I’ve never seen a cybercafe that made it easy for people to study
without getting distracted by games or other people talking, perhaps
by giving them desk space and small partitions.
I’ve never seen a cybercafe with programming tools or rates low enough
for people to consider programming or studying in them. I’ve never
seen a cybercafe that had little programming contests—perhaps with
prizes?—or computer tips and trivia.
I’ve never seen a cybercafe that made it easy for students to work on
group projects by letting them use whiteboards, scratch paper,
pencils, Post-It notes (sold at the store) in a semi-private room.
I’ve never seen a cybercafe that helped you focus on your work instead
of your movie download or your chat. I’ve never seen a cybercafe
explicitly devoted to studying, with help just a call or hand-raise away.
I’ve never seen a cybercafe that allowed parents to establish accounts
or lines of credit for their children so that they could be assured
that money was spent on computer access instead of games.
I’ve never seen a cybercafe that made it easy to conduct small
seminars by having some kind of projector, even an OHP—although of
course a digital projector would be much cooler. (This is pushing it,
but only just.)
Maybe I just haven’t looked hard enough, or maybe there’s a business
opportunity here somewhere. I want to make it easy for people to study
even if they’re only renting bedspace somewhere. I want to make it
easy for people to find other people to study with, to form study
groups, to ask questions if they need help.
This idea lends itself to franchising, too. Computer geeks who would
like an excuse to work on personal projects while making some money
can take care of a lab. Internet all day. An excuse to keep computing
books around. The occasional question, sure, but after you set it up
it’s pretty much self-running.
Hmm. Far future. I hope someone beats me to the punch, because it
looks like something that might be good for students.
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