March 22, 2005

So, can’t go into the details of the focus groups here, but will say that they once again proved the value of listening to customers in the right setting with the right set of questions driving the discussion. Being close to the customer is always relevant and always shows us something new.

Back in NY yesterday we did not go to Butter due to scheduling conflict. Instead we went to Gotham Bar & Grill
. It was good, not great. I had been there before many years ago, but didn’t remember anything more than the room itself. The service was very professional and understated. The food ranged from very good to good. I think the whole table was a bit disappointed in the desserts, however. The best part of dinner was the company of smart and energetic people that were all fired up after a day engaged with our target market.

Today I flew to Chicago and doing more focus groups. Then dinner tonight at TRU. I am full of anticipation for a great meal.

In New York I had stayed at the Hudson, and it was modern design at its best and worst. Someone commented about the “all white” look. The rooms are like that and that can be both calming and unnerving. Everyone knows the rooms are small, but what feels comforting and cocooning in bed feels cramped in the bathroom and shower. Tonight I am in the Westin — more traditional and a big room with a big bed.

Tomorrow I fly home. Yay for home.

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