Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting better all the time

I'm a perpetual student. Although I haven't studied full time for a while, I try and learn from people I am around - in a work and social context. It means that I sometimes find myself deconstructing situations - "how did my wife manage to get us a discount there?" - in an effort to figure out better how things work.

A rich source of learning is my colleagues. I am lucky enough to have worked with a wide variety of very smart and interesting people. One guy in particular springs to mind. He was a fellow consultant in London, had put himself through business school by working as a motorbike courier, and always kept an eye open for the next opportunity. Every time he was in a visible situation, such as presenting to a client, he corner someone whose opinion he valued and ask one question: "three good things; three bad things" - about what he had just done. It's a great question because it forces you to think about his work, and it pushes you into a balanced reply.

Come to think of it, he was probably using it to teach me as much as to learn about himself. Devious bugger.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Red red wine

Here's an idea. Being an enthusiastic iPhone owner, and also an enthusiastic wine drinker, although more of a gourmand than a gourmet, I was musing yesterday on how to combine the two. When touring the winelands around Cape Town, wouldn't it be useful to have an app on the phone that would guide you to them? It would make use of the GPS functionality, knowing where you are and where the wineries are, and it would be able to mark ones that you had previously identified. You could perhaps filter your results by those with highly rated wines, or child friendly facilities, and make notes on the wineries as you went.

All of the data already exists in the exhaustingly comprehensive Platter guide - even the latitude & longitude of the wineries. Combine this with user generated ratings and comments, and winery generated additional information, such as pricing, and you've surely got a winner. If they don't do it, somebody else will, surely. Just remember to cut me in on the action - in wine if you like.