Month: May 2008

Government 2.0 vs. Tom Davenport 0.2

My friend Marco called me up scared of what Internet visionary Don Tapscott had said on Tuesday’s Talk of the Nation. Tapscott foresees a day when technology makes government—such as spending—directly accessible to the masses.

“Do you realize,” Marco said, “that all this Government 2.0 stuff, where just anyone could see where the money’s going and stuff like that, could make business really difficult for me?”

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BI haiku

“Eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables.” That’s Michael Pollan’s haiku-like dictum for eating. Let’s have some faux haiku, or senryū, to describe business intelligence, defined broadly. That could take lifetimes to ponder, or at least a couple of fiscal quarters.

First, we must bow to the ancestors. The eldest and most revered is Charlie Varon, who with unknown accomplices enriched the world with haiku error messages. A more recent ancestor is Juice Analytics. Compared with them, we are but pale shadows.

So far, here’s what I have:

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How to pick a restaurant: the clean-door test

Rules of Thumb is a fine website for those of use who enjoy proxy metrics, the things you use to judge when you can’t judge the real thing.

Picking a restaurant is an obsession on the site. One rule of its many rules is attributed to CBS’s Andy Rooney, who suggests you avoid cute names because owners aren’t serious about food. Other users believe that newspaper reviews in the window signal a restaurant that’s neither too bad nor too snooty. Still others believe a “high class” joint is good. The smartest one, though, says you should look first at the restroom.

There is a better way. My ex-wife managed restuarants for 22 years and knows the game. Put her anywhere in the world and the odds are 10 to 1 she’ll pick a good restaurant.

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