I remember when the internet opened up for the public, and I wondered when I would be able to take the laptop, work, and connect to the rest of the planet. I couldn’t afford a T-1 line into my house, but I think I was one of the first ISDN line people in northern Virginia. I had to do a distance test to the node in Maryland to make sure I would not be charged data rates in addition to the standard charge.
At 6 am, when my ex-wife would leave for work I would go to the local Starbucks and brainstorm away till about 8:30-9 am, when my mind would tend to run out of energy on focused thinking. If I recall, a few other nerds and got the manager in trouble installing a computer because their corporate and regional managers didn’t have a clue what the internet was. Bob Pittman was the CEO of AOL at the time and would sometimes walk in for his coffee.
What made brainstorming in a coffee shop delightful is that while many of the men would come in and read their beloved newspaper, you had interaction with humanity that occurs at a level that is far greater than people staring into their mobiles today. We were working on massive immersive audiovisual shows that people could go to, and I marvel at how low the bar is set for people to enjoy audio/visual quality these days with a phone and bad earbuds.
I should drive a bit further to go to the local coffee shops and there is an interesting church coffee shop in town that has a great set up to sit, read, write, think, and work – but I am trying to get a mind map out for a friend about an idea he has that might have some legs.
But I am not inspired by the local Starbucks. I wonder if the disconnect between the top echelons of management and the local stores has gotten too large? you can see where the designers and continuity folks are missing the mark with losing continuity inside the store with too many revisions and reworks in “I am a new executive, we need to do new things!”
I think I just answered the problem with Starbucks. They merely are forgetting their fundamentals. Even their customer greeting script at the cash register comes across as scripted and conflict between moving quickly and trying to be personable. It also could be my past with merchandising shows. You had a small window of opportunity to make money, and speed was your greatest ally.
What I see coming to Starbucks is a bunch of robot making drinks and an app driven store where it is like those $1 a slice pizza shops in NYC where you order, walk in, and go. either Starbucks will install tables with only one chair, or they will remove them altogether to maximize profits. We are trending to create a few giant mega-organizations again. do they really benefit humans becoming more humane?
Today’s younger worker comes from a different time and place with work? I look at the change in a sport with coaches and players today and see how the game has changed. It is American football, and it is inherently a violent sport. When I watch the game today, It looks more like they should just put everyone in bigger padded cages, and they cannot get hurt.
Basically, that day will come in the future when the robots will evolve to be like formula 1 teams, except they will try to destroy each other with a sort of robotic blood lust of sorts. I am sure the people who invented the chariot races at circus Maximus will be smiling in heaven.
in our world of complexity and the amazing tools, we have for communication and such – perhaps we are simply forgetting the fundamentals of being human?
maybe that is what I should have written about?