Andy on Twitter

Archive for February, 2013

  • Learned

Roberts, Hunter Valley

I’m going to start crafting reviews again with Avery simple premise: brutal honesty.

Dining out in Australia is expensive. The service is universally poor to average. And generally the attention to detail missing. I’m not talking about your run of the mill local diner here. I’m talking about places with $20 starters, $35-40 mains and wine lists with extreme inflation and little elasticity. I’m talking about $120 to $150 min per person.

It’s also critical I think to rate relative to other establishments in its class and the overall service promise. In short, you should be getting what you are paying for an then some.

Roberts is in the Hunter Valley – it’s the opposite of the modernist dining scene and one such place. More River cottage with a modern menu. It’s quick to market itself as the high-end of the high-end. The food is good. Not great. Just good. And with flaws.

My ocean sea trout was full of bones. A Pea Velouté lacked enough soup or seasoning. The soufflé was clearly pre-made and dry as a bone – the chocolate burnt. The macaroons equally stale.

Service errors abounded. No sparkling water – they’d sold out. What? They had three Sav Blancs on the menu – the most economical of which was sold out at $50 a bottle leaving its two neighbors at $80 and $105. I don’t mind tap water, but filter it. Don’t forget the vegetables due with the mains. Or the post dinner tea. Bring a spoon with Velouté.

They kindly offered complimentary deserts to make up for a messy meal service and the lost veges — but barely got that right. 

Basic stuff. Such expectation is created by the restauranteur. It’s time the people delivering the service and cooking the food closed the gap.

Earlier in the day we enjoyed lunch at The Verandah – enjoyable tapas and creative cooking. Great stopping-off point if you are out and about in the Valley.

Cafe Enzo proved great for breakfast. Terrific breakfast board and creative twists – cheeses and pesto, for instance. Campos coffee – Yum. Good service. What’s not to like. $130 for four was a bit steep but we did get lots and it was well presented.

Roberts: Fine Dining: 2.5 out of 5

The Verandah: Brasserie: 3.5 out of 5

Cafe Enzo: Cafe: 4 out of 5

  • Connect

What’s an iPad

Lets be clear. PCs are not iPads. iPads are not PCs. iPads are not TVs. TVs are not iPads. Smartphones are not iPads. iPads are not smartphones.

So why do people get them confused? Simply they assume one is canabilzing the other so they are the same. I’ve yet to meet a single person, A SINGLE PERSON, that doesn’t have a PC running somewhere. Many are planning to upgrade or change their PC. Truth is, I would expect to see PCs and iPads roughly equal in shipments.

Funny thing is, I’ve chatted to plenty of people that watch and read more on their iPad and as a result aren’t investing in new TVs, home phones, books etc. That seems too hard to analyze and talk about so the PC gets a good lod fashioned analyst bashing.

They are wrong. PC are sales aren’t suffering as a result of the iPad. They are suffering because of:

  1. Lousy design innovation
  2. Poor customer experience
  3. Lousy connectivity and networking
  4. The Microsoft / Intel duopoly funding the industry has come unstuck
  5. Neither Microsoft or Intel have sufficiently innovated
  6. Lack of new and compelling apps driving upgrades

Where this isn’t happening – PC gaming for instance — the market is vibrant. I’m banking on the PC industry waking up, throwing out a generation of product line management that got it wrong and blazing a new path. That might be asking too much.

  • Loved

Pretty Funny

  • Loved

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

First it was the new Mailbox app with their silly counter that will one day tell you when you can use the product. Now it is Tempoai with their daft calendar app that you download only to be told they aren’t taking new accounts right now.

Really?

To Apple, stop the idiocy and take them out of the store. Why let your customers download products they can’t use. We actually pay for bandwidth. In Australia, we REALLY pay for bandwidth.

Imagine going to Amazon, downloading a book. Being greeted with blank pages and a message saying “due to the complexity of writing a book we will be releasing it one word at a time – we would hate for the book to crash”… or, sorry, “we aren’t accepting new readers right now”.

OMG, what a great idea… I get the analogy doesn’t work totally but you get the idea. Free doesn’t actually mean free to the user. Wake up developers. You are wasting the scarecist resource on earth. Attention.

  • Loved

Why Having a Social Channel Matters

Ever wondered why you need a blog? A twitter feed? A community to spread the news via links and reposts?

Well, look no futher than the Tesla vs. NYTimes scrap. Who knows who is right or who is wrong. But what is important is they both have the power to tell their story. Power comes from two sources.

First, reach. Tesla’s CEO – Elon Musk – has more than 130,000 Twitter followers. NYTimes clearly has many. There is a difference between power and truth. The NYTimes no longer exclusively represents “truth”. That right is now with us. As Dan says, the balance of power has shifted

Second, and more importantly, is authenticity. Any business needs to build a capability to communicate authentically (read, without PR drivel and corporate speak).  And Tesla is doing it well. 

Beneath this is a broader and critical implication for all of us in business. How we listen has changed. Once you’d graze the NYTimes and pass the news on at the cooler. Now the news unfolds dynmically in our feeds and aggregators – every story lives in a way that is so much more dynamic than anything we have ever seen.

Brands are now not just publishers byt drivers of the news dynamic. They get to nudge the story along, set it on fire – sometimes, they get to kill it dead. They might not be telling the truth, but they have the power to tell their story — or at least their side of it — like never before. Is your brand ready?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
almaty-kazakhstan-region-landscapes-1
The Daily Lark-11
The Daily Lark-5
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Indulgences-Coffee