Sunday, July 14, 2024

(Not so) Hidden Tracks


In the field of recorded music, a hidden track (sometimes called a ghost track, secret track or unlisted track) is a song or a piece of audio that has been placed on a CD, audio cassette, LP record, or other recorded medium, in such a way as to avoid detection by the casual listener. In some cases, the piece of music may simply have been left off the track listing, while in other cases, more elaborate methods are used. In rare cases, a 'hidden track' is actually the result of an error that occurred during the mastering stage production of the recorded media. However, since the rise of digital and streaming services such as iTunes and Spotify in the late 2000s and early 2010s, the inclusion of hidden tracks has declined on studio albums.

24 hours ago, I had no idea what a "Hidden Track" was. Walking down Main Street Boonton (there is only ONE BOONTON in the USA) I popped into a new shop, Hidden Track Records

From the street, the new shop caught my eye. Their sign caught my eye. I am always 'tuned in' and ready to explore a new business, to check out a new entrepreneurial venture. OK, so Boonton has a new record shop. Really? Why? I asked myself, are vinyl records still a thing?

My brain jumped to doing math. How many people are buying records these days? Turns out, according to Google in 2021, vinyl records enjoyed a 68% increase in total sales volume and a 55% increase in total sales revenue over 2020 in the US, reaching $1 billion in sales for the first time since 1985.

In a surprising turn of events, Vinyl Record sales experienced a 17th consecutive year of growth, defying industry expectations. This year has reassured experts that the vinyl market did not hit a natural plateau after surging during the pandemic, which caused a 108% increase. It is growing, growing, GROWING! 

So, I met owner Shane Murphy. In a brief conversation I got the backstory on the new business. Shane has a very eclectic background, from construction to music to podcasting. It was less than a ten minute conversation, with me asking questions and Shane filling in the gaps. While I was standing there, I thought to myself that this conversation was like one of my video podcast interviews, but LIVE.

Real. Two people talking. Live and in real-time. Shane gave me his business card (old school) and we shook hands (more old school). We talked about possibly doing a LIVE video podcast interview from Hidden Tracks, which to me felt very meta. [Something is meta if it is self-referential: if it follows the scheme 'a thing about a thing'.]

It was hours later that I thought about the name of the shop, Hidden Tracks. I did not ask Shane about the name while I was in the shop, and so I was compelled to Google it when I got back home because I thought it must mean something, right? Yep, it sure does. 

To the untrained eye, the new record shop on Main Street Boonton USA is a place to buy vinyl records. A Record Shop that sells Records. The same way a Flower Shop sells flowers and the same way an Ice Cream Shop sells ice cream. 

Ah, but Hidden Tracks is about our hidden tracks. The hidden tracks of people. How music is a universal language. How people are brought together by music, by art, by creativity. And how people used to do more things together, live. People used to meet live, gather together to discuss, to have conversations, to share. If the new shop was simply called Boonton Record Shop I would probably have not stopped and I probably would have not walked in. I don't have a vinyl record player. Heck, I don't even have a CD player any longer. I can't remember the last time I listened to music that was not streaming on Amazon or Audible or YouTube. 

Something tells me that I will be on Amazon later today, shopping for a vinyl record player, something with HD audio. Sometimes the Hidden Tracks of our lives are actually hiding in plain sight. 

Hey Shane & Michele Murphy - welcome to BOONTON USA! We needed this shop - we needed YOU





Sunday, July 7, 2024

What does Git-R-Done mean?

Git-R-Done!!!

I understand that it's the catchphrase of Larry the Cable Guy and people applaud when he says it, but what does it mean? At this point, is it a meaningless punchline indicator? Did it ever mean anything? Is it rooted in something about getting a job done or something?

Let's come back to this......

Getting Things Done (GTD) is a personal productivity system developed by David Allen and published in a book of the same name. GTD is described as a time management system. Allen states "there is an inverse relationship between things on your mind and those things getting done".

