Friday, August 11, 2006

Miracle Scotland, RBS and a trolley

Story of my life: Anette, Viktor and I went to Edinburgh Wednesday to do "startup instance MiracleScotland" (and to see the tattoo on Thursday), and of course this whole thing with mixing milk bottle contents litterally explodes rigth there on Thursday, so we had to put our laptop in the suitcase today (Friday), our mobile phones and our books for the long wait into the other bag, and so on, until we had our few, miserable belongings in two clear plastic bags.

One surprising thing was that they allowed us to take Viktors rather biggish trolley with us all the way to the gate. However, for the first time ever in UK history, a large trolley was - on the insistance of a female security officer - ordered up on the belt and through the X-ray machine. The result, of course, was that it was stuck midways through the machine and had to be drawn out with a stick with a hook on.

Then, of course, they sent the trolley though again, this time with the weels pointing upwards. Very funny.

Our bottle of water was not allowed through security, even when I offered to taste it. We had to empty it and throw it away.

The plane was delayed. When we finally got into it, we were informed that they had to replace an instrument - one of those pieces of information that makes you think about all sorts of things. But then, an hour on the runway is nothing these days.

Fortunately, in the future it will probably not be possible to inform anyone about delays, since the mobiles are in the check-in luggage.

I see a LOT of new opportunities from this latest security development:

1. Louis Vuitton (spelling?) should rush a new series of bags to the market, which are all made of exclusive, soft yet sturdy, look-through plastic. I can just see a deluxe model with lots of pockets for the few legal items you can take with you on board.

2. Technologies to make it possible to have a laptop with all your data in the other end of the journey, since bringing your own laptop is now dangerous (it could easily get lost or destroyed in the check-in luggage process). As Peter Robson said today: Maybe this will speed up the whole WWW2-thing. Forget WW2. We're talking WWW2 here.

3. Solutions that allow you to find your mobile phones stored numbers in the waiting lounges and onboard the plane, then make calls that cost the same as if you had used your own phone.

4. Solutions that allows you to read books onboard the plane without having to buy it again in the taxfree shopping area.

5. Services that allow certified companies to take care of - and return - your dear belongings that are confiscated in security. Today I saw a poor fellow who had his electronic car key confiscated. He couldn't even go back and check it in, since his luggage had long since been checked in.

Finally, I should mention that Anjo told me today on the phone that he could see a very different future, perhaps only two years from now, where we're all sitting in the plane stark naked. Well, that was the theme of a cartoon in the newspaper I read on the plane. Perhaps it will happen. It would solve the problem of people trying to rush on board the plane. Every sensible man would try to be the very last one to slowly walk down the isle (of the plane!).

So what about Miracle Scotland Ltd? Well, I'll make it brief: The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS - and the initial remark on your lips about RBS standing for something to do with roll back is not far-fetched here) insisted on me showing them an original of my gas, electricity or water bill TO CONFIRM MY HOME ADDRESS.

When Danske Bank (the biggest here) sent them all sorts of confirmation about my name, address and such, RBS kindly said thank you, all very good and fine - but we need the utility bill. Original, that is.

Considering that these days the only way we can get such a thing here is by downloading an electronic document from a utility website, I'd have thought anyone could then manipulate the address... But no, RBS had to see a utility bill.

The very young Mr Mark also informed me that fax was a very insecure form of communication. He was barely out of school. I loved it.

The second meeting (today) ended with young Mr Mark promising to (get this) try to phone 2nd-line Support about other forms of id to confirm my home address...

Five hours later he phone Thomas Presslie (CEO of Miracle Scotland) to let him know that my identity was now confirmed...

I just can't wait for the coming months where we'll be starting up Miracle Sweden, Benelux, and others....