It would be the last thing on the minds of those PMs and analysts who shed institutional restraints to ‘go boutique’, but they soon end up debating, mid-flight, the best ways to deal with bleary eyes and muddled heads.

Without the expenses budget of a big player to fall back on, many start-up managers find it necessary to snaffle the ‘red-eye’ special airfares to and from Sydney, Melbourne, or other state capitals in search of that first lump of insto cash or the steady, trickling inflow from a dealer group. But those early morns aren’t so unlively – they are opportunities for boutique operators to catch up with or get to know start-up peers, one such manager told Unbalanced last month.

The said manager was able to acquaint himself with a fellow boutique operator – also in search of that early mandate – on a hot Melbourne-to-Sydney ticket. “It’s good – you get to know a few of the guys on those red-eyes,” he said.

“Those early flights are something you have to do, and get used to, when you’re a boutique.” Perfectly understandable. There can be little expense for frills in that first year. But what we’re wondering is: did you also split the cab into the city?

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