Marriott on the Move




Steve Jobs: Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

Posted:01/30/2012 3:49 PM

Recently, I had an opportunity to read the story of Apple’s Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.  I found it fascinating and well done.  
Steve Jobs Cover

We all know that Jobs changed the world with his many creations at Apple and Pixar Films.  Isaacson wrote, “Steve Jobs became the greatest business executive of our era. The one most certain to be remembered a century from now. History will place him in the pantheon right next to Edison and Ford.  Was he smart, no, not exceptionally; instead, he was a genius.  His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times, magical.” 

I‘ve always been interested in why some businessmen and women are successful and some are not.  There are several sound business principles that Jobs executed that all business people should study.  Isaacson wrote, “Some leaders push innovations by being good at the big picture; others do so by mastering the details.  Jobs did both relentlessly.”  And relentlessly is the key word.  

When my father would hire someone, he would always look for a person who had a lot of drive.  Jobs was relentless in pursuit of excellence.  He never, never gave up until he met his objective.  And, even then, he was never satisfied.  My father was also a perfectionist and worked hard for perfection in everything he did.  We always say in our company that ”success is never final.”  This is a phrase my father came up with.    

Jobs was a good judge of people and surrounded himself with “A” players.  He had a fantastic team and held them accountable.  I found his leadership style with his team extremely demanding which is ok.  But he was often mean, overly critical and quite unfair many times.  This is not ok.

Jobs realized the great importance of focus and when he returned to lead Apple in 1997, he fixed that company by cutting all except a few core products.  His basic focus caused his Apple team to work intensely to perfect and create just a few truly great products. 

Along with his intense focus, there was a dedication to simplicity – not only in the end product but also with the team at the home office.  Jobs’ products were his motivation.  And his motivation was not profits.  

My father and I had frequent heated discussions about quality versus profits.  In my early days, I accused my Dad of being very unreasonable in his intense focus on great food and service but also wanting increased profitability.  I learned you can do both and that is, in my opinion, management’s ultimate challenge.

Dad believed, as Jobs did, that if the product is perfect, the profits would be there.  And for Apple, they certainly were.  Isaacson wrote that, “In May 2010, Apple surpassed Microsoft as the world’s most valuable technology company and by September 2010, it was worth 70% more than Microsoft.” 

Steve Jobs – what a guy!  

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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Booking with Marriott While on the Move

Posted:09/29/201112:37 PM

In 1957, when we opened our very first hotel, the Marriott Twin Bridges, families were just starting to drive long distances on Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway.  It was a great system and really changed America. 

Our Twin Bridges Motor Hotel was located outside Washington, D.C. and it featured a drive-through front office.  It made for quick and easy check-ins.  Guests were able to be guided to their rooms by boys on bicycles and then able to park very close to their room – a real convenience, especially for large families.

Recognizing travel trends is vital to staying competitive and giving our customers what they want.  But no area has changed as much as the reservations area.  It’s online and it’s increasingly mobile.  Our new mobile app – designed for devices like iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry – is receiving great reviews.

About 400,000 people have already downloaded it.  Within days of being launched, it was ranked the fourth most popular free app on Apple’s iTunes and the most popular travel app.

Our e-Commerce team has created a hit!  Unlike some other hotel companies that have one app per brand, Marriott’s app lets you search for more than 3,600 hotels among 13 brands in 71 countries.  It also finds nearby hotels using GPS. 

When we first opened hotels like Twin Bridges, no one envisioned making a reservation this way.  It’s never been so easy.

So, download the app that we linked below and leave a comment letting us know what you think.

Oh, by the way, you can still book a room by calling a reservationist or by stopping by the front desk.  Some things will never change.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

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Download the Marriott app for iPhone

Download the Marriott app for Android

Download the Marriott app for BlackBerry

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A Virtual Lobby Tour

Posted:08/15/201110:44 AM


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A lot has changed since we built our first hotel in 1957.  I remember physically moving furniture to decide the right spot.  We didn’t have a lot of choices on fabrics and designs. Now, we can design lobbies and rooms by using  “virtual” showrooms.  The hammer and the nail have given way to a mouse and monitor.  It’s really high tech.

Click on the video and you’ll see what I mean.  

Walking through a virtual lobby takes a little getting used to.  Some of the furniture is real, some is not.  It’s like being on a movie set.  In fact, we are using movie animation software.  Our design team is like a “special effects” production unit.  They create giant printouts and add real furniture to give a 3D visualization. 

The visual impact allows our executive team to make changes.  With a click of the mouse, we’re able to change the wall color and carpet.  In a matter of months – not years - we can redesign our spaces and bring the latest styles and technologies to our guests.  

