Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to succeed in business

UK business writer Martin Vander Weyer looks back at the technological achievements of the last decade and singles out low-cost carrier Ryanair’s website:
The story of how it came into being is told in A Life in Full Flight, Alan Ruddock’s biography of cost-slashing Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary — who initially rejected the e-commerce concept. When he was finally persuaded that a website was essential, the first quote for its design came in at £3 million from some fancy consultants who O’Leary disliked on sight. So he gave the task to a 17-year-old Dublin schoolboy, John Beckett, and a dentistry student, Thomas Linehan, who proceeded to create a simple but workable site, with the characteristic Ryanair feature that it was almost impossible for the customer to contact the company if anything went wrong.
Excellent. But the story gets better:
The agreed fee for the task was £15,500, but when it was completed O’Leary tried to chisel them down to £12,000.

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