‘Instant Hotel’: The Strategy

What makes “Instant Hotel” a little different from other reality game shows is that it pits a group of entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry and share economy against each other. Each couple owns an instant hotel, which means they rent out their homes to vacationers. The other couples visit the hotel and rank it based on the home itself, local amenities and attractions, a good night’s sleep and value for the money. These scores, all on a scale of 1 to 10, are combined with the interior design professional’s score. In addition, the group of 8 are given a score from the hosts based on how the home was left and if all the rules were followed. The winner of the game gets a trip to California to stay at an exclusive instant hotel rumored to be run by a Hollywood celebrity.

So, how do you win this game? Since it’s the first season, episode two, it doesn’t appear that many of the participants are looking to win in the traditional sense – getting the prize. Instead, they’re looking to enjoy themselves, see what other instant hotels are doing and just go along for a good time. The mother/daughter team tried to plant the seeds of some sort of alliance against the two gay men, but it was more of a “let’s not let them win because we don’t like them” kind of thing.

If someone wanted to win, they could rate every experience they were on with a zero. The scores are anonymous, and it would probably be too late before anyone did the math to figure out what was going on. That same team could then rate their guests as a zero, and it would still put them ahead but reveal the strategy. This would work best with a team that is later in the series. No one knows when they will be the hosting hotel, but even the first hotel could rate its guests with a six without giving anything away.

However, that’s not actually the point of this competition. The point is for every hotel to get more guests after the episodes air. How do we get more people to come to our hotel rather than the other hotels featured and the other hotels in our area? The first step is to have a great hotel. The second step is to treat your guests well. The third step is to hope the guest at your hotel on this show say good things about your hotel. Whatever happens, the hotel experience needs to be memorable so that no one forgets what your hotel was like.

These steps should help the team connect with the viewing audience in some way and improve booking rates. More needs to happen though. People need to feel like the team is made of people they want to hang out with. They need to feel like the team is something they can support. Most importantly, team members need to find a way to create a story that will last and motivate people to book.

The longer-term gain from “Instant Hotel” is increased tourism for Australia from both nationals and foreigners. So, there needs to be a minimum of bad-mouthing of places and hotels and a maximum of showing off the best the country has to offer. Could a team employ a zero-sum strategy? Sure, and while it might win that team the trip to California, it would undermine the meta game goals of improved bookings at their own hotel and improved tourism for Australia. Because who would want to stay with a team that lied to win?

2 Episodes In: ‘Instant Hotel’

When someone does something with passion and the do it well, it’s a joy to watch them be rewarded. In the second episode, Jannine and Mark have a ‘50s-inspired Instant Hotel that’s amazing. The other guests love it, too. When they tell the couple how they feel, Jannine and Mark tear up. It’s a beautiful moment that’ll touch your heart strings, too.

As a series, “Instant Hotel” is fun. Because the participants are Australian, I’m never sure what I’m going to get. Sure, they speak English, but the cultures are different enough to catch an American off guard. So far, they tend to stick with their stereotypes: The two gay guys, the spoiled little girl who can’t get out of bed and her enabling mother, and the young couple with the wife who is spoiled but “in a different way.” But most of them seem to be enjoying themselves. The competition is bound to ratchet up as the mother-daughter team look to bring down the gay-team, but for the moment, there are only seeds for this future conflict.

I don’t normally watch reality television shows, but “Instant Hotel” is a good time that has a different cultural element to it. If you want to diversify your viewing habits and watch something that you don’t normally watch, this show is a good choice. Improve your creativity by replenishing your well and learning about instant hotels in Australia.

For more on creativity, order “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Get “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

The ABCs of Creativity: Risk

Being creative means taking risks. When you’re doing something new, that no one’s ever done before, or that you haven’t done before, you’re taking a risk. It may be a small risk; no one will see you mess up a canvas or write a sentence incorrectly. Or it may be a big risk: taking on an assignment at work that could decided the fate of the company. There are a lot of different kinds of risk in between.

When you stood up for the first time, you were taking a risk. You might lose your balance and fall. Of course, your baby mind didn’t really think of it like that. When you fell down, you probably cried and were comforted by your parent(s) or guardian. Then you got up and tried it again. Then maybe you took the next step, literally, after standing. That probably resulted in falling down to.

As a baby, you were used to taking those risks. If you were in diapers, it didn’t hurt a lot. Even if it did hurt, you didn’t mind after a while. You saw everyone else standing and walking, and you wanted to get there, too.

