I recently redeemed 2,000 hard-earned Open Table dining points. I think it’s taken me almost ten years to finally cross this first redemption threshold; not sure if that’s a commentary on how poorly I’m doing at dining out overall, or just within OT’s network of restaurants, but it’s pretty damned lame. Still, I figured I finally had a credit I could apply, so…let’s claim that thing?
Not so fast.
I submit the form and see the response come back from the server. I’m expecting to get a PDF to print, or maybe even a bar code to flash on their mobile app at my next restaurant. Mais non! “Your certificate will be mailed to you. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.”
How in the name of Loyalty Marketing does a company born and developed solely online to disrupt offline restaurant seat inventory allocation, decide to mail you a bleeping piece of paper in the year of our Lord, Twenty Twelve? And what about the fulfillment process requires them to take as long as General Mills did with secret decoder rings in cereal boxes, circa 1964?
I’m sure there is some sound terms-of-service reason for this lag, but perception is reality and this particular perception is baffling.
Red Tails has all the ingredients to be great – Lucasfilm SFX, an encouraging yet overlooked story from an otherwise overworked genre, and what appears to be an ace cast – but to paraphrase my man Han Solo, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
But I’m afraid there’ll be an inevitable Jar Jar moment – a character or situation so out of tune with the message or even the plot (thankfully Lucas doesn’t have a writing credit) – that it’ll turd the punchbowl of an otherwise stirring film. I need look no further than this quote for damning concern:
“‘For me, ‘Red Tails’ is like ‘Flying Leathernecks’ (a 1951 aviator picture with John Wayne). It’s corny. It’s uber-patriotic. And it’s a really exciting action-adventure movie.
“As for the racism in our story, it’s embedded in the material, so we just had to be careful not to overdo it.'”
He also put at least $50M of his own money into it, so you just know he’s been meddling with the final cut.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I really want it to be great. But we’ve been here before – notably while waiting in line for Star Wars Episode I: The Death of Your Childhood Franchise.
Here’s a post I just guest-authored over at the excellent Design Staff blog, where my former Google colleagues @kowitz, @jazer, and Michael Margolis offer incredibly useful insight on working in design in a startup context.
(…and thus, my streak of not writing an actual post with original content on this site is extended.)
Here’s a widget we’ve cooked up for a quick celebratory post at BigDoor.
Cheers to our ace designer, Chad Jacobsen, for the infographic and for rolling with the countless creative gyrations. I love that he can cook up such substantial visual elements in basically 0 seconds flat. I enjoyed writing the underlying CSS/JS and markup; first time in a long time I’ve put together a widget like this. Maybe the first since FeedBurner Email?
Also, if you like that cool parallax scrolling effect – e.g., how the clouds scroll along in the background more slowly, creating an artificial sense of depth – head over to Jon Raasch’s site to learn more about the JQuery plugin that powers it. It Just Works.
I don’t have a plan yet, but I know 140 character missives, social circles, and even the occasional Instagram somehow isn’t capturing everything I’d like to communicate. This is the place where the other fiddly bits will go.
Template customization and other fascinating minutiae are also sure to follow.