Skip to main content

Lessons in Business in Tallahassee

This is a small cautionary tale about business, one a small business, and one a large one. We'll start with the small business, the former Seminole Wind on Monroe.
Former Seminole Wind
The first time I even knew Seminole Wind existed was when I drove by it July of last year and caught site of the sign addressed to the President hanging up high (see below). I stopped and grabbed a photo, and then drove on. It was in July of last year that I helped my youngest daughter move into her current residence, another rental. We were driving up an down Monroe between where we were staying on Monroe and where my daughter eventually wound up. My daughter had never heard of this place in all the time she'd been there and I'd never noticed, like I said, before now. After this one photo I forgot about it.

And then, this past weekend, driving up Monroe back to where our hotel was I happened to glance over to the place and saw it was completely closed up. The only indication that there was even a closure was a simple piece of paper taped to the inside of the front door saying "Sorry We're Close!" in large handwritten letters followed by "Rest in Peace" in much smaller letters.
Seminole Wind
You can draw your own conclusion as to why it closed, from the simple reason that it was the economy to the ridiculous that agents of the President put it out of business. It's the effect I'm focused on. This was no chain, no regional or national business. This was a local business, someone's dream made real. And now it's no more. It served a local community, employed people who were a part of the community, provide an important service (preparing and serving food), and even provided color and diversity to the community. If my exposure to other small business people is any indication, this owner believed in that business and would do whatever it took to keep that business going. The owner would not have lightly closed up and walked away.
Former Ramada Sign
Further up Monroe, at the intersection of Monroe and I-10, sits the hulking brick structure that was a former Ramada Inn. It's been empty for nearly three years. I found out by talking to a former employee who now works at the next-door Cracker Barrel that the reason this Ramada was closed was because the owners didn't want to spend the money to upgrade this Ramada. They didn't want to spend the money because it would cut into the corporations profits. And so they shut down this Ramada and put everyone that worked there out of a job. A lot more people that would be working at Seminole Wind. People that might have helped keep Seminole Wind in business by eating there.
Former Ramada
Ramada isn't the only company that made a soulless corporate decision to close down a "non-performing" branch. I've watched the owners of Circuit City and Borders do the same, starting with individual stores and then shutting down entire companies, because the investors wanted to get their investment money back out. We've let the large big-box store chains come through and infiltrate all our communities, in the process economically hollowing out our communities. The rich diversity of many small businesses is replaced with a weaker group of larger companies that, when the going gets rough, will make decisions removed from the communities they've been built in that can lead to many of them being shut down and throwing a lot of good people out of work. And so the job losses ripple throughout the community, eventually taking out the smaller businesses that are left. Too many large companies are selfish and indifferent, in stark contrast to the small business owner who is selfless and totally dedicated, and who doesn't stand a chance against the larger selfish and indifferent.


  1. The quaterly report is, what makes a large business decide what to do.
    We have the same here in Ruesselsheim, Germany, where Opel, unfortunately owned by GM, is slowly being killed for short-sighted profit.
    This is going to be a century dominated by asian countries. These guys think in generations and will therefore succeed.


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…