I have been a huge fan of the GTD workflow system since 2001. Recently, I saw that there is a NEW book: Team - Getting Things Done with Others by David Allen and Edward Lamont. 

Publisher's Summary: When Getting Things Done was published in 2001, it was a game changer. By revealing the principles of healthy high performance at an individual level, it transformed the experience of work and leisure for millions. Twenty years later, it has become clear that the best way to build on that success is at the team level, and one of the most frequently asked questions by dedicated GTD users is how to get an entire team onboard.

By building on the effectiveness of what GTD does for individuals, Team will offer a better way of working in an organization, while simultaneously nourishing a culture that allows individuals’ skills to flourish. Using case studies from some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, Team shows how leaders have employed the principles of team productivity to improve communication, enable effective execution, and reduce stress on team members. These principles are increasingly important in the post-pandemic workplace, where the very nature of how people work together has changed so dramatically.

Team is the most significant addition to the GTD canon since the original, and in offering a roadmap for building a culture of healthy high performance, will be welcomed by readers working in any sized group or organization.

I have been connected with David Allen on LinkedIn since 2016. I messaged him for the first time in May of this year (2024) and then again in June: "You would make a great NYDLAcast.com - reaching 5.8M+ members. We can promote your new book.  Best, CEO@NYDLA.org"

Nothing. 

Two days ago, I connected with Edward Lamont on LinkedIn, after I purchased their new book on Audible. And I reached out to connect with Edward on LinkedIn. On Friday: "Hi Thomas, Happy to connect. Anything specific I can help with, or were you just connecting in a more general way? All best, Ed."

Me: "I run the distance learning association, we expect to be at 10M+ global members by the end of 2025. Just finished your new book. We should do a www.ZoomTalks.us interview with you and David - it would reach millions. Our DLA community would benefit from your mutual body of work!  Best, CEO@NYDLA.org"

I love Audible. Especially books read by the Author. It feels like a one-on-one Master Class. So that was Friday, today is Sunday, and we are working on getting the Zoom Interview with David and Edward on the calendar. Done

Or should I say "Got-R-Done!" 






Sunday, June 30, 2024

In the Aire Tonight


I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lord

And I've been waiting for this moment, for all my life, oh lord

Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lord, oh lord

Cool song, right? 

“In the Air Tonight” A great song by Phil Collins, going way back to 1981. His first single. There are several misguided stories about the meaning behind the song... One is that Collins witnessed a man drowning and did nothing to save him. Another is that a man was attacked as his wife drowned, thus him unable to help. Both are urban myths as Phil Collins himself is on record discussing the true meaning behind the song, or as best he could explain….

In a 2016 interview Collins says: "If something is in the air, you feel that it is happening or about to happen/noticeable all around. I wrote the lyrics spontaneously. I'm not quite sure what the song is about."

I attended the AireSpring & BCE Global – USA Executive Briefing & Luncheon in NYC this past week. 

The last time I had a one on one conversation with Daniel Lonstein was in 2001. I was running MaritimeTechnologyPartners.com and we needed BlackBerry to service the Maritime niche. And at the time, AireSpring was a major player in that space. And so, we became their Master Agent. I assume that is where the name "Aire" comes from. Aire could be the obsolete spelling of Air. If you Google "Aire" you go down a long rabbit hole...........  Anyway, back to the movie....

Over the years, I dabbled in many and diverse areas of business, but almost always I remained deeply connected to the telecom/technology space. I was attending an SD-WAN webinar hosted by AireSpring. I said to myself "Oh wow, AireSpring, the old Blackberry folks." At THAT time, I was running the Distance Learning Association, and you cannot do Distance Learning (or Distance ANYTHING) without technology. 


There is a long story about how our Master Agency with AireSpring which started in 2001 went dormant, only to be revived and rebooted 23 years later. I enjoy telling it, as it is not only very entertaining, but it is a testament to how business is (or should be) done. I don't have time to tell the entire story, but as a result of attending that SD-WAN educational webinar - we're back. Big time. 

