Saturday, September 19, 2009


I just used my laptop for some full-on WiFi access in Coffee Exchange. Much like their coffee, Coffee Exchange is a case study in how to do shit correctly.

The place was packed with people on laptops inside and out. At least a dozen, not including me. The connection was quick and fast. Page to page reaction was measured in tenths of a second, and the connection was fast enough to stream YouTube videos with aplomb. All of this without some inane portal page through which I must "sign in."

Now compare this to Barnes & Noble or Panera Bread, where I have to sign in, which sometimes doesn't work (or in PB's case, NEVER works on my cell phone), and even after that the connection is laggy, and slower than leap-year-old molasses. It's useful for checking e-mail and that's about it.

My experiences at Panera and its ilk further prove that the big guys seriously don't get it. They know how to be a big franchise and apply exacting quality control over a massive empire, but are completely unable to reach beyond that. I can only assume it's because by the time the big guys become big, they've been taken over by suits, armed with MBA's, and applying all the little nuggets they learned from those thick things called books.

This compliment goes to other places as well, including Brewed Awakenings and Blue State Coffee. Many if not most of the small guys know how to do service right, as opposed to trying to hawk over-branded garbage for ridiculous prices.

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