You probably continued to take risks growing up. Raising your hand to answer a question was a risk: if you got it right, kids might think you’re a know-it-all; get it wrong and the teacher might think you’re dumb. You probably learned that answering the question wasn’t worth it.

As an adult, if you suggested something new at work, you were probably met with objections and derision. That risk was bad enough. In some places, a creative person is seen as a threat.

But people are meant to be creative. If you want to become, if you want a happier overall life, if you want to make something, you’ve got to take the risk. You may fail, you may make mistakes, but if you do it right, you’ll have fun and learn more about who you are.

For more on creativity, get “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Order “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.

‘The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity’ eBook Now Available at Amazon.com for Preorder

In case you missed it, “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” is available for preorder at Amazon.com. The second book in the “Disneyland Is Creativity” takes a look at the Haunted Mansion’s history and structure and relates them to creativity principles to help you become more creative.

While the Haunted Mansion opened on August 9, 1969, it’s history dates back more than a decade before when Harper Goff drew the first haunted house concept in 1951 as part of a church and graveyard. The façade was finished in 1963, but it took 6 more years for the technology to develop and the concept to work. This delay allowed the Disney team to learn more as well as explore hundreds of ideas before choosing the right one. Creativity requires lots of ideas, time to be creative, and patience to choose the right idea to develop.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t failures. The Haunted Mansion was supposed to open in 1963 instead, Marty Sklar wrote a sign that said the team was busy gathering ghosts. A short-lived effect called “the Hatbox Ghost” didn’t work when the Haunted Mansion opened, and it was removed until the effect could be done correctly. (It was reinstalled in 2015.) Creativity comes with failures and mistakes.

Just in time to celebrate Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion’s 50th anniversary, the eBook is scheduled to be released June 1 and 2 to coincide with Lilac City Comicon 2019 in Spokane where I will be presenting “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity.”

The book tour will continue at City Cakes and Café in Salt Lake City. On June 7 to 9, we’ll be at Ogden UnCon where I will present “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity” on Sunday. Currently, our last scheduled stop will be at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con from June 14 to 16.

Click on the link to preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” in paperback. Get “Disneyland Is Creativity” in paperback here and in eBook on Amazon.

Why This Isn’t an ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Review: Spoiling Things Sucks

KINDER SURPRISE! NO SPOILERS!

Every m-f-ing major media website has posted more stories about “Avengers: Endgame” by now than it has any right to, but I’m not upset about that. What I am upset about is that I haven’t had the opportunity to see Endgame yet and with every frickin’ new headline, its photo and its accompanying article summary, I come closer to having the movie spoiled for me. I don’t want headlines about certain characters and accompanying questions. And I would repeat them here, except then I would be doing the same thing to you that Yahoo!, Entertainment Weekly, and others have already done to me.

Why do they do it? Money. In a couple of weeks, no one is going to care about Avengers: Endgame. They’re going to be on to something else: Godzilla, maybe, or Pokémon, or John Wick… Whatever it is, the general public isn’t going to want to click on Avengers: Endgame stories anymore. Even if it does, those stories are worth a lot more because they are already on the web, so people who are late to the game will still be able to click and find them.

In journalism and the Internet, it’s all about speed. Get it out first and fast. You can correct errors later and, in the case of a movie article, people who don’t want spoilers shouldn’t click on the link and F them anyway. I have unfollowed spoiler accounts including the New York and LA times and Yahoo! Entertainment. I will continue to do so. I might follow them back later on, because print media like the New York Times and the LA Times need saving for the sake of the First Amendment and democracy, but for now, they can believe that Thanos snapped me out of existence.

So, for now, Thanos demands my silence. If you want to read a review from me, you’re going to have to swim against the tide and wait a couple of weeks. I will post my review then. It may or may not have spoilers. I don’t know. What I do know is that now is not the time to be publishing stories about the movie that could ruin it for others. And that, true believer, includes information about cameos, Easter eggs, and any of the characters we’ve spent the last 22 movies following. Follow my blog, follow me on Twitter and on Facebook if you want to read my review of Avengers: Endgame later and show the other news media that you will support a review even after the original furor goes by. When it comes up, share it and comment on it. (You can do the same with this article if you feel like I do about spoiling things, except commenting – no commenting, no GIFs, no SPOILERS.)

