September 5, 2013

Triple-A Dude Talks BS

Disclaimer: If you are subject to any kind of sensitivity as it relates to the use of 4-letter words and the likes, please accept our apologies and refrain from reading this blog post.

Jan, we’ve been die-hard fans since your zero-BS policy from your early days as co-pilot of Uslu Airlines, back when you first took off in NYC in 2001. Wow! That’s history – seriously no BS!

photo via Shukra Cola

MBF: What do you have your sights set on – in addition to the airline business?

Jan Mihm: My currently most rewarding businesses aside from 'ua' are Shukran Cola, a kinda-non-profit venture that invests all profits in Palestine. My personal competitive goal is to push Coke from its #1 postion in the soda market. We shall start in Berlin-Neukölln with this and then take it from there. So far, market response has been phenomenal!

The close second for me in terms of personal rewards is ART IS THE ALIBI, an incubator and boiler plate for discovering international ideas and realizing them as artistic projects. Art is the Alibi's focus is fostering emerging and up and coming regions, both geographically and contextually. Founded in London, Art is the Alibi's headquarters have just been relocated to Berlin, the epicenter of emerging culture.

MBF: Please name your favourite airline…and airport.

Jan: My favourite airline is Virgin Atlantic. I have never flown with them, but I admire smart brand positioning more than recliner seats or tomato juice anyways. My favourite airport is Tegel. Cab to cabin is less than 50 steps there. Genius.

MBF: We can’t but help think of you as a NYC ex-pat. What’s most exciting today in and/or about NYC?

Jan: Honestly, I should answer that question end of October, after my 2013 visit.

photo via

MBF: And if you had to sum up Germany’s capital Berlin in three to five words? No BS.

Jan: Four dimensional cluster of culture(s).

MBF: Rules are definitely made to be broken. What marketing rules should we be breaking today ensuring products appeal to the very fickle, short attention span, knowledgeable consumer?

Jan: I know very little about marketing rules, so I would not exactly know what to break. To phrase it positively: think of your brand as a playmate for the consumer. And then continuously ask your yourself whether you would want to enter the game with that playmate. Make them laugh, bring them joy. Become their friend. A friend that they want to play with over and over again.

MBF: Can you identify the 5 most interesting people you have recently met?

Jan: No (nobody's biz).

MBF: What’s your connection with them?

Jan: See above.

photo via American Apparel

MBF: If you had to pick a fashion company to admire, which company would you pick?

Jan: Chanel and American Apparel (CC and AA for the B) both for their uniqueness, sexiness, smarts, awesomeness and especially – their particular portrayal of femininity.

MBF: And the most fashion-forward one?


MBF: Who do you think is the most engaging technology company?

Jan: Huawei, Kel-Tec, Monkeylectric

MBF: And of course, your favourite watch brand?

Jan: Analog: Raketa, Digital: Casio, Binary: The One

MBF: Have you ever been accused of looking somewhat like Tom Ford?

Jan: Yes, that has come up occasionally. But so have look-a-like comparisons to Ben Affleck and Ethan Hawke.

MBF: If “yes”, what do YOU think?

Jan: He is a very good looking guy. If I was gay, I would certainly bang him.

MBF: If you had to share words of wisdom with Ashton Kutcher – for his role as Steve Jobs – what would you say?

Jan: Drop the role, let Charlie Sheen do it. You suck.

MBF: Not terribly original but all the same fun. We’d like to take a page from James Lipton’s / Pivot’s questionnaire and ask you some questions, no BS…

MBF: Your favourite swear word?

Jan: "Scheisse" for things or mishaps, "Fotze" for people.

MBF: Your least favourite word?

Jan: Hate.

MBF: Your favourite word?

Jan: Love, Jan, charmer.

MBF: What turns you on?

Jan: Passionate brainy hearts, particularly on long legs.

MBF: And of course, what turns you off?

Jan: Abusing your own word of honor as if it was ever fixable

MBF: What sound do you love?

Jan: Laughter, especially that of my kids.

MBF: What sound truly irritates you?

Jan: Phone ringing.

MBF: If you could pick any profession – other than co-pilot – what might you be?

Jan: Certainly neither dentist, nor gynocologist as they both have to look in the same hole all the time. But since I regard my profession not so much as a co-pilot but rather as a hustler, I see no room for improvement = no need for change.

MBF: If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?

Jan: Right here.

MBF: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Jan: Why if? And God will say exactly what will make me most surprising welcome, he is god after all. (And would not enjoy to guess him today. Why spoil the surprise?).

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