Not picture: A line at Blue Bottle Coffee.
Anyone who's ever a quick cup of Giant Steps ("Viscous, fudgy, substantial") or Sumatra Simalungun Harapan Tani ("Melon, red fruit, papaya, plum") while meeting with Series A angels about your latest plan to disrupt skateboards knows that the line at Blue Bottle Coffee's location in the Mint Plaza in Soma can be brutal. We know people who have been waiting in line there so long that they still think Bebo is a thing. So what's a young founder in need of a fix to do? Why, set up a web cam, of course.
That's just what the folks at tech start up, Zaarly, did. Never mind that their office window overlooks the line at Blue Bottle. As the company's founder told Blue Bottle, "We could literally walk the ten feet to the window that overlooks the line, but we’re tech people, so we had to solve the problem in the most interesting way possible.” Enter the web cam. (Which to our minds is much less interesting than an elaborate system of mirrors, semaphore signals, and bells. But that's why we just write up the news, not make it.)
The page to view the line through the camera's lens was internal, until recently when Zaarly made it publicly available on their web site. Read more about the web cam on Blue Bottle's website, or just check it out yourself here. Brace yourself for Evgeny Morozov to write ten thousand words about how the web cam presages the death of coffee shops as a social "third place" at the hands of solutionsim five, four, three...