Usually I’m Steve Case the Xerox guy, or the Dell guy, or the JoeBugBuster guy. Sometimes someone confuses me with the other Steve Case, like the person who recently sent me this thoughtfully crafted invitation on LinkedIn:
I’m getting in touch as I’m really looking forward to your insights at South by South West (SXSW) in Austin next week and I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn if that’s ok?
Good luck with all the good work!
The South by Southwest Connection
I’ve never even been to South by Southwest. In fact, when I worked for Dell and visited the Austin area a few times a year, I deliberately avoided visiting during SxSW. Flights and hotel rooms were painfully hard to come by as Downtown Austin hosted the festivities.
I pass several coffee shops and kiosks on the way to my favorite one. Certainly I could save a little time and mileage by stopping at one of those, but going the extra mile is worth it to me.
What makes Blue Steele Coffee Company worth the longer drive? In fact, how do folks know Blue Steele exists? They don’t do much marketing beyond social media postings on Facebook. Thanks to word-of-mouth advertising, they’re known for several things including their coffee, their service, and their history.
They bring me my food and drink. (They don’t make me listen for my order to be called the way fast food places and some coffee shops do.) That’s a big deal to me, especially if I’m meeting someone.
When Discovery launched Naked and Afraid in 2013, I didn’t plan to watch it. Survival shows are not new, and the provocative title didn’t appeal to me. Survivor, for one, has been around for more than fifteen years and was responsible for the concept of being “voted off the island.” Reality shows have been with us for decades. Naked and Afraid just sounded like more of the same.
For whatever reason, I ended-up recording the first episode, which was broadcast on June 23, 2013. The routine hasn’t varied much:
Update: Six years after, there is no snow, but there’s freezing fog. The four coffee cups reappeared on schedule. The coffee shop again fills up with police and fire uniforms and civilians showing their respect, and many will return tonight for the Concert For Remembrance.
This morning as the sun was rising, snow was falling on the memorial commemorating where four Lakewood police officers were killed. The community still remembers that day that drew the community together, five years ago today.
Heart in the Snow
An early snow is on the ground, and the wind-chill is in the mid-twenties, but business is unusually brisk at Blue Steele Coffee. People make a point of coming here to pay their respects on November 29, remembering that morning in 2009 when four officers paid the ultimate price.
Permanent memorials were dedicated one year later, here and at the Lakewood Police Department’s headquarters. The one outside the coffee shop was built on the corner where the original, makeshift memorial had grown.