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Oct 10, 2011

10 Steve Jobs-style lessons for the restaurant industry

I really wasn't going to write about Steve Jobs again, but this article from FastCasual, an online pub for the restaurant industry, is just too clever to pass up. Written by Alicia Kelso, it offers 10 tips for restaurant owners based on Jobs' life and work:
  1. The customer-user experience trumps everything else.
  2. Keep the brand simple and contemporary.
  3. Get inspired by the small things.
  4. Embrace technology.
  5. Innovate past failure.
  6. Anticipate trends.
  7. Business is more than the bottom line.
  8. No man or woman is an island.
  9. Employees reflect the brand.
  10. Keep it in perspective.
 Read the article for yourself


Steve Jobs, a new book by Walter Isaacson (CEO of the Aspen Institute and former chairman of CNN), will be released on October 24. Order it in advance on Amazon for $17.88.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

Oct 7, 2011

Steve Jobs narrates "The Crazy Ones"

Not food, not wine, not travel.

Today it's just a simple video. A 1972 Apple commercial that never aired, it's narrated by Steve Jobs.

If you're one of the world's Creatives and sometimes feel out of step, you'll get the message.

Oct 4, 2011

Preserving California's ancient vineyards

Dino Amantite of Sonoma County's Pagani Ranch, kneels beside a vine planted in the 1880s.

 This past Sunday, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat ran a feature story by me entitled Preserving Vines of Yesteryear.

California's Napa and Sonoma counties are home to many historic vineyards. Some—such as Sonoma Valley's Bedrock Vineyard, Pagani Ranch, and Old Hill Ranch—were first planted in the 1880s. Ancient vineyards such as these not only tend to produce grapes of great intensity, concentration and flavor, but also harbor rare and even near-extinct grape varieties.

However, the economics of wine today are contributing to the gradual disappearance of these heritage vineyards. Like other commodities, wines move in and out of fashion. When a hot new varietal comes along, these historic vineyards are sometimes replaced by the more profitable grape.

In the article I discuss the work of a new organization, the Historic Vineyard Society, which is working to keep these slowly-dwindling ancient vineyards intact.

Here's a link to my article.