Sunday, March 3, 2024

Zoom me out to the ball game

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. hey ChatGPT: What is the population around the 30 Major League Baseball parks?

ChatGTP: I'm sorry, but I don't have access to real-time data, so I can't provide the exact populations around each of the 30 Major League Baseball parks. The populations around these parks would vary depending on their locations and the cities they're in. You can find the populations of the cities where the parks are located through various sources such as census data or official city statistics websites. OK, What are the 30 MLB ballparks?

ChatGPT: As of my last update in January 2022, there are 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums. Here they are:

1. Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Los Angeles Angels)

2. Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)

3. Truist Park (Atlanta Braves)

4. Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)

5. Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox)

6. Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)

7. Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago White Sox)

8. Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati Reds)

9. Progressive Field (Cleveland Guardians)

10. Coors Field (Colorado Rockies)

11. Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers)

12. Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros)

13. Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals)

14. Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Los Angeles Angels)

15. Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)

16. loanDepot Park (Miami Marlins)

17. American Family Field (Milwaukee Brewers)

18. Target Field (Minnesota Twins)

19. Citi Field (New York Mets)

20. Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)

21. Oakland Coliseum (Oakland Athletics)

22. Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies)

23. PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates)

24. Petco Park (San Diego Padres)

25. Oracle Park (San Francisco Giants)

26. T-Mobile Park (Seattle Mariners)

27. Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals)

28. Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays)

29. Globe Life Field (Texas Rangers)

30. Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays)

Please note that there might have been changes since then due to new stadium constructions, renovations, or changes in team locations. OK, last question: What would happen if the DLA (Distance Learning Association) hosted events for the six months of the MLB 2024 season at all 30 MLB ballparks. What if we invited (checks notes...) all of the 'ideal client persona' (filtered) businesses within easy commute of the 30 MLB ballparks, to VIP events, customer appreciate days, Lunch 'n Learns, Sunset Seminars, to learn about products, services, etc. Things like Cybersecurity Summits, UCaaS days, Ecommerce Mastery, Telemedicine....Cloud Computing... AI Mastery... anything...everything. And since the MLB is Powered By Zoom all such individual events can also reach hundreds of thousands of people. Over the entire season, we would reach MILLIONS of business decision makers, both LIVE and (live via Zoom). We could even have Baseball Hall of Fame players attend the events LIVE in the VIP suites or (live) via Zoom. What do you think?

ChatGPT: ..................calculating....................................................

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.

{ ah, but first }

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Well, use the difficulty

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

Good for us!
We have been granted Tier 1 ELITE status to resell for an International IT vendor across North America! Such an amazing opportunity. Here we go!

Yesterday: DDoS attack from outside the USA. Not just a DDoS, a brute force attack. 

A brute force DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is a type of cyberattack where multiple compromised systems are used to flood a target system or network with an overwhelming volume of traffic, aiming to make the targeted system or network unavailable to its intended users. 

In a brute force DDoS attack, attackers typically utilize a large number of bots or compromised computers to generate and send a massive amount of traffic to the target. This flood of traffic can overwhelm the target's resources such as bandwidth, processing power, or network connections, thereby causing the target system or network to become unresponsive or inaccessible to legitimate users.

The term "brute force" in this context refers to the indiscriminate and forceful nature of the attack, as it does not rely on sophisticated techniques to exploit vulnerabilities in the target system or network. Instead, the attackers simply bombard the target with an excessive amount of traffic, often using techniques like UDP flood, SYN flood, or HTTP flood.

Brute force DDoS attacks can have serious consequences, causing financial losses, reputational damage, and disrupting services for legitimate users. It's important for organizations to implement robust DDoS protection measures to mitigate the risk of such attacks.

So, at around 6:00 AM EST on a Saturday morning, no one can reach our websites - or they load SLOW. Like so slow that it looks like we are out of business. 

Now, I have been selling telecom and technology since 1983. I know some stuff, but I am not an IT / MIS / Engineer. I'm a selling CEO... 

And so at 6:04 AM EST on a Saturday morning I am opening up a support ticket with our vendor (normally I would not be the one doing this...). And now I am speaking LIVE with support. A real person. Not a bot, not a chatbot. No, I am working with a real human, Robert, in tech support. LIVE.  

The next 20 minutes or so, it was Robert and me, me and Robert - shoulder to shoulder - fighting off the attack. Looking at this, trying that. Rebooting the server, etc. Once the CASE was closed, Robert sent me an email to memorialize it all:

"Thank you for calling in. During the call you mentioned that you were have issues connecting to your websites. You provided access to your server and I immediately noticed that you had 63,011 failed login attempts in only a few minutes. I then checked your messages in the /var/logs directory. There, I found you had an IP, 115.204.XX.XX, that was brute forcing your server. I added that IP to the blacklist for cphulk and then rebooted your server. This significantly improved your website load times.  