This past week, I walked over to Daniel Lonstein while at the Consulate of Canada in NYC and I thought to myself "What can I possibly say to Daniel, after 23 years?" My last conversation was on the phone, from my home in 2001. I do remember that first conversation, as if it happened yesterday. I was in my living room. I can "see it" in my mind's eye still today. That phone call lasted for hours, and it was all about telecom and technology and sales and marketing and whatnot. 

So, I might need a new comedy writer, but I said "So, Daniel, can you still get me a good deal on BlackBerry?" 

2024: via www.AireSpringGlobal.com we are now servicing the needs of the (now global) Distance Learning Association for all things voice, data, wireless, telecom and technology. The NYDLA.org became the NADLA.org during the pandemic, growing from the 55M+ living in the "New York Megalopolis" to servicing the 579M+ living in North America, to now - via USDLA.org SADLA.org AsiaDLA.org AfricaDLA.org and EuropeDLA.org we are servicing the entire world. 

The reason why we are servicing (the world) via AireSpring in 2024? Trust

Even when our monthly commission fell well below $100 per month (from a past sale) they never missed a payment. For 23 years. The revenue share (commission) was so low, I was not even aware that we were still getting monthly payments. The entire reason why I attended that AireSpring SD-WAN webinar last year, is because I was still (still) getting the emails from AireSpring, as their Master Agent. We were still active in their system - they never cancel anyone, and they always paid everyone - no matter how small the amount. I guess there was some small customer that we sold AireSpring service years ago, and they are STILL using AireSpring. And we were still getting paid our revenue share from that sale. Every. Month. 

2024: when you visit the (now global) Distance Learning Association website, the first thing you see is the AireSpring logo. We are now offering the entire portfolio of AireSpring to the (now global) members of the DLA, to empower them. 

Yes indeed. From his 2016 interview Phil Collins says: "If something is in the air, you feel that it is happening or about to happen/noticeable all around."

From the 5 boroughs of New York City in 1983 to servicing the entire WORLD in 2024, we are democratizing education via disruptive technology. OUR DLA MISSION:

We are all Living, Learning, Working, Playing, Teaching, Training, Coaching, Mentoring in the Global Cloud Economy. The future of work – the future of education – the future of entertainment – is in the clouds. Join us.

Oh, and of course..... www.GetAireSpring.com  All things AireSpring is a (now global) trusted DLA member benefit - and it's in the Aire tonight. 



Sunday, June 23, 2024

Personal Challenge


A personal challenge is a task or a situation that tests a person's skills and abilities in an unpleasant situation. Examples of personal challenges are personal issues, workplace relationships, and time management.

My oldest son is in town this morning, down from Madison, Connecticut. It's always cool to hear footsteps coming from the 2nd floor. My wife and I have been 'empty nesters' for many years now. I think I go to upstairs a few times a year. Anyway...

This morning Tommy and I had Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese Breakfast sandwiches in the living room. And we were talking about work, business, and whatnot. And, we were talking about AI, and other whatnot. And he said to me: "Dad, you gotta see this video from Marques Brownlee." 

I did not recognize the name Marques Brownlee. 

Tommy loaded THIS video in the living room, as we ate our Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese Breakfast sandwiches.

Marques Keith Brownlee, also known professionally as MKBHD, is an American YouTuber and professional ultimate player, best known for his technology-focused videos as well as his podcast Waveform. As of December 2023, he has more than 20 million subscribers across all channels and 3.93 billion total video views. Born: 1993 (age 30 years), Maplewood, NJ  Education: Stevens Institute of Technology, Center for Talented Youth, Columbia High School. Subscribers: 18 million (main channel); 20.95 million (combined). Total views: 4.188 billion (main channel); 4.44 billion (combined).


Why is he called MKBHD?
(He uploaded the results under the nom de YouTube of MKBHD—for “Marques Keith Brownlee” and “high definition”—a moniker that has been synonymous with his own name ever since. 

