Links of October 20, 2004

As usual, a couple links that I want to share.

  • I really liked this San Francisco chronicle article describing Laura Cunningham, the manager of the French Laundry. In the account of my visit, I raved about the experience, and how everything was tuned so well for customer enjoyment. It turns out that Cunningham has trained her staff in every aspect of making sure a customer has a good experience, from choreographing their movements with the help of a professional dance coach, to teaching them how to impart their knowledge to diners in a non-condescending way. She has apparently spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the whole experience beyond the food as amazing as possible, and it definitely shows.
  • Mitch Kapor is a well-known internet activist. He was one of the founders of Lotus, and then went on to found the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a great organization dedicated to preserving our liberties online. He has continued to take an interest in online organizations, contributing to organizations like Baobabs and CivicSpace. I read this Alternet article about Kapor’s site Of, by and for, where he’s attempting to open up a political dialogue about self-governance and democracy. Interesting idea – I like his take on things in the Alternet interview. The site itself doesn’t do a lot for me yet, although I liked this reference to Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Address, which is a powerful speech.