Episode 2: “The Twilight Zone” One for the Angels

Death comes in with a gentle kindness though obtuse in his assertions. Maybe, he needs people to recognize that their time is up, or he is unable to tell them outright. He is firm in his proposition but explains the ways out that Lou Bookman could take. The last one suits Bookman’s purposes: he never got to make a big picture, one that opened the skies. Death grants bookman a reprieve and asks him when he thinks the pitch will be made. Bookman shuts the door on Death and shouts that he is done pitching.

Death follows Bookman pleading with him to reconsider and telling him there are consequences to his actions. Bookman refuses to listen until he hears squealing tires and one of his neighbor children is hit by a truck. Death had to take someone if Bookman wasn’t going to come willingly. Death will arrive for the girl at midnight, leaving Bookman to consider what has happened and what he can do to stop Death, who will no longer listen to Bookman’s pleas.

Bookman has two things in his heart. He has really wanted to make a big pitch and never gotten to, and he loved the children in his neighborhood. No one has to fear death who accomplishes in this life his or her heart’s desires and loves children. That’s true of Bookman, who has his last wish fulfilled and saves a little girl in the process. If there is something that you want to accomplish go out there and do it, but do it with kindness.

Von Oech’s Four Roles of Creativity

Roger von Oech encourages people to adopt four roles to further their creativity: the explorer, artist, judge and warrior. These roles need to be applied in order and without interference from the other roles for the most part.

The explorer starts at the beginning. She gathers information, observes the world, asks questions and finds out what is needed and what there is. Exploring allows you to find the raw materials that you need for the next role. The more you explore, the more you learn, but don’t be caught as the explorer only. You’ve got to put all that information to use somehow.

The artist comes up with ideas. This is where brainstorming, and imagining what there could be, comes in handy. Come up with as many ideas as you can. When you have a lot of ideas, its time to call on the next role.

Hopefully, you’ve been able to keep the judge out of it up to this point, though some would argue that judging ideas as they occur makes them better. Whatever your view, how you deal with the judge is important because he may keep you from performing any work at all. The judge is important though for making sure that ideas are practical. So, let your judge be gentle with you and your ideas, but also know that some ideas may have to wait for later when they are feasible.

The warrior is invoked to fight internal and external enemies. Your warrior will need to be strong enough to fend off your own insecurities and anxieties while defeating those who would stymie your creative efforts. The warrior puts the work in every day and makes the idea a reality.

You’ll have to find the right timing for calling on each of these roles for you and your process, or maybe you need to develop your own metaphor. Whatever it takes, call on your inner guides to become more creative.

For more on creativity, order “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Get “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

Speakers’ Club April 27, 2019: Star Wars

Rules:

Word Crimes:

When is Star Wars day?

Moosebutter John Williams Medley:

Long time ago, far, far away
Long time ago, far, far away
Kiss a Wookiee, kick a droid
Fly the Falcon through an asteroid
‘Til the princess is annoyed
This is spaceships
It’s monsters
It’s *Star Wars*
We love it!
Come and help me, Obi-Wan
X-Wing fighter and a blaster gun
Dance with ewoks, oh, what fun!
This is spaceships
It’s monsters
It’s *Star Wars*
We love it!
 
Get in there you big, furry oaf
I couldn’t care less what you smell!
I take orders from only me
Maybe you’d like it back in your cell
Your highness, your worshipfulness
Your highness, your worshipfulness!
No one cares if you upset a droid (Nobody cares if you upset a droid)
That’s because droids don’t tear your arms out of socket (Nobody cares)
I suggest a new strategy: let the Wookiee win
That’s because nobody cares if you upset a droid
 
Now we listen to Luke whining
One more season, one more season, one more season
I was gonna go to Tosche
Station for power converters
Now I guess I’m going nowhere
It just isn’t fair!
 
Wookiee!
(Wookiee noises)
Wookiee!
(Wookie noises)
Wookiee! Wookiee!
Wookiee! Wookiee!
Someone move this walking carpet
Someone move this walking carpet
(Woo-kiee, Woo-kiee)
Someone move this walking carpet
Someone move this walking carpet
(Woo-kiee, Woo-kiee)
Kiss your brother, kiss your brother
Princess Leia!
Well, I guess you don’t know anything about women
(Kissing noise)
(Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy?)
Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy?
 
