Mathias Brandewinder on .NET, F#, VSTO and Excel development, and quantitative analysis / machine learning.
by Mathias 26. January 2008 13:54
The next Bay.Net education day is now officially announced! It will take place on February 16th, 2008, from 9am to 4pm, and will be hosted in the OakRoom at HP in Cupertino; for a tiny registration of $35, Lynn Langit, Microsoft Evangelist, will be telling you everything you need to know about SharePoint, and probably even a bit more. Judging by what I know from Lynn, it should be a top-notch, fun, and high-energy session. Hope to see you there! Did I mention that I was involved with the organization? :)
by Mathias 25. January 2008 18:41

The first American season of “Kitchen Nightmares” aired its final episode on Fox a few weeks back. The show follows a simple recipe: in each episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay is called in by the owner of a fledging restaurant, and has one week to put it back on track. The formula makes for great TV: take a group of people nearing bankruptcy, throw in a guy with a strong personality who doesn’t mince his words, and let him explain to them what they are doing wrong. The result is a high-intensity series, filled with emotion and drama – and I got immediately hooked up.

I spent quite some time catching up with the entire season, and after a little, I realized that my interest had shifted. I still enjoyed the high-octane exchanges, but I grew fascinated by the predictability of each episode. The restaurants Ramsay helps out come in all tastes and flavors: an Irish pub owned by a retired cop in upstate New York, an Indian restaurant in Manhattan, a pizzeria in Hollywood, an upscale Napa valley restaurant run by a French chef… And yet, in spite of all their obvious differences, each episode unfolds in a familiar sequence, making “Kitchen Nightmares” an amazing case study in business management. Observing one person in the process of rescuing a business small enough that you can understand how things fit together is already a great learning opportunity; but seeing the same person doing it over and over again is like a perfect lab in management, an experiment allowing comparisons for similarities and differences; so I began to look at the show from that perspective, looking for patterns and wondering if there were lessons to be learnt, applicable beyond the restaurant business.More...

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