As requested over the call this case can be closed out. We will set this case to resolved but if you have any questions or if we can be of any additional assistance a reply within seven days will open it back up."

So, it turns out that a COMPETITOR of the vendor that just awarded us North America was the bad actor. We were able to trace the IP address, and identify them. And, we have since alerted the authorities. Or shall we say, Robert did all of this. For me. For us. Within the hours of the incident, I went through a range of emotions. And then, I remembered something that I learned from Michael Caine, the actor. He would say "use the difficulty." 

Sir Michael tells us that any time we are faced with a difficulty or problem, we can use it to our advantage. He uses the story of a misplaced chair in his rehearsal space to illustrate this, doing so with his typical wit and self-deprecating humour. It’s complete mindset brilliance.

Here’s an excerpt where he illustrates the moment of his epiphany (the video is at the bottom):

“I opened the door, and I said to the producer who was sitting out in the stalls, ‘Well look, I can’t get in. There’s a chair in my way.’

He said, ‘Well, use the difficulty.’

So I said, ‘What do you mean, use the difficulty?’

He said, ‘Well, if it’s a drama, pick it up and smash it. If it’s a comedy, fall over it.’

This was a line for me for life: Always use the difficulty.”

Sir Michael goes on to say there’s never anything so bad where ‘using the difficulty’ can’t be applied. If we use it only a quarter of one percent to our advantage, then we’re ahead. We didn’t let it get us down.

Brush yourself off, pick yourself up, give yourself a metaphorical hug and ask yourself questions. In doing so, you’ll put into practice this “Use the Difficulty” mindset:

  • What’s this situation teaching me? 
  • What’s the useful lesson that I can glean from this scenario?
  • If this was happening to a good friend of mine right now (instead of me), what advice would I give to him or her? This can provide some perspective to a situation that you might be too close to. Take a step back and have a look from the outside-in.
  • How can I use this perceived disadvantage, set back or challenge to my advantage? 
  • What’s good about this situation? Come up with at least five things.
  • What can I do right now to move forward?

Although Sir Michael jokes his other philosophy is to avoid difficulties altogether, leaders are often faced with challenges on a daily basis. ‘Using the difficulty’ is a change in mindset that can turn a challenging situation into a positive experience for everyone.

I have been thinking about the AMAZING customer service that I received from super genius support engineer Robert yesterday. How we went from a very (very) bad situation to resolution - and how now, today, I am using the difficulty. We are a better company and organization now for experiencing this DDoS attack. We learned much, not only for how to protect ourselves moving forward - but how to protect our customers, our clients, our members. 

I am now 'using the difficulty' for everyone we know - for every single member of the DLA

Sunday, February 18, 2024

R2-D2 send an email to the CES Attendee List

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

One of the last major events that I attended LIVE before COVID was the AI Summit in NYC

Here is my December 2019 BLOG on that show. And that blog in 2019 turned out to be my most read blog post, ever. The folks who ran the show, reposted it on their website for all to see. Cool. 

In my blog I joked about how my 'Baby Boomer Brain' saw I Heart a Rotary Telephone in the T-Shirts that IBM was giving out at their booth. 

My friend Seth Godin, the legendary luminary in branding and marketing recently said "AI is the biggest thing in our world since Electricity." 

Alrighty then. 

The potential size and impact of artificial intelligence (AI) are difficult to predict precisely, but it's clear that AI is already becoming increasingly influential across various industries and aspects of everyday life. Here are some factors contributing to the growth and significance of AI:

Industry Adoption: Many industries are adopting AI technologies to streamline processes, enhance productivity, and gain competitive advantages. This includes sectors such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, retail, transportation, and more.

Innovation: Continuous innovation in AI algorithms, techniques, and applications is driving the expansion of AI capabilities. Breakthroughs in machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and robotics are leading to new AI-powered products and services.

Data Availability: AI thrives on data, and the increasing volume of digital data generated worldwide provides ample opportunities for AI applications. With the rise of the internet of things (IoT), social media, online transactions, and sensors, the amount of data available for AI analysis and training is growing exponentially.

Investment: Governments, corporations, and venture capitalists are investing significant resources into AI research, development, and deployment. This investment fosters the growth of AI startups, accelerates technological advancements, and promotes the integration of AI into various sectors.

