Hagan Blount

PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // December 22, 2017

Hagan Blount
PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // December 22, 2017

Ranking America’s top 10 chain restaurants
The Washington Post’s respected food critic turns his analytical gaze to the top ten fast casual chain restaurants by sales volume. Cracker Barrel and Denny’s come out on top, but it’s more fun to read his lower ranking reviews. A sangria at Applebee’s is the size of a bird bath (this is a problem?), and a black bean burger at Buffalo Wild Wings--BDub’s, to us--“bends” when bitten, prompting the reviewer to suggest steering clear of all but the beer.

Open-sourcing a design process: Floodlight, a sexual harassment report tool
A new challenge that has become recently top of mind is how to be sure we’re directing the resources we spend (money, time, social capital) to businesses who are not accepting or led by perpetrators of sexual harassment or assault. We try our best to buy meat from farmers who don’t abuse their chickens and cows, so shouldn’t we buy movie tickets and dinners from production companies or restaurants who don’t tolerate abuse in their workforces? This Medium post from a woman who is hoping to crowdsource some of her product design for a very tricky tool is fascinating, but we’re more excited about the future possible application of this data. What about an API that apps like Netflix or OpenTable could overlay on their own products to “sort by” the companies least damaging to women?

Elon Musk is our time’s DaVinci
People with big vision and chutzpah move the needle. Later today, we’re going to see a Space-X rocket launch from Vandenberg AFB, and it’s because of this guy, with a vision of going to Mars, getting there through funding by way of deploying commercial satellites. Just like he funded mass production of electric cars with a luxury sports car that had a better 0-60 time than any luxury sports car on the market. This page talks about his life and times with the Paypal mafia, and the steps he’s taking to make the world a better place. We think we’ll have a bigger community excited about the launch in our little town not too many years from now.

The Other Tech Bubble
It’s hard out there for a tech bro. Smarty Erin Griffith makes solid points about the challenges the tech industry faces right now, and how gaining a dash of self-awareness might be the best new years resolution choice for tech workers, who she describes as the present day version of 2008’s Wall Street villains. And, yes, we know this article is slightly at odds with the one above.   

Local food is more of a burden on the planet (most of the time)
Idaho potatoes yield is 2x more than those planted in other states. Greenhouses are resource intensive. Land used for farms outside of major metropolitan areas cause commuters a longer commute. Is local the way to go as far as a net positive to global resource usage and carbon emissions? Economists don’t think so. Depending on where you live, there are certain foods that have a greater impact of buying local than others.