Posts from April 2008

Tribute to 1968? Under the cobblestones, Jewels: Le Pavé dinh van

Sous les paves, l'argent!

Celebrations or should we call it commemorations of May 1968 come in many forms.

French jeweler Jean Dinh Van decided to bring back to life Le Pave dinh van, a pendant which he originally offered during the events of 1968.

The large version can also be used as a ring.

Did anyone turn the barricades into a fashion accessory?

Related: Nostalgia Circa 1978, Rock Against Racism 30th Anniversary Concert, Sunday April 27, London

'Subject to Change' How To Book on Creating Great Products and Services

Since I spent time sharing consumer misfire experiences I had with ATT Wireless, Comcast and Krups and better to great ones with Comcast, Reynolds EZ Slide, Breville and J and R World, I have to mention a little book from the people at Adaptive Path.

The opus in question titled Subject to Change (O Reilly) is a How To on 'creating great products and services for an uncertain world'.


Amongst things they offer that I agree with whole heartedly, here's a few:  "All that matters to customers is their experience" and "We must understand people as they are rather than as market segments or demographics" plus "Stop designing products".

Get a taste of the book with a Free Chapter.

Related: 5 Ways to tick off Customers

Off the Tokyo-New York express, 'New York Art Beat' just launched

I often mention Tokyo Art Beat in my Tokyo Thursdays.
Well I found out last week that they were launching in New York.

The big apple site, New York Art Beat, actually went live on April 25th.
Olivier Thereaux, a fellow French expat introduced NY Art Beat in Newborn for New York on launch day.

Of their first offerings, Country Love showcasing Pia Dehne's take on Country Life (remember Roxy Music) caught my eye.
Her work is on exhibit at the Bespoke Gallery in Chelsea.

Even their ads lead to interesting things such as (for me) the Sepia/ Alkazi Collection. I have a keen interest in photography.

Bonne chance NY Art Beat

Related: In 'Japanamerica', Roland Kelts rides the New York-Tokyo Express

Dance, Dance, Dance, April 28 to May 25th in Birmingham (UK)

From those with a casual interest in dance to the initiated, the International Dance Festival in Birmingham (UK) serves shows, workshops and even performances in store windows.
The event started on April 28 and runs all the way to May 25th.
It brings the world to Birmingham doorsteps from Taiwan to Spain and Australia.

Their Blog offers interviews of featured artists, a window on events.

Salsa at Sunset IDFB from Martin French on Vimeo.

Cannot make it there, get a short lesson on Cuban Moves with the video above.

Related: Dance to the Latin Beat, Summer in the Baltics ends with Riga Salsa Festival

In Braille, Embossed, Bilingual, Business Cards are here to Stay!

The contents might have changed over the past 10 years.
Where there was Fax you might now find Instant Messaging or Skype info.
An e-mail address is a must, depending on how 'always on' you want to be a mobile-cell phone number will be displayed.
You might juggle various identities such as corporate and non-profit or maybe as an employee and a start up person in tandem so there might be value in having more than one card depending on what crowd you are with at a certain time.
Then there is the matter of style (embossed or not, colorful, zany) and language (add braille, or Chinese or Japanese or French to the first offer).

Thanks to Rhymer Rigby Play your cards right column (FT, April 27) for the inspiration.

Related: Your Must Have Travel Accessory in Hong Kong...Business Cards

Not Joe's Garage, It's 'Luscious' and Woman Owned, in San Francisco

Instead of walking into a dusty repair shop with tired furniture and old magazines in the waiting room, imagine an airy space decorated with plants, offering comfy seats, books and even some local artists on display.

No, it's not Joe's Garage, it's Luscious, woman owned and operated, in San Francisco.

They are Hybrid car specialists in case you wondered.

Discovered them on Springwise

A quick and to the point Green Day #26

Previous: Greek and Green: the Levendis Estate on a Ionian Island

British Name, Swiss Identity, Speaks French, Stephanie Booth presents 'Going Solo' (May 16)

She could be British for all I knew until I met Stephanie Booth at South by Southwest.

In fact she lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, speaks French fluently and being one of these so called Global Nomads decided to stage Going Solo, a one day conference directed mainly at freelancers and small business owners wondering how to fit in the new landscape.