Automation: AI has the potential to automate repetitive tasks, improve efficiency, and optimize resource allocation in both the workforce and various industries. As AI technologies mature, they will likely play an increasingly prominent role in automating routine activities, freeing up human labor for more creative and strategic endeavors.

Ethical and Regulatory Considerations: As AI becomes more prevalent, there is increasing scrutiny regarding ethical considerations, including data privacy, algorithmic bias, job displacement, and the societal implications of AI technologies. Governments and organizations are developing regulations and guidelines to ensure responsible AI development and deployment.

While the exact size and scope of AI's future impact remain uncertain, it is clear that AI will continue to grow in significance and pervasiveness across diverse domains, fundamentally transforming how we live, work, and interact with technology.

If you know me at all, you know that I run the DLA (Distance Learning Association) - and you know that I have been a "Zoomie" since 2011. Zoom, like many modern technology companies, utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) in various aspects of its platform to enhance user experience, improve features, and streamline operations. 

Here are some ways in which Zoom is leveraging AI:

Video and Audio Enhancement: Zoom uses AI algorithms to enhance video quality and optimize audio during calls. This includes features like noise cancellation, background noise suppression, and automatic adjustments to lighting and contrast.

Transcription and Closed Captioning: AI-powered transcription services enable Zoom to automatically transcribe meeting conversations in real-time. Additionally, AI algorithms can generate closed captions, making meetings more accessible to individuals with hearing impairments or those who prefer to read the conversation.

Virtual Backgrounds: Zoom's virtual background feature, which allows users to replace their actual background with a virtual one, utilizes AI algorithms to accurately detect and differentiate between the user and their surroundings, ensuring a smooth and realistic virtual background experience.

Auto-Generated Meeting Insights: Zoom uses AI to analyze meeting data and generate insights that can help users better understand meeting dynamics, participant engagement, and productivity. These insights may include metrics such as meeting duration, number of participants, and interaction patterns.

Gesture Recognition and Emotion Analysis: Some advanced AI features in development may include gesture recognition and emotion analysis, which could enable Zoom to detect and interpret non-verbal cues from participants, providing additional context during meetings.

Security and Compliance: AI-powered tools are employed to monitor and analyze user behavior for potential security threats or compliance violations. This helps Zoom identify and respond to security incidents, such as unauthorized access or suspicious activity, in real-time.

Content Moderation: AI algorithms can assist in content moderation by automatically detecting and filtering out inappropriate or offensive content shared during meetings or in chat messages, helping to maintain a professional and respectful environment.

Overall, Zoom's integration of AI technologies enhances the functionality and usability of its platform, contributing to a smoother and more efficient virtual meeting experience for users. There are around 800M+ Zoom users in the world. Most use Zoom BASIC (Free) yet enough people use Zoom PRO (or higher) to generate $4.39B+ for Zoom in 2023. 

2024: as a value-added member benefit, all members of the DLA now get Zoom PRO as part of their $25 paid DLA membership (a $15.99 value). Zoom PRO with Zoom AI Companion. Included. [

The Global DLA is improving the world through Democratizing Education just as AI is improving the world through Disruptive Innovation

So, let's all together - from anywhere in the world! But I think we are going to need new T-Shirts. 


Sunday, February 4, 2024

How Will You Measure MY Life?

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

When I took over running the Distance Learning Association back in 2010 (it was bankrupt at the time) one of our first "big wins" was Clay Christensen. It went like this (via a cold email from me):

Clay, I just finished reading your new book, "How Will You Measure Your Life?" and it is amazing. Would you like me to promote this for you to the members of the DLA? 

"That would be wonderful. Thank you." 

That was it. Permission granted. 

We had Clay's new book 'loud and proud' on page 1 of our website as fast as our webmasters could work their magic. 

Karen Dillon is the former editor of Harvard Business Review magazine and co-author of 3 books with Clayton Christensen: New York Times best-seller "How Will You Measure Your Life?", Wall Street Journal best-seller "Competing Against Luck: the Story of Innovation and Customer Choice"; and "The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty", which was a nominee for Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea.

She is also the author of "The Harvard Business Review Guide to Office Politics". A graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, she was named by Ashoka as one of the world's most influential and inspiring women and a ''top influencer'' by Product Management Review in 2016. She is currently a contributing editor to Harvard Business Review and Editorial Director of Banyan Global Family Business Advisors.

Last year, 2023, I received an advance copy of Karen's book The Microstress Effect: How Little Things Pile Up and Create Big Problems - -and What to Do about It. Amazing book. We did a podcast to promote the book launch - and our interview reached millions of DLA members around the world. 

