Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. The Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust. This, my friends, is a perfect description of our competitive landscape. It seems like every week someone forwards me an email of a new aero marketplace that has entered our playing field. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t openly creep bust and troll through these sites. The promise of millions of listings or a modern, streamlined experienced is enough for any marketplace General Manager to trigger deep breathing exercises.


But you know what I think all of those sites did? I think they simply walked into Mordor. And called it a day. 


Whether there are 15 sites trying to do the same thing or 20 sites, it matters not. Why? Because there is one theme that rings true among all of them. No one has cracked the ecommerce nut in this $4B industry. In fact, if only 2.5% of the transactions are done through ecommerce—even with all the competition trolling about—this means that the One Ring to rule them all is ours for the taking. Here are the weapons we have brought on our trek through Mordor.


The trusted Honeywell name. As we dig deeper into forming relationships with various parties—OEM’s, airlines, traders, brokers, channel partners—it becomes so much more evident why the Honeywell name behind us is such an advantage. By basis of name alone, Mother Honeywell opens doors. 


Another weapon? Our psychotic, almost unhealthy passion to nail the digital experience. Rich, visual listings. Speedy check out process. Customizable and easy to set up storefronts. Pricing transparency. Dynamic negotiations. Responsive pages. Stellar customer support. But this isn’t enough. Why? Because I firmly believe that the key to all of this is committing ourselves to breaking a part the boulder of ambiguity. We will use data, technology, customer insight, and humility to figure this out.


Our final nuclear missile? Ridiculous access to super smart and talented people. Startups in a garage don’t just have branding people, video production companies and marketing all-stars on the ready. They ask their parents to edit their videos. We have unrivaled design and User Experience talent. A legal staff for every category imaginable (yes, trademark, contracts, patents, tax—all different areas). Information Technology resources who can navigate murky waters and sail us towards true north. And a finance guy who makes us stretch the American dollar so far he puts Gumby to shame.  


So, does it seem like we’re just going into Mordor? I think not.