Pancakes, steakhouses, and website updates

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

Many years ago when I was little, I ate in a remote pancake restaurant in Yellowstone. It had decor from the 1960’s, but not like what you’d see at Ruby’s or Johnny Rocket’s. Nooooo…this was actually from the 1960’s.  Turquoise and chrome, giant U-shaped counters with stools so the waitress could take your order and bring you pancakes while she stood in the middle of the U. I’m pretty sure the pancakes were cooked in bacon grease. My mom was in a huge health food nut phase at the time and she was mostly making stuff like tofu pizza at home. Bacon grease pancakes were heaven. Who knows if it’s even still there – Yellowstone had a big fire after I’d last been there. This pancake house had been built in the 1960’s, and since it was so remote and Yellowstone has “weather,” the pancake house was only open 3 months out of the year. Since it was only open three months out of the year, it was like in cold storage for the rest of the months, so it only aged in 1/4 time. There had never been any reason to replace anything, since in the 1960’s I guess people were still buildings things to last. The washing machine my parents bought in 1968 was still working in 2003. That was when American manufacturing was great, people. That restaurant looked awesome.

Not to far from my house, there’s this steakhouse restaurant from the 1970’s. It’s like someone built it in the 1970’s, decorated it thoroughly, stepped back, congratulated himself on a job well done, and then admired his work for 38 years. He’s still admiring it, because I don’t think the steakhouse decor has ever changed. The restaurant hasn’t fallen apart, but the 1970’s was not such a great decade for timeless style.

So what does this all have to do with a legal startup?

Two or three years ago when I was thinking through LearningLawyer, I had the concept that I’d get a website built for the business and then, whoa! There’s the business. Done. Right? So wrong. Things update at lightning speed. It’s tough to keep up and do this part time.

I’d like to be the pancake house (except…open 12 months out of the year…), but if I let a commerce site sit, I’ll turn into the steakhouse.

The legal industry itself has a lot in common with that steakhouse. Ponder that. Young people aren’t eating at that steakhouse…


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