I like this concept. I could see people doing this because the start up is low. At first glance it doesn’t seem to be a problem about being a viable business model. The question to me seems to be is it profitable enough to warrant a full-time business. The example given of the 20-day-per-year model suggests it’s not a full-time venture… unless it takes that long to prepare for the event. Perhaps it is a full time venture and they make enough off of it each time that it really works.
But even if it isn’t full time, if there are restaurants willing to be used in this fashion, or just places where food can be prepped can be found, then those places could become known for certain types of dishes and a Yelp style rating could be developed. (Thinking off the top of my head here.) That would be the restaurant api. But in this case it would be very concrete things (no abstract classes or object inheritance here). Oven is good for baking. Sinks too small to work with. Floor space good and flexible. Everything you wish could me is on a cart so you can move it where you want. Etc.
So the idea sounds cool enough and would lower the barrier to entry for new cooks looking to make their mark. In fact what it would be doing is sort of how software tools became cheap enough for average folks to get their hands on things and make something to be noticed. That’s how I got into software development. I used FlashDevelop to do development for a simple MXML app using a remote datasource provided by amfphp. All free stuff. I happened to send it by the API provider as a “hey I put this together and thought I’d show you” and ended up working for them for a year. 😛 (And learned AS3, bought FlexBuilder 2, got into Eclipse and that whole world and…) I could see the same happening for folks using time-share restaurants.
Speaking with one of my neighbors here in Crested Butte, she started talking about wanting to create a restaurant, which is a tricky business at best and even harder in a resort town with its ebbs and flows and off-seasons.
I mentioned the example given in Seth Godin’s book Tribes, about a restaurant in New York that is only open 20 days a year, on selected Saturdays. You find out and sign up via the web, and they have a full house every time. Because they don’t have to worry about being open at the whim of walk-in customers, they can spend all their time focusing on food rather than being constantly distracted by day-to-day management of a storefront.
We wondered if a restaurant space, or even just a commercial kitchen and searching for spaces that could be used in a guerrilla fashion, could be a viable model. Working with a number of different kitchen users becomes much more practical via the web.
Well not exactly. But building something and hoping it scales to massive numbers to be funded by advertising is not the big game plan as much any more… or at least it’s changing. Anyway, I just wanted to keep tabs on Hank’s site. Good stuff there.
Why does everything suck?: Web Meets World (a.k.a. Web Meets Money)
The last five or six years have been all about community, “social media” and other related types of communications. That era has ended and the next phase of the Web will be about *real* productivity. That means products that make you more efficient, and more effective. It means software that saves you money or makes you money. And yes, we are really going to have to start paying for the good stuff.
I don’t know if it was ever popular in the US. In Asia haggling is standard as it is in many countries. But even in the US it’s getting more popular. Do your research on price first and it can help. As long as you’re not asking for a ridiculous price it might help you save from time to time.
Even at Megastores, Hagglers Find No Price Is Set in Stone – New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — Shoppers are discovering an upside to the down
economy. They are getting price breaks by reviving an age-old retail
A bargaining culture once confined largely to car showrooms and jewelry stores is taking root in major stores like Best Buy, Circuit City and Home Depot, as well as mom-and-pop operations.
consumers, empowered by the Internet and encouraged by a slowing
economy, are finding that they can dicker on prices, not just on
clearance items or big-ticket products like televisions but also on
lower-cost goods like cameras, audio speakers, couches, rugs and even
The change is not particularly overt, and most store
policies on bargaining are informal. Some major retailers, however, are
quietly telling their salespeople that negotiating is acceptable.
Yeah it doesn’t make sense… or does it? How do you get the benefits of review without having that review partner right there? Not easy. This is part of the struggle for many developers who work in a remote office alone. The discussion is good. Oh… back to work!
Extreme Programming For One
A lone software developer is working on several small to medium scale
projects. He needs to increase his productivity and resilience. While
his management are amicable and approachable, they tend to frown on
“over-designing” a system, since it is “liable to change in the future
This programmer has been using patterns with Java for a while,
but he has no techie colleagues to pair with, and very limited contact
with the end users. Requirements tend to “appear” at any time. The
management seem to accept that and the resultant geometric increase in
effort needed to add to and maintain the design/code.
Can XP help?
More fun 2007 predictions: widgets – mobile data – social media marketing
2007 Predictions, Round Two – Mashable!:
The predictions for 2007 just keep on coming today, with our blog tag game still bouncing around the blogosphere. Some ideas seem to be coming up repeatedly – widgets, the mobile web, social media marketing – while others are more diverse. A round up of the latest insights…
Just how many major widget platforms are there right now?
EContentMag.com: Six Apart Launches Open Widget Platform:
Six Apart, a provider of blogging software and services for individuals and businesses, has launched a new, open widget initiative to expand choice and functionality for TypePad subscribers and readers. Thirty-three widgets are ready that put new interactive features into blogs, such as job searching, game playing, weather tracking, and photo sharing.