Blade Kotelly is a design-thinking trainer, innovator, consultant, and user-experience expert.
On September 11, 2001 two American Airlines airplanes were hijacked. One was flown into the north tower of the World Trade Center and the other crashed into a field on it's way to the White House killing everyone onboard. As people scrambled to find out what happened to their loved ones, the American Airlines automated phone systems failed as they refused to included what is known as the Mayday codes.Today we talk with Blade Kotelly, who built the automated phone system for several Airlines, including some affected by the September 11 hijackings. His systems didn't fail that morning - so what happened at American Airlines?BIG NEWSWe've officially launched the Rocketship Premium Podcast feed! Join today for $5/month or $40 annually, and get access to exclusive bonus shows of Rocketship, previews of new seasons, and an ad free version of every episode of the podcast. Check it out today by clicking here. This episode is brought to you by:Product Institute is an online course for new and tenured product managers. Head to and enter the code ROCKET at checkout, you'll receive $200 off your subscription.Logi Analytics is the leading platform for embedded analytics. Take your dashboard and reports to the next level. Rocketship listeners get free access to the Logi Analytics library of product demos by going to Digital. Augusto Digital is a product engineering team that creates web, mobile, and cloud based digital products. Rocketship listeners get $1,000 off by going to is brought to you by The Podglomerate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Blade Kotelly is a senior lecturer at MIT and the leader of the advanced concepts lab at Sonos. We talk with Blade about how he defines the problem he solves at Sonos, and how to articulate that at an emotion level using design thinking. At Sonos he is driving the process to determine what experiences Sonos can and should build next. Researching trends in the technology landscape, customer behavior, music creators, and Sonos partners, and creating and testing advanced concepts.At MIT he teaches students principals of design-thinking, how to articulate designs, critique designs, create emotionally and intellectually compelling presentations, create a point-brand, conduct usability testing and learn to apply design-thinking to all aspects of their lives.Blade also tells us about the audio software he designed that was used by United on 9/11. A fascinating, and heartbreaking look at how design thinking and product management has real life effects and consequences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Creator Details

Ban Phone Kham, ວຽງຈັນ, Laos
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
49 minutes, 50 seconds