Cafe Witness

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cafe Witness Moment

Returning to the roots of this blog for a moment -- back when it was a glimpse into the coffee culture of Pittsburgh, rather than a treatise on new media...

I walked to the Tazza D'Oro cafe tonight, only to realize it was the meeting place for the latest of their (seemingly irregularly-) scheduled "women's nights," for which the place is closed to non-club members (like me).

So, instead of working from home, I hopped in my car and zipped down to Crazy Mocha in the South Side Works. The trip took half an hour. Along the way, I passed a Starbucks (no free wireless), a Coffee Tree Roasters (no free wireless), a Kiva Han (janky free wireless that doesn't always work) and ANOTHER Crazy Mocha (which allows smoking), all to come here.

My point is not to prove my loyalty to Crazy Mocha (though I do like this joint).

My point is: is it so hard to give away a free wireless signal? Think of the business these cafes are missing out on from 100 other people like me, who would rather drive out of their way for the free wireless (and the good coffee, and the comfortable scenery, and the pleasant community, and the friendly baristas) than pay to login.

John Moore touched on this in his "What Must Starbucks Do?" ChangeThis manifesto, which tackles the larger problem of what Starbucks must do to become relevant again. The lessons there are fairly specific to the Starbucks challenge, but the need to reinvent yourself applies to all of us sooner or later.

And why do most of us need to reinvent ourselves? Because we're out of touch with what our customers / clients / audiences want.

In this day of instant uber-communication, isn't that inexcusable?

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3 Comments:

  • Try~~~

    Blue Horse Cafe in Dormont/South Hills (Right across from the Galleria)
    http://www.auscillate.com/wireless/pittsburgh/location/3690/

    Aldo Coffee Company
    http://www.aldocoffee.com/

    And The Vault in Brighton Heights MIGHT have wireless, can't recall offhand.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 PM  

  • Thsi is so bad I know, but when I read about you passing a Crazy Mocha that allows smoking, I jumped for joy. Please tell me where this haven of cancer is located. There are times when I just don't want to go to the BeeHive to smoke and drink coffee.

    Beleza Coffee house is at the corner of Buena Vista and Jacksonia in the Maxican War Streets in the North Side and has fast, free wireless and no smoking. Its run by a really cool group of people who are worthy of support.

    By Anonymous Andrew Smith, at 9:05 AM  

  • good point man. I don't have a laptop at the moment but when I did I only went to one place and as you stated drove past 3 others to get there all because it had free wifi. It's a must.

    By Blogger Clintus McGintus, at 12:27 AM  

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