Saturday, 13 May 2006

Friday, 12 May 2006

Udupi Cafe – You Can Taste the Apathy

I want to be able to recommend the Udupi Cafe – but I can’t.

The first time we ate there, I was coming down with some sort of headcold so, that one’s my fault. The second time was with a whole bunch of people who loved it. Everyone else raved about their dishes and I got the distinct feeling I ordered poorly. So, maybe I’ll take that one as well.

But tonight – it’s all on them.

We got there early – 6:30-ish and were immediately seated. Maybe 3 or 4 other parties throughout the restaurant. After our water glasses were filled, we waited. And waited. And waited. No acknowledgment from the staff we were even there. Let alone ready to order. Plenty of staff standing about talking to each other.

As we debated whether or not to leave, I caught the eye of the Water Glass Filler and asked – more frustrated than I should have let on:

“Do we have a waiter?”

He didn’t hear me.

“Can some one take our order?”

Five minutes later, the person who seated us and handed us our menus was there with a notebook in hand. He was also quite unfamiliar with the menu – at points giving us the “I don’t think we have that” look.

While we were pondering if in fact our food would return, we timed the attentiveness of the staff to the other patrons. Another young couple was seated behind us and Jen started the timer.

10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then 20 minutes without anyone acknowledging they were there – ready to order or otherwise.

I again caught they eye of Water Glass Filler and asked him if it’s normal to wait this long for service.

He didn’t understand the question, so I told him the table behind us had waited more than 20 minutes for service.

“It’s really busy tonight.”

Yes, the couple left shortly there after. Unserved.

A quick search shows I’m not the only one, back in February, Shree declared:

“Tasteless Food, Pathetic Attitude , Dirty rest room”

The food tasted fresh and I didn’t checkout the rest room, but tonight the apathy was palpable.

I suspect the lack of service has something to do the federal indictment of the owner on aiding, abetting, and harboring illegal immigrants earlier this year (Google cache).

Amazing that 90 days after reopening, they’re acting like they’d rather not be.

Thursday, 11 May 2006

The LunchTrain

While at Sun this week, I shared an inspiring conversation with Rick Levine, co-author of Cluetrain Manifesto.

It was a nice reminder that;

  • relationships take commitments.
  • new problems require new solutions.
  • advertising dollars are better spent elsewhere.

Thanks Rick.

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

Share You OPML, Exposing 1% of Your Audience

According to the Feedburner widget 53,657 people are subscribed to 746 of those people are also sharing their opml.

That’s 1.4% overlap.

If you’re running a tech startup, thanks to Share Your OPML, you now know which 746 people to talk with first.

Coincidently, I’ve talked to a bunch of ecommerce, direct-to-customer organizations over the years and 1% is the most frequent conversion rate quoted. On the one hand, it’s pretty cool that successful businesses can be built on 1%. On the other, it feels highly inefficient (99% waste).

If you’re interested, I’ve shared my feeds as well.

Tuesday, 9 May 2006

Monday, 8 May 2006

What a Difference 3 Blocks Makes

We’ve been in the new place about a week now, and I’m amazed at the difference 3 blocks makes. Seriously, from 2700 block of 31st to the 2900 block of 30th.

All week, there’s been kids riding bikes, shooting hoops, and we’ve met half our neighbors. Rock on.

Speaking of rocks. We’re deep into the road construction. Both streets have been stripped of their asphalt, and there’s some pretty big machines sprinkled up and down the street.

Yea, Cooper’s loving the new place. Lots of space to roll around on the carpet and do this weird crawling thing he’s doing right now. Here, you can practice at home:

  1. Get down on your hands and knees
  2. Flatten your feet against the floor and straighten your legs
  3. Fall forward
  4. Repeat

Sunday, 7 May 2006

What’s the Browser Matter?

I’ve been pondering a redesign of this website for a while now. As it should be, it’s way down the bottom of my Things To Do, but it’s there.

I’m writing this in MarsEdit, I’ll read it in NetNewsWire. According to my server logs, some of you are reading this within your Google homepage, Newsgator account, email client, or something altogether different.

So, who would I be redesigning the site for?

Robots? They don’t appreciate interesting typography or color choices.

This is why the default WordPress theme is so popular – the value isn’t in the CSS. The value of a website is in it’s reception.

I’ve half-joked about rebuilding to make it friendlier to my Treo. Using their E-Commerce Service – it’d be a decent effort, but not outrageous. Completely do-able.

37Signals recently opened up the Basecamp API to developers.

ProgrammableWeb’s Mashup Matrix says there are 89 other APIs available.

If I can get the data from those services within applications I’m already using and comfortable with – what does it matter what their website looks like? I won’t see it.

Let’s say, you loaded up this page and found just a link to the RSS feed. Let’s say we got really real and just released the API of a web application. Leaving the interface design to the customers.

UPDATE 11 May 2006:

“The browser will explode into a thousand fragments, will spawn a thousand specialized offspring” – Stowe Boyd