As I sit back in my favorite coffee shop to work a bit, I realized that there’s a better business model for these guys. As I look around, I’m counting 19 people, 10 of which are working on their laptops. Three people are in line for their caffeine fix, five are working on the newest generation of Apple’s Macbook, the other five are on a combination of Netbooks and Notebooks running Windows. The remaining six persons are being social, reading the newspaper or eating. I know what you’re thinking—you’re creepy, staring at everyones computers like that! Okay, I’ll give you that. I don’t normally try to check everyone’s lappy hardware out, but I realized that there is a better way for coffee shops to serve their tech savvy patrons. Let me explain.
Imagine walking into a coffee shop. You walk in, queue up, and order. Next, you wait for your order to be completed, grab your coffee, then pick a seat. Lets face it, you always eye out a spot with a power outlet so that you don’t have to leave in 30 minutes when your battery dies. If you’re unlucky and no seat is availble with an outlet, you watch those who are plugged in and try to hop in their seat when they leave.
Now, imagine walking into a tech-based coffee shop. You walk in, order and sit down. Don’t worry, someone’ll bring you your order with a dab of milk in it and a couple napkins. Did you decide on one of those scones or a bagel? No worries, navigate to the wifi hotspots homepage, key in your order and that nice person who brought your coffee order will soon be back with a toasted bagel, a dab of shmear and butter knife. Once you boot up your lappy, you notice the wireless password of the day posted on the wall, and log-on to a secure wifi connection. Don’t worry, no need for one of those shady wifi hotspots where you have to worry that logging on to your e-mail or banking website might result in your passwords being sniffed and stolen. Are you having trouble connecting via wifi? Flag down the coffee shop tech and they’ll get you up and running.
You start editing some of your vacation pictures and notice that in one corner of the room, the coffee shop tech is now giving a tutorial on image editing with Photoshop to a few other patrons. You decide that your cup of coffee might go well with a bit of education and join the daily “seminar” on an area of technology that happens to pique your interest. Before you know it, you’ve had a cup of coffee, learned how to get the red eye out of your holiday pictures, and spent half your day in your favorite “office space” that allows you to stay connected, productive and will maybe even teach you a few things. I’ll have to conecptualize this idea a bit more, but it’s certainly novel, in my opinion at least.