The actions of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian terrorist who tried to take down Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bound for Detroit, have created a renewed call for extreme screening measures at airports around the world. In the United States this means full body X-ray screening.
There will be no dearth of blogs and essays about this man, his faith, and the madness of religion, but I want to speak about something new: the entrepreneurial opportunities provided us by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Because of him travelers in the US (and elsewhere) will be subject to full body X-ray scans which, as we have seen in test after test, produces a near naked image of the person being scanned. Which is where the entrepreneur comes in.
Think of it this way: if you look like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt you probably don’t mind having hundreds of strangers know that. But if you look like me, the full body scan broadcasts to America that I am one of the many overweight slobs whose flab spills over the sides of the airplane’s all too narrow coach seats. Well, I, and millions like me, don’t want to be seen that way; so I, and millions like me, will be searching for products that will make us look slim, trim, and sexy for the full body scan voyeurs.
If you start producing these products now, you can get ahead of the curve.
Start with diets like The Full Body Scan Diet: “Loose 21 Pounds when you buy your ticket 21 days in advance“. Or Diet Before You Fly It, or The Scan Plan, or any number of quick loss schemes that you can sell to frantic travelers.
And don’t forget exercise. Ticket and Train, for example, would be a franchise operation combining travel agents and exercise trainers. You would go to the Ticket and Train center, buy your ticket and be assigned a trainer who will help you get in shape for the scan. Prices would vary depending on the lead-time before your flight.
Then there are scanner friendly travel clothes. I can imagine a lead lined clothing line that would shape your scan so that you looked hot even if you’re not. Or a line of fat controlling clothing that would push your fat in various directions to make you look sexier. You might consider a line of underwear that revealed clever messages when scanned by X-rays.
There is no end of products and services you can design for the new scan-conscious traveler. And you have Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to thank for it. And, if you do come up with an idea, why not talk to Umar’s dad, a prominent Nigerian banker, for help with financing. He might be able to put you in touch with a Nigerian widow who just won the lottery and needs your help to cash in. If you send her some money, she might invest some of her millions in your new scan-scam.