Does MKBHD have a degree?
He graduated in 2015 with a degree in Business & Technology, and in 2018 received Stevens' Young Alumni Achievement Award. “Marques Brownlee is an exemplary Stevens alumnus who embodies the core values we cherish — innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship,” said Stevens president Nariman Farvardin.

It is believed that Marques garners approximately $12 million each year from ad revenues and endorsements. This substantial income affords him the means to enjoy a lavish lifestyle, boasting multiple properties, a collection of high-end automobiles, and an array of costly possessions.

OK, cool. In 2014 Stevens Institute of Technology became a host of the DLA. So, this morning, I said to my son "Tommy Baby: I'm going to ask Marques to do a NYDLAcast.com interview..." 

Tommy Baby (that's what I call him....my oldest son....) said to me between bites of his Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese "If you get him, he will break you. You will have to get a bigger server. He might be the most popular person on YouTube." 

So I asked: "Tommy Baby... why is Marques Brownlee so popular?"

My son says: "He is able to dumb down tech for those of us who don't understand. He is articulate, he has good video editing techniques, and he has a good brand for himself. He has an honest down-to-earth personality. That's it!"

This Thursday is the Propelify Innovation Festival in Hoboken, NJ. We have it listed on NYDLA.org/EVENTS. We expect 8K+ to attend LIVE. I am going to invite MKBHD to the event. I am going to invite everyone he knows to the event. He might already be going to the event, being a "Jersey Boy" and all. 

And so - the game is on. I am emailing, calling, texting, chasing Marques Brownlee. MKBHD (or his staff) will hear from me before Thursday. I am willing to pay for an Uber Black to pick him up and drop him off... if he will attend Propelify in Hoboken, NJ. So, the way that I see it, here are a few possible outcomes:
  1. I hear back from MKBHD (or his staff) before Thursday.
  2. I do not hear back from MKBHD (or his staff) before Thursday.
  3. MKBHD says thanks, but he cannot attend Propelify in Hoboken, NJ.
  4. Can't do Propelify, but WILL do a www.CoffeeInTheClouds.us interview.
  5. Nothing. Absolute Radio Silence......
10:04 AM EST on 6/23/24 is the time stamp on this Sunday Blog. The "results" of this PERSONAL CHALLENGE will be posted NEXT Sunday. So, that's the topic next week: I paid (or did not pay) for Uber Black! 

Personal Challenge: Accepted 



Sunday, June 16, 2024

540


I woke up this morning in Madison, Connecticut (my oldest son's house) at exactly 5:40 AM. 

540. That was my Dad's number. 

He played that number '540' every day. For those of you who don't know, 'back in the day' playing the numbers here in North New Jersey was gambling. Not legal. Oh well, that's really not the point. The point is, that every day, like EVERY DAY my Dad would bet on 540. 

And it was not just $1 but like, a significant amount of money. Every day. I am thinking it was probably like $500 a week, on 540. I would have to ask my older sister if she knows how much, but was not a small amount of money. [ She thinks is was $40 a day, and $100 on payday ]. Back in the day, we were not rich - but Dad made really good money. Let's just say that we never wanted for anything, ever. 

I remember one day, maybe 1969 or so, the phone in the kitchen rang. I heard Mom answer and then give the phone to Dad. He screamed out "It hit!"  540 - his number - was the number for the day.

Because Dad was betting (way more) than $1 every (EVERY) day..... his jackpot for that day was.....let's just say it was big. Big Big. 

And, I remember my Mom telling Dad, "OK, Tony..... you just won back all of your money. And then some. Now please stop. No more gambling. 

And he did. That was it. That was the last time that he bet on 540. 

And then, around a week later.............. the kitchen phone rang again.

This time, Dad answered the phone himself. And I was in the kitchen, alone with Dad. And I saw his face. 540 hit again. His number, 540 was the winning number. 

I could hear the voice on the other side, I could hear the screams and the laughing. "You lucky son of a *, you hit again, you won again!" 

When Dad hung up, he realized that I overheard, and that I knew that his number, 540 was once again the winning number. And that is when he told me....

