OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant. Each week Peter invites guests from the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the USA to be an entrepreneur. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the new New Orleans entrepreneurial movement. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.
Photo by Rick Lineberger
Over the last few years the word “disrupt” has found its way into the American business vocabulary. Disruption occurs when a new company with a new way of doing things changes business as usual. Amazon, for example, has disrupted retail. “Disrupt” does not necessarily mean “destroy”. Amazon has hurt some brick and mortar stores, but it’s also given countless small suppliers access to large markets, and put most of America on first name terms with their UPS driver.
On today's Out to Lunch, Peter Ricchiuti introduces us to two local disrupters.
Tom Hayes is New Orleans General Manager of Uber. Uber is an international and nationwide car service that disrupts the taxi business – which it is in the process of doing here in New Orleans.
Steve Beatty is Editor of The Lens. The Lens is an investigative reporting organization that is disrupting local news media.
You’d think the New Orleans newspaper world was disrupted enough already. The Times Picayune changed the whole concept of the daily paper by going to 3 days a week - which they touted as the way of the future. Then The Advocate started up - as a 7 day a week paper to challenge the Times Picayune. While those two are presumably fighting for the same readers and advertisers, The Lens doesn’t depend on advertising for funding, readership is free, and it’s online only.
Uber is an app on your phone that you use to call an Uber car, like you call a cab. But it’s not a cab – it’s a guy in his own car. (And, yes that is a Subway sandwich that Tom brought to Commander's Palace. He was running late after appearing at a City Council hearing about Uber and the Commander's kitchen had closed.)
When is a taxi not a taxi? When is a newspaper not a newspaper? They’re just two of the philosophical questions Peter and his guests tackle on today’s Out to Lunch.
After the show, Tom Hayes demonstrates how badly the city needs Uber.
The photos on this page were taken at Commander's Palace by Cheryl DalPozzal.