Going Solo takes place on May 16, in Lausanne, off the shores of Lake Geneva.

If you are in Europe in or around that time, make plans to attend.

Too bad I cannot be there (unless I get sponsored).

I plan on attending the Blog Potomac on June 13 though, less travel, better exchange rate (for now at least).

Pangea Day (May 10) Movies, Music: Around the World and Online

Think local, live global.

On May 10, Pangea Day, the brainchild of Jehane Noujaim wants to (I quote) "bring the world together through film".

Why? Their answer: "In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it's easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film."

Check the How to Take Part page for live events info, tickets and more.


Locations include the Jali Gardens in Kigali, Rwanda (pictured above, from their site) which is not your usual global do gooder spot.

The global outlook reminds me of one time music label 'Pangaea' which led me to the Pangaea (or Pangea) Theory that "all present continents were once together and collectively known as a 'supercontinent' called a Pangaea. The word 'Pangaea' means 'all lands' in Greek, accurately defining the way the continents were 200 millions years ago before it split up. These split-up pieces drifted slowly apart and became the way they are today".

Are you planning your own Pangea Day local event? Ehere?

Recent do gooder events: Nostalgia Circa 1978, Rock Against Racism 30th Anniversary Concert

'American taste for Coca-Cola Sweetness' ruined Argentinian Wines says Anthony Rose

Following 90 and over ratings for a number of Argentinian labels in the Wine Spectator, umbrella organization Wines of Argentina staged a tasting at Gaucho Restaurant at the O2 in London to spread the gospel.

In his April 26 column Wine: Stars of Argentina (The Independent, UK), Anthony Rose shows no love for a number of winners of these 90 plus ratings and blames it on "a certain American predilection for coca-cola sweetness, jam, oak splinters and whopping alcohol levels in wine leaves me cold. I shudder to think what these wines will look like in five to 10 years time when their French high scoring counterparts will just be coming into their own. Overreaching itself in every department, the 'icon' also overdoes price ".

To be more specific he finds "that the depressing reality was that too many wines were caricatures. A wine called Cobos made by the much-heralded California winemaker Paul Hobbs had scored big points in The Wine Advocate. To my taste it was overoaked, jammy, sweet and alcoholic: the antithesis of what elegant malbec should be about. Drinkable with half a cow perhaps, another travesty of fine Argentinian malbec was the wine of Cuvelier Los Andes wines, with which the global superstar wine consultant, Michel Rolland, is involved. The irony is that the Cuvelier family own Château Léoville-Poyferré in Bordeaux, a model of stylish claret. Another, Bodega Benegas Lynch, presumably linked to Pauillac's Lynch Bages, punched you in the mouth with its desiccating oak and tannins".

As you can see Anthony Rose does not mince words.

Have you tried any of these?
Do you disagree?

Should wines the world over be designed to please the American palate and in the end loose their uniqueness?

Related: Love Argentina and its Wines: 'Vines of Mendoza' combines local tourism info and online wine club
and Psst...psh malbec 05...the road from Bordeaux to Mendoza

Morale is like a Garden, It needs to be Watered

Whether we are struggling with a cold, car troubles, financial headaches or people issues, all this affects our morale, our day and ultimately our work.

In his April essay Be Good, Paul Graham shows how this applies to startups and offers some recipes for success.
Some days are better than others.
How do we deal with the highs and lows and keep things in perspective?

Paul Graham suggests that feeling what we do is useful to others can sustain us through the lows.
He mentions the following: "Blogger is a famous example of a startup that went through really low lows and survived. At one point they ran out of money and everyone left. Evan Williams came in to work the next day, and there was no one but him. What kept him going? Partly that users needed him. He was hosting thousands of people's blogs. He couldn't just let the site die".

The best morale boosts are not financial ones.

In my restaurant days, the best reward I ever got was from a woman who thanked me for making her (then deceased) parents Sunday dinners a pleasant moment.

On conclusion as my title states Morale is like a Garden, It needs to be Watered.

Monday Work Etiquette #35

Related: When things go wrong, 'The Power of an Apology'