"Tommy, we did not win any money. I promised your Mother that we were done playing the numbers. So, I stopped. We did not win anything today. Now, you need to promise me that you will not say anything, not to anyone. Especially to your Mother." 

Dad knew that Mom would feel terrible. That she was the one that made him quit 'playing the numbers'. And that because he did not want to her to feel bad, she could never know that 540 came out again - without him. 

When I woke up this morning in Madison, Connecticut - for a second I did not know where I was. Ah, we're at Tommy's house. And I looked at my Fitbit watch, and it was exactly 5:40. 540 on Father's Day in my son's spare bedroom at his home. 

Wow, 5:40. That's Dad's number. I found myself instantly saying "Good Morning, Dad. Happy Father's Day." 

Dad was a good man. He had his vices, as we all do. He never did anything small, even when playing the numbers. Now that I am older I think about how much money he put down on 540 every (every) day..... and what that money would have done in the S&P 500. Imagine investing (I'm guessing $20 to $50) every day in the market in the 60s. And letting it compound. I think that 'playing the numbers' to him back in the 60s was his version of investing for the future - investing for his family. 

Today, in 2024, you can gamble online. You can be in a virtual casino in your smartphone. I am not sure if 'playing the numbers' is still a big thing but I think it is. Since when you win that way - you don't need to report it. It's a big secret. When you win in a casino, the IRS is your partner. When you win playing 'the numbers' no one knows anything about anything. 

So, on this Father's Day 2024 I am thinking about Dad, and his playing the numbers - and his quitting playing the numbers. And how we had that little secret how he won - a second time. 

And how now, at 63 years old, I can remember how strong Dad was to never say a word about 540 coming out a 2nd time in a week..... because he did not want Mom to feel bad. 

Oh, one more thing. I bought clams for the family yesterday. [ We were arguing about buying between 5 and 4 dozen clams. ] We're having an amazing Father's Day weekend......here in Connecticut. My first Father's Day as a Grandpa. I just happened to look at the receipt from the Seafood store for the clams: $54.00 





Sunday, June 9, 2024

The New York Megalopolis


The New York Megalopolis, also known as the Northeast megalopolis or BosWash corridor, is a heavily urbanized region of the northeastern United States. It stretches from the northern suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, to the southern suburbs of Washington, D.C. This region is notable for its high population density, economic significance, and cultural influence.

Key Characteristics of the New York Megalopolis:

Geographic Scope:  The megalopolis encompasses major cities including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., along with their surrounding metropolitan areas.

Population:  It is one of the most densely populated regions in the United States, home to over 55 million people, accounting for a significant portion of the U.S. population.

Economic Importance:  The region is a major economic powerhouse, featuring some of the world’s leading financial markets, corporate headquarters, research institutions, and cultural centers. New York City, in particular, is a global financial hub.

Transportation Network:  The megalopolis is well-connected by an extensive transportation network, including major highways like Interstate 95, a dense rail network (notably Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor), and several major airports (e.g., JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Logan, and Dulles).

Cultural and Educational Institutions:  The region hosts numerous prestigious universities (e.g., Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Princeton) and cultural landmarks (e.g., the Smithsonian museums, Broadway, the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

The concept of a 'megalopolis' was popularized by geographer Jean Gottmann in the 1960s, who identified this interconnected urban region as a distinct geographic and socio-economic entity. The New York Megalopolis continues to be a vital area in terms of both national and international importance.

When I took over running the NYDLA.org (New York Distance Learning Association) it was in the heart of the New York Megalopolis. And, it was bankrupt. As a Non-Profit, it lived on donations from corporations. And during the last recession, donations dried up. No money, sorry. 

My old company, MyTeachingPartners.com would attend the DLA events, because we sold audio conferencing, web conferencing, cameras, etc. - we (me) sold all the stuff that made Distance Learning possible. So, as a good salesman should I would attend all of the DLA meetings and events (target rich environment). When NYDLA went bankrupt, I was the only one to raise my hand to take over running the dying community. What did I have to lose...right? 

