In Pursuit of A Glorious Trainwreck.

This is a repost from its original debut on announcing the launch of Sabre Labs earlier this year, and it’s truer than ever. So… enjoy. Or skim with mild disinterest. Both welcome.


This post is one I would usually take three days to meticulously draft, edit, refine, shape, edit some more… until I had whittled it down to grammatical perfection as the undergrad journalism major in me obsessively requires.

And yet, that is entirely why I won’t.

Spending 3X the time or resource to improve the quality of an outcome by 20% or less seems like a waste. That’s because it is.

Yet, it also requires chutzpah to knowingly publish, ship or launch less-than-perfect work in the interest of the greater good, i.e. what else those 2.9 days could be spent building, testing and learning about instead.

That’s our job at Sabre Labs.

To learn as much as we possibly can out of that .1 day and move on to the next over and over again, so that we ultimately can learn from the 29 others that await our trainwreck of  efficient failure.

Sabre Labs struggles with this as a team already, mainly because we are used to the expectation of excellence our core businesses rightfully demand in all they do for our customers.

We have a front-row seat at the ‘how to scale’ show. And 99.9998% uptime is no joke.

But our charter is very different, one measured by the speed, quantity and quality of what we can learn from screwing up and teach others how not to do the same.

That requires a commitment to shedding our egos for the sake of realizing exponentially greater progress & learning from the outcome that anything other than perfection offers.

And so, you’re getting the real first draft. No edits. No backspaces. No spell check.

A missing character here & an extra space there should be a reminder as to why our team in Sabre Labs exists at the beloved travel technology company we call home, Sabre Holdings.

And as the Director of Sabre Labs, there is no doubt I have the coolest job in all of travel.  But being quite the perfectionist, it’s a daily struggle. The rest of Labs is also made up of a few closet perfectionists who are just as diseased as I am.

And yet, our job is to pursue anything but perfection.

More importantly than it is to build things, our job is to break things. Fast. To make stuff. To screw up big time. And to get right back up and knock it out of the park immediately after.

We push ourselves and our global company of 11,000+ employees to be comfortable with failure through rapid prototyping & aggressive pursuit of what our optimal future as a company holds, because therein most assuredly lies the magic. Therein lie the small misteps as well as the trainwreck disasters from which our company most quickly & most effectively will learn.

See – missteps is supposed to have two s’s.

It’s killing me to refrain from correcting my mistake.

But instead, I’m trading discomfort in exchange for the glorious trainwreck of 80/20 work that will result.

Sometimes the outcomes of Sabre Labs experiments will be abysmal failures, others will hit the travel tech jackpot… but all will overflow with rich insight that it is our team’s job to not just share, but overshare.

We are showing how low-risk, low-cost experiments bring value to a big company. And through those we teach what not to do tomorrow. How that thing we thought was going to be so awesome, in fact turned into a swift kick in the shorts. And every once in awhile, we remind eachother what it looks like to outpunt the heck out of our coverage.

Ultimately, our team is committed to supporting the core businesses of Sabre Holdings in continuing to be awesome at what they do, while leaving one heck of a legacy to behold in its wake.

The decisions & investments our work will help inform today will impact how travelers connect tomorrow, and that demands nothing less than glorious, glorious trainwrecks to learn from and share with you each day.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s