Sunday, September 18, 2011

Non - TV section

We need a section in restaurants that is free from the noise of TV's. We did it with smoke, let's remove TV's from restaurants now. Who is with me?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Th elephant in the economy

To ameliorate pain, feel it. What you resist you will persist

Brett Arends lays out the case for national defaults

It’s tempting to say, “if someone borrows money, they should repay it.” Generally speaking, I agree. I pay all my debts. But while that makes sense when applied to any individual, it doesn’t work so well when it’s applied to everyone. 

We have tens of millions who cannot repay their debts. But they are all trying to. That sucks huge amounts of money out of the economy. And that means these people cannot function properly as consumers or workers. That’s the reason people aren’t coming into your restaurant. It’s the reason people aren’t taking your yoga class. It’s the reason they haven’t hired you to redo the kitchen.

And so tens or hundreds of millions of perfectly responsible business owners and employees are also suffering from this slump. That’s the reason we have a shortage of demand. That’s the reason no one is hiring. 

Even worse: People who are underwater on their mortgage, but who do not want to default, cannot move to where the jobs are either. They are stuck with their home.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Missed Opportunity

It is 10:55am. Outside your door which officially opens at 11:00am are an elderly women and her daughter. They have frequented your cafe before, you recognize their face. The sun and the humidity are beating down on them. They knock on your door.

A) do you show them your wrist watch and point at the time?

B) Walk over and tell them that you can not let them in because it is 5 minutes until the time you open

C)  Walk over, let them in and tell them that they can stay inside where it is cool, however you will not be able to serve them.

D)  Serve them!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Aspirational v reality

Dave Logan has a great insight into struggle

Connecting these two worlds is not actually that hard (more on that in a moment), but these worlds require such different skills and thinking that often people are good at inhabiting one but not the other. In fact, people usually think their preferred world is better.  Most visionary leaders, masters of the aspirational realm, can’t think about a profit-and-loss statement.  Scientists, engineers, and accountants-people who live in the world of reality-think most visions, values, and mission statements are a complete waste of time.

Before I explain how you create this kind of bridge, it’s important to grasp the difference between the aspirational world and the ‘real’ one. ” In the aspirational world, the more you give things away, the more you have.  The lingua franca of this world are ideas and emotions–hope, pride, esteem. Candidate Obama has masterfully dealt in the aspirational world, creating and growing the aspirations of hope and change.

The other world is “reality,” and it is composed of finite resources that cannot be manufactured, like oil, gold, money and time.  Give away some of your time, or money, and you have less time or money.  Perhaps someday, technology will be able to make these things, but for now, there’s only so much of them.  When they’re gone, they’re gone.


Getting back to Obama, he can follow these three steps by first rebooting his hope and change engine.  It’ll be harder this time, because people feel let down.  But even with a small glimmer of optimism, he can then focus us all on real-world accomplishments that are measureable.  The truth is that jobs, money, innovation, and wealth sit on the border between aspirations and reality, not unlike microchips and buildings at USC.  Focus purely on reality, and they look unmovable.  Look just at aspirations and people get excited and then crushed. The aspirations-reality-aspirations cycle described in this blog post can produce jobs, income, and wealth on a level our country has never seen.

Toward more specialized skills and greater interdependence

Nicholas Carr has an interesting prospective here 

Skills are gained through effort.
Automation relieves effort.
There's always a tradeoff, but because the relief comes immediately whereas the loss of skills manifests itself slowly, we rarely question the pursuit of ever greater degrees of automation.

Taken further specialization of labor does lead to individuals or nation states for that matter being totally interdependent on everyone else for survival. Is that not the goal though? How do we balance the control we cede to machines to the advantage of having less drudgery in our work or lives?

Summer lease has all to short a date.

“Every man makes his own summer. The season has no character of its own
adventures are what make a summer.” Robertson Davies

How did this happen. Only a moment ago we were enjoying the Memorial Day parade and feeling excited about the start of Summer. Now the leaves are already beginning their annual colorful dance, youth's are opening schoolbooks and hopefully their minds and footballs spiral across late summer skies. 

It would be very good to remember that adventure is what makes summer and never lose that sense of wonder.


Success in any endeavor requires engagement and relationships with others. One of the primary factors which helps those interactions is Likeability.

Martin Zwilling highlights a new book by Michele Tills Lederman
  1. Be your authentic self. Don’t try to be someone that you are not. Other people quickly see through this façade, and lose respect. Find the good in difficult situations or personalities. Work on improving the real you, rather than building a better façade.
  2. You have to like yourself first. Don’t expect others to like you if you have a bad self-image. Practice positive self-talk using genuine accomplishments to pave the way for authentic productivity and success. Absorb the new approach and make it real.
  3. Perception is reality. How you perceive others is your reality about them, and the same is true for them of you. It is far easier to make a good first impression than to change a bad one. Likability is leaving people with positive perceptions.
  4. Exude energy in all your actions. What you give off is what you get back, and your own output can energize other people or deflate them. Channel your authentic energy to be genuine and likable, even when faced with difficulties and challenges.
  5. Curiosity never killed a conversation. Showing genuine curiosity about a person’s job, life, interests, opinions, or needs is the best way to start a conversation, keep it going, and make you likable. Check for matching needs for help rather than demanding help.
  6. Practice listening to understand. If you want others to understand and like you, you have to understand them by truly listening to what they are communicating. Don’t forget that good listening is done with you eyes and other body language, as well as your ears.
  7. Show people how you are like them. Look for common interests and backgrounds, shared experiences and beliefs, to find similarities that can help you build connections with other people. People like people who are like them.
  8. Create positive mood memories for other people. People are more apt to remember how you made them feel than what you said. It’s hard to be likeable when you intimidate people, practice insensitivity, or otherwise make them feel uncomfortable.
  9. Stay in touch and remember connections. Showing genuine curiosity about a person’s job, life, interests, opinions, or needs is the best way to start a conversation, keep it going, and make you likable. Stay in someone’s mind to make them comfortable.
  10. Give something without expecting a return. There are countless ways to give freely to others, including making introductions, sharing resources, doing favors, and giving advice. What goes around comes around.
  11. Have patience, don’t expect benefits from every contact. Likeable people don’t demand value from every interaction. Stay open to the possibility that results may take time, and come in ways not obvious today.