Luke, I’m your father
(That’s not true!)
It is useless to resist
(My hand!)
Come with me, my son
We will rule
(I’ll never join you!)
Search your feelings, it is true
So, you have a twin sister who
Obi-Wan was wise to hide
(Is that Leia?)
If you will not turn
Then perhaps she will
Give in to your hate
You are mine
Long, long, long time ago
Far, far, far, far away
Long, long, long time ago
Far, far, far away
Kiss a Wookiee, (kiss a Wookiee)
Kick a droid, (kick a droid)
Fly the Falcon (fly the Falcon)
Through an asteroid!
‘Til the princess (’til the princess)
Is annoyed (she’s annoyed!)
This is spaceships
It’s monsters
It’s *Star Wars*
We love it, it’s true!
(Episode III)
Coming to you!
(2005)
So let’s go (go, go, go to the movies)
Stand in line (buy, buy, buy me some popcorn)
Cause it’s al- (please, I like extra butter)
-most the time! (Join the Dark Side!)
May the Force be with you all!
(John Williams is the man!)

Moosebutter “Star Wars (John Williams Is the Man)”

Tony Dyson on creativity:

What did “Star Wars” change?

Merchandising

Summer blockbuster

Science fiction at the movies: “The Black Hole”

What does it have to do with “Star Trek?”

Other ‘Star Wars links: https://penguinate.weebly.com/star-wars-stories-and-links.html

The ABCs of Creativity: Question

When you were young, you probably asked a lot of questions: Why is the sky blue? Where do babies come from? Why do I have to eat broccoli? Why do bees buzz? Why? Why? But why?

And you were probably met with: Because I said so. Because they do. Because it is. I don’t know. Be quiet. Shut up. Children are best seen and not heard. Stop asking questions. Now is not the time…

It didn’t get better in school – a place you were supposed to be to learn things. Unfortunately, many of the things you were supposed to learn were what the teacher wanted to teach you or, if you were really unlucky, what was required by standardized testing and curriculum. There was a right answer, and it was whatever the teacher said it was. There was no room for deviation or questioning. The best pupils were quiet and accepted what they were told. Questions were unwelcomed because they took time away from the subject at hand and caused other students to question what they were learning, which caused confusion for the less inquisitive.

But ultimately, questioning is a good thing as long as the questions are asked with an honest intent to learn and understand. Questions like “How does a burr attach to clothes?” “How do I improve shoes for athletes?” and “Why isn’t there a place for adults and children to have fun?” have led to multi-billion-dollar companies. Questioning improves creativity through its ability to spark deeper thinking.

The question “Why?” is powerful, but you’ll still be met with resistance. “Why” is often seen as threatening and accusing. Many people will respond with “because it’s always been done that way.” “Why not?” can be just as powerful because it can free you to try something new.

With the Internet, you should be able to find out the answers to many questions, but that’s not enough for creativity. You must make sure the information is accurate and that you didn’t just accept it because of confirmation bias. Then you must assimilate the information and allow it to change your behavior and thoughts. Learning from your questions is only part of becoming more creative, but it’s an important part.

For more on creativity, order “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Get “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” Read how the Internet affected Cathy Cooke’s creativity.

Episode 1: ‘The Twilight Zone’ Where Is Everybody?

When people are isolated, they get depressed and go crazy. In real life, babies fail to thrive if they are denied human touch. In the middle ages, banishment was an equivalent punishment to death. It denied people access to their homes, their friends, and their support systems. For many, it was a literal death sentence without an executioner. In its first episode, Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” openly addresses the need people have for human contact. It’s the moral of the story, but it isn’t the entire story.

The main character opens the story on a dusty road headed toward a diner that has hot coffee on the stove but is deserted. He doesn’t know who he is. There’s no one in the diner to help him or to help identify him. This character’s identity is missing because he doesn’t have anyone to measure himself against. He doesn’t have people who reflect him and tell him who he is. He has no context.

The first identifier he remembers is his nationality. He’s American. People draw a strong identity from their country and their birthplace. When abroad, Americans find each other and ask where the other one is from. It’s often the first question before what one does for a living. His job is the second thing He remembers. He’s in the Air Force.

But this character is still missing his identity. What’s his name? Who is his family? Why is he in a deserted town? Was a bomb dropped? He doesn’t know, and it’s not until he’s back among his Air Force command that he remembers everything that happened before the town. He has people to help him remember who he is. It takes a strong sense of identity to withstand isolation for any length of time. It takes others to remind us who we are, especially when we lose ourselves.