We’re certainly in a competitive business and it seems like it’s all about speed to market.  So, this summer check out our latest animated production coming to a Marriott hotel near you. 

I’m Bill Marriott and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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Get a Taste for What it Takes at 'My Marriott Hotel'

Posted:06/17/2011 3:39 PM

My-Marriott-Hotel-Game When I visit our hotels, I always like to go to the kitchen. A clean, well-run kitchen usually means the rest of the hotel is also clean and well run.  In the hotel business, we call it "the heart of the house."  The kitchen is pretty close to my heart too, because that's where I got my start 55 years ago.  I was working in my parents' Hot Shoppes restaurant in Salt Lake City.

Not many people get to go behind the scenes of a Marriott kitchen, but now you can thanks to a new game we launched on our Jobs and Careers Facebook page.  The game, which we call "My Marriott Hotel," gives you a chance to run your own restaurant.  You get to buy equipment and ingredients on a budget, hire and train employees, and serve guests.  You earn points for happy customers and lose points for poor service and food.  When you turn a profit, you win!  It’s addictive.  One person reported playing the game for 36 hours straight. 

My-Marriott-Hotel-Female2 It's a new way for us to attract people from all over the world to hotel careers.  So far, in the first two weeks, people in 83 countries have played the game.

In some countries, parents want their children to be doctors and lawyers, and discourage them from pursuing careers in hospitality.  But we want them to know that hotel careers can be very rewarding.  In fact, about 40 percent of our managers started in hourly jobs.  It's part of our corporate culture “to train and retain.”

So, do you have what it takes to run a hotel restaurant? Try your hand at My Marriott Hotel and let me know.  I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

If you're on Facebook, click on this link to play. 

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Connecting People Oceans Apart with GoThere Virtual Meetings by Marriott

Posted:04/06/2010 5:35 PM
GoThere Meetings Having my own blog for more than three years has been a great learning experience.  Blogging has helped me understand the importance of technology and communications for our business. 

Recently, I was interviewed using telepresence. It’s a fairly new communications technology we are testing in some of our hotels around the world with AT&T and Cisco. We’ve named the service GoThere Virtual Meetings. It really is amazing technology. You feel like you’re having a face-to-face meeting with people who are sitting in studios thousands of miles away.  I remember facing a man who was in London. He had an award he wanted to give me.  He reached forward and it looked like he was reaching right across the table to give me the award.  It was an awesome experience.
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Continuing to Embrace Social Media with the Marriott News Center

Posted:02/17/2010 1:37 PM
Marriott News Center I never thought that starting my own blog would have such far-reaching impact within our company.  Since we first launched the blog, we have continued to grow in the social media sphere by adding more blogs, several different Twitter feeds and even our own online community for our Marriott Rewards members.

When I asked Kathleen Matthews to head our global communications department a few years ago, she convinced me to launch the blog and it has proven to be revolutionary for our company and the way we communicate with our associates and our guests.  Now, her team has rolled out what they’re calling our company’s new front door for news and information, the Marriott News Center.
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Renovating Our Digital Front Door,

Posted:11/14/200910:12 PM

Mcom_HP_102909 When I started in the hotel business 52 years ago, the first impression customers had of our hotels was the lobby when they walked through the front doors. But in this digital age, often the first impression comes when they visit It's our digital front door.

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Group Business Is Our Business

Posted:09/02/2009 6:24 PM

Sports When most people think about those who stay in hotels, they picture executives traveling to meet with their clients to close a deal or leisure travelers taking vacations at resorts. In our Marriott Hotels and Resorts brand, business travel makes up about 40 percent of our business, leisure travel 20 percent. You might be surprised to learn that the other 40 percent comprise what we call group travelers. They are very important business for us.

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Welcoming Ritz-Carlton President Simon Cooper to the World of Twitter

Posted:06/15/2009 6:50 PM

SimonCooperTwitterOnly When I started blogging more than two years ago, I got a lot of "high-fives" from other bloggers for embracing this era of technology and trying out a new form of communication.  Since then, there have been many advancements and I've learned about Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.  There are probably more but it's tough to keep up with them all!

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Renaissance Hotels Offer Aspiring Filmmakers a Chance to Work with Spike Lee

Posted:05/05/2009 5:53 PM

SpikeLee These days, everybody can be a filmmaker using their digital cameras, Flip cameras and even cell phones.  People love to share and watch others' videos.  Our Renaissance hotels are participating in an online version of a film festival called MOFILM. Eleven other companies with strong brands like Kodak, Visa and AT&T are part of the festival, also.

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I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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