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Chapter 9 Trendability > 3. Technological innovation can threaten the touch of ... - Pg. 136

136 The Business Genome Elements 3. Technological innovation can threaten the touch of personal service In 2001, I stood in the doorway of Charlie Trotter's restaurant in Chicago and watched as the sommelier recited the finer points of the restaurant's well-crafted wine list. She prided herself on her knowledge of vintage, employing her virtually photographic memory and impeccably trained palate. The value of her education and her immersion in the subtleties of her product placed her in a class of her own, and that knowledge distin- guished the restaurant as a premium brand, worth the premium prices it charged. But something would threaten the sommelier and her recall for wine. Within two years, the value of being the go-to person for the wine cellar's contents would be challenged by the invention of a new generation of technology that combined hand-held scanners--like the kind rental car companies used--with a rich database of wine facts and data. Now we wouldn't need that elegant lady behind the bar, dressed