In The Kitchen

September 9, 2007

Whenever PC makes want to tout some consumer idea that’s going to save their company or change the landscape of computing, it’s always set in the kitchen.

Dell’s direct online relationship with customers, Mr. Garriques says, can help it develop services that link PCs, software and cellphones. To illustrate Dell’s thinking, he describes as a possibility a service that would allow parents to use Web maps and cellphone signals to track family members on the screen of a Dell PC in the kitchen.
New York Times, Sep 2007 via Daring Fireball


Sure, it could be a laptop or a whatever, but the kitchen part is superfluous.

I recall a famous pre-release Windows XP screenshot naming a PC as “Kitchen Computer” or something.

Is it somehow suggesting American Mom will only be sold on the idea of monitoring the location of her kids if it’s from the kitchen? Or the location of her husband and his mistress, perhaps. That’s a little more interesting.

Mistress aside, what’s the selling point of such an idea? Isn’t this the talk of a company that has no actual ideas?

I have now decided that any kitchen reference by computer types is a sure indicator of that.

I almost stopped reading the hideously long article at that point, but decided to skim onwards:

In June, Dell introduced notebook computers in eight colors.


Dell recruited Stephen F. Schuckenbrock last December from Electronic Data Systems to lead its services business.

The same EDS that has spent years languishing behind the same IBM that Dell have set their sights on? Heaven help them.

Today, Dell garners $5 billion a year in services revenue, but most of that comes from technical support and maintenance on Dell machines.

Ah, stiffing your customers for support and maintenance. A noble pursuit.

In 1997, shortly after Mr. Jobs returned to Apple, the company he helped start in 1976, Dell’s founder and chairman, Michael S. Dell, was asked at a technology conference what might be done to fix Apple, then deeply troubled financially.

“What would I do?” Mr. Dell said to an audience of several thousand information technology managers. “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”
New York Times, January 2006

What goes around comes around. In the kitchen.


4 Responses to “In The Kitchen”

  1. Andy Kim Says:

    Somebody’s been reading harry potter…

    Mrs. Weasley glanced at the grandfather clock in the corner [of the kitchen]. Harry liked this clock. It was completely useless if you wanted to know the time, but otherwise very informative. It had nine golden hands, and each of them was engraved with one of the Weasley family’s names. There were no numerals around the face, but descriptions of where each family member might be. “Home,” “school,” and “work” were there, but there was also “traveling,” “lost,” “hospital,” “prison,” and, in the position where the number twelve would be on a normal clock, “mortal peril.”

  2. Miss Chick Says:

    Clearly, it’s targeting women. Because of course, in advertisement land at least, women are always in the kitchen (and practically barefoot and pregnant). Plus, kitchens are meant to be ‘homely’ places, where everyone feels comfortable.

    They’ve clearly never been in my kitchen. Dog hair, muddy paw prints and a plethora of alcoholic beverages, anyone?

    On a slight tangent, have you noticed that in movies, when someone goes into the kitchen in the middle of the night, they never ever switch the light on, preferring to open the refrigerator door and leave it open (allowing all those lovely CFC gases to escape into the ether and the milk to slowly turn rancid)? And there are never, ever, dirty dishes or dishes left out to dry hanging around? And how many times do you see teatowels in the media?!

    Hey! A whole new marketing strategy for Dell – wife gets up in middle of night, dons husband’s shirt and long socks that are slouched down to ankles, musses bed-head hair, enters kitchen, and switches on monitor as sole light source, before opening fridge and drinking milk straight from carton while leaning against said fridge in sexy manner. I think it could work!

  3. Steve Says:

    That’s too funny.

  4. Bill Ekhardt Says:

    We put a computer in our kitchen. It was because we could never leave the kids to go into the office where our computers were. We put the case in a cabinet, the monitor on a swing arm and got a cheap wireless keyboard and mouse.

    We don’t need it for kitchen stuff. We just need it as a computer and connection to the internet that we can actually use during the day. I blogged about it here:

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