Sometimes online travel history hits you over the head and you don't even see it coming.
But, at least I wasn't the only one.
The death of William Shatner's The Negotiator character stoked some memories.
It was April 2005 in the Norwalk, Connecticut, office of Priceline CEO Jeffery Boyd and he was explaining the company's strategic shift from being primarily an opaque seller of merchant hotel inventory through its Name Your Own Price service into a full-fledged retailer of air, hotel and car inventory.
More than a year earlier Priceline had debuted airline tickets on a retail basis and now it was adding hotels and cars so it could take on the then-much larger online travel agencies, Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.
At the time, Priceline crunched only about 13% of the gross bookings that Expedia did, and Boyd said that day that Travelocity's and Orbitz's gross bookings were about twice that of Priceline's.
So, the smallest of the four was going to make its move to become a full-service OTA and play with the big boys and girls.
And, Boyd thought there was no reason there couldn't be a Big Four instead of a Big Three.
It's unclear how much Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz heeded the threat, but Boyd clearly laid out the blueprint: Priceline would become a full-service OTA and expand through organic growth and acquisitions.
"Retail airline tickets was a big piece of that," said Boyd, referring to a growth spurt in 2004. "If the new product launch of hotels is anywhere near as successful, I would expect our business would gain share and continue to gain share as we have done historically."
Priceline had already acquired Active Hotels, would scoop up Bookings B.V. in July 2005, and tack on Agoda a couple of years after that as the OTA engineered a Europe and Asia marketshare grab in hotels.
Back in April 2005, however, the other OTAs were not surprised or particularly concerned about Priceline getting into the retail hotel business.
After all, they were focused primarily on the merchant model for hotel sales and were bigger and badder.
Michelle Peluso, then-CEO of Travelocity, said it made sense for Priceline to expand beyond Name Your Own Price, but Travelocity would have advantages because it could count on the resources of parent-company Sabre.
And, an Expedia spokesman said the company preferred its multi-brand approach -- Hotwire for opaque hotels and Expedia for merchant and published rates -- to Priceline's tack of stitching it all together.
The Expedia spokesman wondered whether Priceline's retail offering would cannibalize its opaque hotels business.
Boyd said Priceline had initially been concerned when it launched retail air that it would dilute the company's opaque air business, but it found retail air brought incremental bookings.
Fast-forward to 2012 and Priceline, riding its global hotel offering, has a $26.3 billion market cap compared with the recently TripAdvisor-less Expedia at $4.7 billion.
In 2005, did Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz see all this coming?
Perhaps even Priceline would have been hard-pressed to predict the depth of its success.
Were the three other OTAs complacent in the beginning?
Were they over-confident based on their parentage or were they reading their own press clippings too closely?
Priceline and others undoubtedly will learn from all of this online travel history.
They should be cautious and cognizant that they shouldn't count out Expedia, which apparently has fixed up its global technology platform, and has allied itself with Groupon and boasts of an exclusive agreement with AirAsia.
Sometimes online travel history -- or perhaps we should say mobile-travel or social-travel history -- unfolds before your eyes and you don't recognize it right away.
There are tons of travel startups which have outlined their strategies in the Tnooz TLabs Showcase.
Is there a travel startup out there laying out its battle plan, calmly articulating how it will survive and thrive, and we just can't recognize it through all of the noise?
Many people didn't take Priceline seriously, either.