5 links - cool vs. tech, touch-screens, women, pizza, & bookstores ~ Sounds + Food 'n' Retail

Man, I collected so many links, that I'll probably have to write three updates to cover the most important ones. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's get started. You can find my previous coverage on interesting links from the web, here, and my continuous stream of bookmarks, here.

Link 1: On Magnetbox - Correlating cool with tech - With pictures like the one below, my work on this blog is really done. Interesting is the rise of computers vs. dance & hip-hop music (both of which are hugely benefiting from the cost-savings made possible by PC-based studios. (A note: low industry-barriers = high chance of suckage!). Also note the fall of art, after the colour TV was introduced. Kottke also made some comments about it.
technology cool trends correlated.jpg

(Click on picture to magnify)

Link 2: On BuzzFeed - Touch-Screen Ordering - BuzzFeed presents us with some stories about automatised ordering. There are both advantages and disadvantages, I think. Good is that it minimises errors in ordering and can interface well with back-office operations, such as ordering new supplies. It might also fit with the individualistic preference for self-service, I wrote about before. The disadvantage is the cost and the margins of error that information systems bring (I still shudder at the thought of the LAS disaster (pdf)) + the lack of the human factor. Martin Kunzelnick (German) links to some videos of Microsoft's Surface in a restaurant-environment.

Link 3: On Lightspeed Venture Partners - It is no accident that Typhoid Mary was a woman - Although it's a horrible-horrible title, and perhaps an obvious point, I've been coming across many stories about the social qualities that women possess, making them better at PR, marketing, sales, relationship-building. Something to keep in mind for any people-based business.

Link 4: On Reuters - Pizza Hut rolls out nationwide mobile ordering - A news-item (finally), and I'll probably delve into this topic sometime in the future. Arguably, Pizza Hut has been pursuing a different strategy from pretty much 98% of the pizza-restaurants out there. I'm sure that there is considerably brand-loyalty towards Pizza Hut, which will give it an advantage over delivering pizza-franchises, HOWEVER, it will probably be competing on price, which the franchise has not done so far. I'm not sure how that will affect their brand at all, but it's something to keep an eye on.

Link 5: On WSJ - Who's Buying the Bookstore? - arguably, there are few retail-outlets that evoke such an emotional response as bookstores. I find them comforting, and very similar to churches, in the way that it really is expected of you to be silent while browsing (on a side-note, I discussed a link of Dutch bookstore being opened in a church before). It's also a symbol of a community, as WSJ points out. Well, with competitive pressures from Amazon et al., these types of stores are clearly disappearing, or changing into hybrid monsters, which smaller stores can no longer compete with. WSJ points out a phenomenon related to that community-spirit, which is very touching. Capitalism isn't everything, particularly in places that target the softer pleasures in life. I'll have to reflect more on this, as I'm very attracted to these types of stores, and would love to set one up myself.

That's it, for this week. I'll see how I'll catch up on the rest of my links, but this went great (took 20 mins), and I always enjoy re-reading my bookmarks. I hope you do too.


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