Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dear Mc. Donalds

I know, you were once admired globally as a model of organizational efficiency, but we have both evolved since then.

I've been in your place for nearly 20 minutes now.  I ordered a large soft drink because I felt some remorse about coming into your place and using the free wi fi. I paid my dollar, and your underpaid worker behind the counter disappeared without giving me my cup.  I had to wait until someone else made it to the front, which took about five minutes.

Since that time, until now, the alarms in the back that say "you're behind on hash browns" have been going off nonstop. The crew, in the meantime, has been  standing around giggling. There were lines at the registers, and literally, no cashiers in place to take orders.

You are what you are.  We have all evolved..


Monday, January 23, 2017

Tesla Cars To Have ‘Major Revisions’ Every 12-18 Months

Link to Full Article


Traditional car companies generally offer incremental improvements in the next-in-line version of an existing car. For example, while Ford has been incrementally improving its Mustang since 1963, the car still espouses a design philosophy similar to the original.

According to Musk’s tweets, there are unlikely to be any retrofits — i.e. your old Tesla car’s hardware would not be upgraded to make it come to par with the new version of the car, even if you are willing to pay for the same.

Here's the real sticking point: These auto companies, and auto component manufacturers, use long lived platforms as a way to spread design costs out over time, and also, to do the long term validation work that it takes to not produce rolling piles of unsafe junk.

We will see what happens.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Root Causes of Anything

I'm working on a book about failure. My motto of the moment is: One person's failure is another person's revenue stream.

I found this chart in a presentation "Human Factors in Aviation" which is a summary of 86 aircraft disasters in North America by David J. Taylor

Complete Article

Causes/ major contributory factor
% of accidents in which this was a factor                   
Pilot deviated from basic operational procedures
Inadequate cross-check by second crew member
Design faults
Maintenance and inspection deficiencies
Absence of approach guidance
Captain ignored crew inputs                                     
Air traffic control failures or errors                  
Improper crew response during abnormal conditions
Insufficient or incorrect weather information
Runway hazards
Air traffic control/crew communication deficiencies
Improper decision to land

So is it not clear that these can be grouped into five groups? Human, Procedural, Mechanical, and Environmental, with a side order of Detection Issues?

And of all of these do they not boil down to human, at some point?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dear Marriott Corp

I tried to make a $500 reservation at your place a moment ago.

When I entered my email into your reservation app, I got an error message because I did not remember my password  because evidently I signed up for your Rewards program at some point. You would have probably made me change my password anyway.

Your app said that you would email my password... But that didn't happen.

So I basically was stuck.  No password.  No way to make a reservation.

I called the 800 number listed on the app. The automated attendant couldn't understand my problem. I asked 10 times  for an operator. The attendant couldn't understand that either. Finally the automated attendant said " let me transfer you to an operator". Guess what? Office closed.  No operator.

Each one of these system failures got me just a little more frustrated.

So guess what? I got reservations at the Hilton.

So you spend millions on advertising, have some nice hotels and do maintenance so people will stay in them, people like me who pay the business rate...

I have my credit card ready to give you money...

And your terrible app cost you the sale.

Now we all know that for every customer that complains, 10 more have the problem and say nothing... So I am ready to say that your screwed up app is costing you $5000 a day and you don't realize it.

Let me know if you need some help solving this organizational efficiency problem.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dear Henry Ford

Thanks for having us over for fireworks the other night. I have to say that Greenfield Village is quite pleasant and you must have been proud of it.

I have to think that you, the patron saint of Organizational Efficiency would have done a 360 in the grave at the exit plan.  5000 people trying to get through a 6 foot opening in the dark while stumbling over railroad tracks was just a bit dangerous, not to mention inefficient.

You were not the patron saint of customer satisfaction though so maybe it is understandable, in an ironic way.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dear Jimmy Johns

I walked into your place in Chattanooga about a month ago. I was looking for a cool, quiet place to get out of the noise of 1000 motorcyclists gathering on the street directly in front of your place. This was at about 7:30 on a Friday night I guess.

Your enlightened managers chose at that moment to move the furniture away from the wall to do cleaning. The entire crew was dragging furniture across the store floor and it was actually noisier than the motorcycles.

The irony is, with this huge crowd out front, you should have been doing everything you could to get people INTO the store. Instead, you were indifferent to customers and internally focused in the face of a potential huge opportunity with a hungry crowd outside.

Good luck keeping the doors open.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dear Peoria

I tried to like you. We have a lot in common. River,  industrial, the Drake/Bradley thing, and someone over there is trying to make some kind of alcohol, and it smelled pleasant and yeasty.

At Drake, they taught us that the public spaces in a place tell you a lot about the community. In your case, the public spaces are screaming "Zombie Apocalypse Stay Away. This is our bunker and we are not letting you in".

Here are some photos. Your arena, your new ballpark and the corporate HQ of your biggest employer are all sending exactly the same message. The lone building that was not bricked up or walled over or set up like a fortress was your little old train station, and that was the lone place I saw where there was a pleasant gathering of people. This was all in the most-public-facing one mile area of your town.

It seems like you should be more hopeful.