Daisuke Inoue, the tone-deaf inventor of the karaoke made almost no money from his invention, and that he didn’t even give it a try himself until 1999 at the age of 59. Not being able to read musical notation, Daisuke was a drummer who depended on lip-reading to hit the right notes. On one occasion, a client took a fancy to his drum technique and requested him to accompany him on a company trip to perform but Daisuke could not, and sent a recording tape to which the client sang to.
The rest as they say in cliches is history except for the fact that Daisuke failed to patent the product and recording companies snapped up huge amounts of moolah and cold hard cash at his expense. And for the record, they stole the concept and named it karaoke which continues to churn billions for the music industry moguls.
Admitedly, there is nothing new with the business model behind the success of AirAsia. The honor goes to Pacific Southwest Airlines and its founder, Kenny Friedkin. Now, behind the many success stories, what is more interesting about the low-cost stories is the names people have given the budget airlines; from former British airline, B.A.O.C., was said (especially by passengers delayed at Cairo or Khartoum) to mean “Better On A Camel;” and on the North Atlantic, T.W.A. was, rather impracticably, “Try Walking Across” to Pacific Southwest Airlines’, “Poor Sailor’s Airline”.
AirAsia too has not been spared the rod with equal number of equalling interesting, some unpleasant, some made us proud and some made us laugh. From AK = Ada Kelambatan/Kelewatan (there is a delay) to conspiracy theories that AK = Ananda Krishnan (Malaysian corporate figure). But hey, who are we to complain. We have had our share of laughs and our scrathing of heads. We got to go where everybody knows our name, right?