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Showing posts from 2016

Confessions of a Closet Luddite Warning: this might be my most depressing post.  Technology change has sped up recently, and I long to turn back the clock from our "always-on" connection to phones and the Internet. ************************************************************************************ Disclaimer: All of the ideas expressed in this article are my personal statements and opinions, and do not reflect the opinions/statements of the City of Urbana. ************************************************************************************ Let me be the first to note the irony (hypocrisy?) of an IT Director who claims to be a Luddite. How can I oppose technology when that same technology pays my salary? My response is "computers are not a passion for me; they’re a tool." ( Footnote #1 ) As the IT Director, my job is to help the City make the most of these tools for a reasonable cost. Actually, one of the most important parts

Boy Was I Wrong About That One

Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love "The Room”  This is a story about listening to your customers, and being open to suggestions.  It’s also a story with gratuitous nudity, an underdog victory, and an alcoholic drink called the "Scotchka".  This post’s got something for everyone, including bar charts and movie clips. PROLOGUE In the summer of 2010, I was six months into operating a movie theater. As an “Art House” theater, we showed limited release films, which also meant limited profits. To increase revenues, I had introduced Late Night movies, and experimented with various genres. Overall, I had not had much success. As the first chart shows, a number of them actually lost money! Why was I losing money? Many of these were films where I said “I like this movie. I want people to see this movie. And dammit, I have a movie theater and I can play what I want!” But I was not enticing customers, because I was selecting movies b