Monthly Archives: November 2007

What Gordon Ramsay can teach software developers

In Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay does make-overs on failing restaurants and turns them into respectable enterprises through a combination of cuisine guidance, managerial pruning, and loads of swearing when things fail to meet his standards.It’s a fantastic show that gives grim insight to the scary state of affairs of the chosen spots, but it also goes beyond the schadenfreude and saves these places from going out of business.

What makes Ramsay’s approach to restaurant revamping so interesting, though, is how applicable it feels to software design. The characteristics of a failing eatery ring remarkably similar to those of a poorly-run software product:

  • Everything to no one
  • Cook what you know
  • Passion for your environment

That’s just a small taste of the similarities. Ramsay has plenty of additional lessons to teach software creators about vision, simplicity, and executing on the basics beautifully. I highly recommend setting your DVR to pick up the American version of Kitchen Nightmares on Fox every Wednesday from 8pm. The original British ones from BBC are great as well. [via Signal v. Noise]