The restaurant story

Since I told my favorite story, “The Restaurant Story”, twice in the past few days  I figured I should write about it here. I posted it back in May of 2010 while I was still at my old company, clevermethod (here it is – ignore that it says Doug posted it, all my old posts were changed to his name when I left).  I’m just going to re-post it here with a few minor edits.

Mark Yellen, was the owner of a company,, that was a client of ours back in the day. He passed away in 2010 and that was what inspired my blog past back then. In the early days of cm he told Matt, Doug, and I, a story, a parable really, that I’ve shared numerous times over the years.  After hearing of Mark’s passing I felt I should relay the story, though I know I don’t do as good a job of telling it as he did.

Here it goes:

It’s the story of one of my favorite restaurants that I go to all the time.  The food and the service are great and it’s always packed.  Shortly after it opened it was always so busy that there would  be a line out the door.   It’s a tiny restaurant with not much seating, and the most popular seats in the house are at the bar where the owner would cook/prepare food right in front of you and chat.   Every time I would go there I kept waiting to see them knock down a wall so they could expand into the area next to them.   But you know what the owner did instead?  He raised the prices a little.  And the line out the door got a little shorter.   So he raised the prices again.  The line got a little shorter.  So he raised the prices again.  Now there’s no line, but the place is always packed.  I think most people’s first instinct, like mine was, would be to expand the restaurant to add more seating to accommodate more people and to make more money.  But to do that costs a lot of money, and adds more staff and overhead, and potential for headaches, and there’s risk involved.  Instead, by raising the prices, he increased his margin and actually made that much more money (since no expenses were added) not to mention with less stress and headaches.  He was also able to talk with and get to know many of his customers since he had the personal interaction with those sitting at the bar.  This is partly what made so many of the customers so loyal and regulars.

Mark told it to us because it can apply to service based businesses too – instead of adding employees to be able to do more work, the other option is to keep a small team and raise your rates and do less projects.

A little overwhelmed

Wow, so much for posting every day. Ok, so I’m new at this. Perhaps I was too ambitious? I originally wanted to post every day, then I settled on practically every day.  And this post marks the first post in 2 weeks.

I feel very overwhelmed right now with things I need to do. When that happens I tend to get nothing done which obviously just makes it worse.  I’ve been getting more emails in a day than I can respond to, so they just pile up. I either respond to an email immediately/within an hour OR it could take days or weeks or months!

So, I’m trying a new thing that I’m starting today. I’m making a big list of things I need to do. I’m just using a text file that’s in Dropbox and I’m using PlainText – a simple iphone app that connects to Dropbox to show text files – so changes on my computer or app are synched up.

I figure if I can check off more things in a day than I add to the list then eventually I will get to a blank list.

Another thing I’ve considered is only checking email at certain times of the day. We’ll see how this to do list thing goes first.

Best albums of 2013

I tend to do this every year – look back at the albums released that year to make sure I didn’t miss any and to reflect on my favorite albums of the year. I looked at Rolling Stones’ 50 Best Albums of 2013 and SPIN’s 50 Best Albums of 2013 but really just went through the list myself from Wikipedia – List of 2013 Albums.  And, here are my top 5* albums of 2013(not necessarily in any particular order): Continue reading

But I like it, why don’t you?

So the other night I convinced Katie to watch a movie. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorite movies or anything, but I definitely like(d) it and recite more than a few lines from it from time to time. I like the music in the film, the cinematography, and it was shot in Buffalo so it’s fun to see different parts of the city in the film. I thought she would like it.  She hated it. HATED IT. We didn’t even finish it (although I think I might, even though I’ve seen it a handful of times). Continue reading


I’ve been working on the web since 1995 when I made my first web page. I remember it  well – I was in the Air Force then and used my Sun SPARCstation 5. I had links to my favorite bands, Smashing Pumpkins and The Sisters of Mercy. The rest was just testing out different html tags.

Continue reading