AND THEN along came RUTGERS, who sponsored us (i.e. they gave us money) and same RUTGERS - The State University of New Jersey who brought with them their 500K+ Living Alumni. So, almost over night I went from saying "I can't pay the website hosting invoice!" to "I think we're going to be OK!" I was in the right place at the right time, eh? 

Other than Zoom, I don't think that any entity could have grown bigger and faster during a pandemic than THE DISTANCE LEARNING ASSOCIATION

Ah, but during COVID many were saying that New York was - dead. Many in the media were saying that New York City was never coming back. It was during this 'pandemic panic' time that NYDLA.org became NADLA.org servicing all of NORTH AMERICA. I was running away from the dying New York Brand...... ah, or was I? 

The North American Distance Learning Association HQ was going to remain in NYC. The Big Apple. The Center of the Known Universe, right? There would be no New York Megalopolis if there is no Metropolis

Today, the Distance Learning Association (DLA) is GLOBAL. And we are www.PoweredByZoom.us - our #1 sponsor. Yes, we love many others - we love all of the other telecom and technology providers. We work deeply with GoTo and Microsoft and Webex and the rest. And Logitech and Lenovo and HP/Poly and....and...and... 

But just as how Zoom became a verb during COVID, the 'DLA' also became a brand

And the NEW YORK BRAND is powerful. The New York brand is GLOBAL

"Hey guys, I see people reading the New York Times in LA. But I never see anyone reading the LA Times in New York." It's NEW YORK! The Big Apple! Wall Street, Times Square, Broadway! NEW YORK NEW YORK - the city so nice they named it twice! 

The 55M+ living, learning, working, playing, teaching, training, coaching, mentoring in the New York Megalopolis. 

Zoom just opened an AMAZING Experience Center in London. I'll post some pics of the launch event on the NYDLA.org/Zoom page later this week. 

THIS MONTH we have over 100K+ DLA members attending NYDLA SPONSORED EVENTS - LIVE - around the world. InfoComm in Las Vegas. COLLISION in Toronto. Propelify in Hoboken, New Jersey (across the river from NYC). And there is ALWAYS something interesting going on at Javits Center in New York City - like every single day. 

Want some inside baseball? My strategy for years has been to sponsor all events at the sponsorship level necessary to access the entire attendee list of the LIVE events, and then follow up, FOLLOW up, FOLLOW UP via tools like Dotdigital. This is one of the reasons why the (now global) DLA shall be at 10M+ members by 2025. To make money from 'events' it's not about ROI or ROAS, it's all about ROR: Return on RELATIONSHIPS. 

I admit, there is nothing better than a live event. The energy, the people, the food. So, 100K+ will attend NADLA.org events LIVE this month alone (June). Ah but 10X that number will attend all or part of these events virtually, because all Distance Learning Association sponsored events..... are hybrid events.... they are all....

www.PoweredByZoom.us


The new Zoom Experience Center: London


Sunday, June 2, 2024

Howdy, Partner!


"Howdy, partner!" is an informal greeting often associated with the American West, particularly the cowboy culture.

"Howdy" is a colloquial contraction of "How do you do?" and means "Hello."

"Partner" is a friendly term that can mean "friend" or "companion."

Together, "Howdy, partner!" is a warm and friendly way to say hello, often evoking a sense of camaraderie and the spirit of the Old West.

A partner is someone who shares or is associated with another person in some type of relationship or activity. The term can apply in various contexts:

Business Partner: An individual or entity that shares ownership and responsibilities in a business venture.

Romantic Partner: A person with whom one shares a romantic relationship, such as a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or significant other.

Dance Partner: Someone with whom one performs a dance routine.

Sports Partner: A teammate in a sport, often used in activities like doubles tennis.

Crime Partner: Someone who collaborates in committing a crime, often referred to as a partner in crime.

General Usage: A companion or associate in any activity or endeavor.

In the context of "Howdy, partner!" the term "partner" is used in a friendly and informal way, often implying camaraderie and equal footing. Let's focus on that one today.

