Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gogo Wifi Sucks, and Such Small Portions!

Not much going on in the Advanced world today, so I'll talk a bit about a technology I would love to embrace, but haven't been able to.

One of the hallmarks of the Advanced State of Mind is humility (ironically, I guess, since it sounds so grandiose). By that I mean, you have to accept that some things seem terrible only because you don't fully understand them. This article about Gogo in-flight wifi made me think of that because I absolutely hate Gogo more than just about anything in the world.

I'm a fan of Louis C.K. so I know that I'm supposed to just appreciate the miracle of being able to log in from the skies, but that doesn't help. Basically, it feels like Gogo breaks the promise of wifi (you can get on the Internet and do stuff), and I don't care about the technical issues that prevents them from keeping that promise, especially now that it is more expensive. After reading this article in Bloomberg Business, I understand why maybe I should. Perhaps unsurprisingly, getting wifi on airplanes is complicated! There aren't that many airplanes so testing is limited. The hardware is hard to update/replace. And the more people use it, the worse it is.

The ideal solution is to just make it better--and satellite service is coming--but until that happens, the best option is to charge even more for the lousy service until so many people stop using it that it becomes good again (it's called price optimization).  If you're sitting in your middle seat with no legroom and want to write a blog post, this may be infuriating, but deciding not to pay for something that doesn't work that well is a good thing. Still, for some reason I want the price to be affordable even though I know the service will suck.

Part of that is that I don't like that rich people (or corporate-card holders) benefit from the high price, but again, paying just enough for something terrible is worse than paying nothing while someone gets something wonderful. There is certainly some value in sticking it to other people, but not enough to offset the anger you feel when you lose service or have to sign in again.

Anyway, nothing earth shattering, but I did find the article interesting and I almost felt sympathy for Gogo, which I never thought would happen. Kind of like I never thought I'd like anything by Stone Temple Pilots.

And now, Woody Allen in Annie Hall telling a joke about elderly women complaining about wifi, I mean food.

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