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Sun's Path on Earth

Origin of the Rock Eel Café Name

…Providing Asset Management
Human Capital

The Coffeehouse of the Rock Eel [Kaffihús Skerjasteinbítur] provides start-ups and emerging growth firms with scalable solutions by leveraging people, capital and production processes with optimum technology.  

Overcoming technology intimidation has alot to do with setting up and working to maintain a comfortable, human-scale environment where people can feel at ease. (For the English majors out there, yes it's redundant, that's precisely the point. (See our cablecast show archive to learn more.)

Systems Thinking, both our parent company and the movement in general, is all about people and the way they congregate, communicate and collaborate. As more companies deploy active measurements to capture, slice, dice and repurpose the intellectual capital within their payrolls, our role here at Rock Eel Café, within the systems thinking movement, is leading the mindshare to the "real economy"—the small business under 250 staff—keeping the focus on the person, and their intrinsic value, not on the value of their relationships or their LTV (lifetime customer value) to this or that firm.

Michael Schrage, co-director of MIT Media Lab's eMarket Initiative, tells us that technology [will become] a medium for managing relationships, rather than managing information. We agree. Here at the Café we teach and model behaviors that witness to the fact that information by itself is as dead as the paper on which it's printed or the screen on which it's displayed. Our Judæo-Christian Western Cultural Canon has told us for the past two thousand years what the business community is finally figuring out in large numbers, that people want to “be in relationship to one another” and the way to ethically make hog-nasty amounts of income is to provide the means for them to benefit themselves by helping others.

Kaffihús Skerjasteinbítur means “Coffeehouse of the Rock Eel” in Icelandic, and it's exciting to share with you why we chose this particular name at this point in history:

  1. Iceland is the world's oldest democracy, having formed their ruling house in the AD 930s.
  2. The majority of Iceland's population is computer literate.
  3. Coffeehouses have been migrating from Mecca in the 1300s and Constantinople, Damascus and other Near Eastern cities since the early 1500s. Coffeehouses represent an atmosphere, an attitude, and a place to discuss business in a familiar setting (formed by the first two).
  4. Three of our modern world's most prestigious enterprises started as coffeehouses. This more than any other single factor draws out our tagline "providing asset management for human capital."
    • Jonathan's of London was a common meeting place for merchants & brokers well before 1773, when a group of London's financial elite bought and renamed both it and the business it housed, the Stock Exchange; one of y.o.u.rWorld's premiere financial centers of record.
    • Similarly, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, opened in 1688, grew into the world-renown center of sea lane intelligence and shipping insurance we know as Lloyd's of London today.
    • Tontine's Coffee House hosted a group of merchants and auctioneers as early as 1793. More than two centuries later, Tontine's lives on as the New York Stock Exchange.

So what's brewing in your pot? If there are ideas and initiatives that just haven't reached the boiling point, contact us or feel free to email or write for details on how we can get the joe flowing. 

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Of Related Interest

  • The Nine Ways Systems Thinking Challenges You to Change
  • The Café Consulting Menu
  • Systems Thinking Case Studies


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