THIS MONTH (June) we expect 44K+ to attend InfoComm in Las Vegas. We also expect 40K+ to attend COLLISION in Toronto. In a few days here in NYC, we expect 6,013 to attend a Verizon 5G event at Radio City Music Hall. Verizon spent the necessary money to rent RCMH on June 5th. As a Verizon 'partner' we were asked to help promote their event. Hence the Verizon 5G Event placement on page 1 / slide 1 on NYDLA.org 

Gotta be a good partner, right? 

A Partner Program in business is a strategic initiative where a company collaborates with other businesses, individuals, or organizations to expand its reach, enhance its offerings, and create mutual benefits. Here are some types of partner programs:

Affiliate Program: Partners promote a company's products or services and earn a commission for sales generated through their referrals.

Reseller Program: Partners purchase products or services from a company at a discount and resell them to end customers, often adding value through additional services or support.

Referral Program: Partners refer potential customers to a company and receive a reward or commission for successful conversions.

Technology Partner Program:Partners integrate their technology or services with the company's offerings to create a combined solution that enhances value for customers.

Strategic Alliance: Long-term partnerships where companies collaborate on specific projects or initiatives, sharing resources, expertise, and risks.

I have a cool little 'Partner' story..... ready?

A few years ago, Verizon approached the DLA (Distance Learning Association) to offer the BlueJeans by Verizon video conferencing service to our entire community. We said yes. Duh. 

We became a partner - then Verizon made us a Tier 1 Partner - then we became a Tier 1 ELITE Partner. Until we were not...

On August 31, 2023 we were notified that Verizon decided to retire the BlueJeans by Verizon services. What made this a little crazy, is the fact that just a few weeks earlier, we launched a massive marketing campaign to contact all 174K+ DLA Schools in North America - offering (all of them) BlueJeans by Verizon. 

That's One Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand zero spam, 100% opt-in emails to the decision makers of Schools, across North America. Ooops. Ah, did I say BlueJeans? Ah, we meant Zoom! We want you all to www.GetZoom.us!!! 

Partner Programs are crucial for businesses seeking to grow their market presence, enhance their product or service offerings, and build strong, collaborative relationships with other entities. I have spent my entire career in 'Partner Programs' operating as a partner, an agent, a Master Agent, a reseller, a VAR, a private label reseller - you name it. Before I took over running the NYDLA.org I ran MyTeachingPartners.com 

Companies like Verizon (or Zoom, or Microsoft, or Amazon, or Cisco, or...) know the value of Partner Programs. Ah, but let's face it - they really don't want PARTNERS - they want CUSTOMERS. But they (the big companies) have figured out that people do business with PEOPLE. People do business with people that they like, and with people that they trust

When Verizon first approached us, asking us to sell BlueJeans to 'the world' they said to me during our first strategy meeting: "Well, Tom, your brand is better than our brand...."

And, I almost fell out of my chair..... 

"For BlueJeans, Tom. Specifically for BlueJeans by Verizon - you - the Distance Learning Association - your 'brand' is better than the Verizon brand, for marketing purposes." 

You know something? They were right. Verizon was right about branding. That was a major epiphany for me. It's not about ROI, or even ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend). It's all about ROR: Return on RELATIONSHIPS. You know, partnerships

AND SO.....THIS month.... 44K+ will attend InfoComm. 40K+ will attend COLLISION in Toronto. 6K+ will attend Propelify on the Hudson River in Hoboken, NJ. And there will be a smattering of events in NYC, all in the month of June. 100K+ people attending LIVE events in total, to be conservative. 

And, the NYDLA ( now NADLA - all of North America ) will be attending (checks notes...) all of them to say... to all 100K+ of them.....

"Howdy, Partner!" 

Tip of the Hat to my friend and DLA member Marty Neumeier..... the "Wizard of Brands" 


Also This: Similar to BlueJeans, WorkPlace by Meta has retired 
and so - we are now telling THE WORLD