to be.

Play allows a child to explore, experiment and innovate. Will today’s parents raise tomorrow’s innovators or will they continue to force them to grow up too young?

Grayson Brulte, Co-Founder & President, Brulte & Company, Beverly Hills, CA, US

Let Children Play, Explore and Dream

This letter was in in response to The Serious Side of Child’s Play article written by Emma Jacobs in The Financial Times