2024: Just last week, I received an email from Karen's colleague Ann-Somers Hogg. Ann is the director of health care research at the Clayton Christensen Institute. She focuses on business model innovation and disruption in health care, including how to transform a sick care system to one that values and incentivizes total health. Her current research addresses why various organizations across the health care landscape are addressing “social determinants of health” and what enables success in this domain. She is tackling these questions through the lens of Jobs to Be Done and Business Model theories.

Next week we shall record a video podcast on Ann's research: Maternal health policy change won’t save enough mothers’ lives. Our video podcast interview will reach millions of people around the world. And maybe, just maybe, it will save lives.

And so, I met Ann-Somers Hogg via Karen Dillion. And I met Karen Dillion via Clay Christensen. And I met Clay Christensen via.... well, via Gmail.  

And here we are in 2024 - OUR DLA MISSION: we are all Living, Learning, Working, Playing, Teaching, Training, Coaching, Mentoring in the Global Cloud Economy. - Improving the world through disruptive innovation. - Improving the world through democratizing education. 

Sadly, Clayton Magleby Christensen passed away on January 23, 2020, at the age of 67. 

Clayton Magleby Christensen (April 6, 1952 – January 23, 2020) was an American academic and business consultant who developed the theory of "disruptive innovation", which has been called the most influential business idea of the early 21st century. Christensen introduced "disruption" in his 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma, and it led The Economist to term him "the most influential management thinker of his time." He served as the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (HBS). 

I think it is a good time for us reread all of Clay's books, don't you? 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Are you related to Al Capone?

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

The Godfather is a crime novel by American author Mario Puzo. Originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons, the novel details the story of a fictional Mafia family in New York City (and Long Island), headed by Vito Corleone, the Godfather. The novel covers the years 1945 to 1955 and includes the backstory of Vito Corleone from early childhood to adulthood.

Born in 1960 I was nine years old when the book came out. The Godfather (the movie) premiered at the Loew's State Theatre on March 14, 1972, and was widely released in the United States on March 24, 1972. It was the highest-grossing film of 1972, and was for a time the highest-grossing film ever made, earning between $250 and $291 million at the box office.

And, I was fourteen years old when The Godfather Part II premiered in New York City on December 12, 1974. It grossed $48 million in the United States and Canada and up to $93 million worldwide on a $13 million budget. 

The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, and became the first sequel to win Best Picture. Its six Oscar wins also included Best Director for Coppola, Best Supporting Actor for De Niro and Best Adapted Screenplay for Coppola and Puzo. Pacino won Best Actor at the BAFTAs and was nominated at the Oscars. Like its predecessor, The Godfather Part II remains a highly influential film, especially in the gangster genre. It is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, as well as the rare example of a sequel that may be superior to its predecessor. In 1997, the American Film Institute ranked it as the 32nd-greatest film in American film history and it retained this position 10 years later. It was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1993, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". 

And I was thirty years old when The Godfather Part III, the final installment in the trilogy, was released in 1990. 

I first saw The Godfather when it was released on VHS in the 80s. Somewhere in the house is The Godfather DVD COLLECTION, 5-Disc set. It was given to me as a birthday gift, many years ago. 

And now, in 2024, at 63 years old I am listening to........ 


Publisher's summary: Mario Puzo's classic saga of an American crime family that became a global phenomenon - nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. This unforgettable saga of crime and corruption, passion and loyalty continues to stand the test of time, as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld.

A #1 New York Times bestseller in 1969, Mario Puzo's epic was turned into the incomparable film of the same name, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is the original classic that has been often imitated, but never matched. A tale of family and society, law and order, obedience and rebellion, it reveals the dark passions of human nature played out against a backdrop of the American dream.


Did you catch that? "...burned its way into our national consciousness..." So, for me, personally, from 1972 to 2024, The Godfather has been a part of my life. I never read (any) of the paper books from Mario Puzo. I have now watched ALL of The Godfather movies, well over a dozen times. But movies are not paper books. 

I love - and I especially love audio books "read by the Author" as it makes me feel like they are talking directly TO ME. But most of the time, I listen to BUSINESS BOOKS. This is the first time that I am listening to a non-business book on Audible. And, it is.... amazing

In The Godfather movies, I don't remember them ever mentioning Al Capone by name. In the audio book, his name comes up. Often. Many, many times. And, in the audible book (all 18 hours, 48 minutes worth) they go deeply into the various characters - much more deeply than possible in the movie (The Godfather Part I was just under 3 hours in total). When watching a movie, we forget how many hours are edited out, how much content will find its way to the editing room floor. An author of a book is not a movie director, nor a movie editor. And actors tend to ad-lib. 

One of The Godfather Part I most memorable lines -- “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli” was entirely improvised and, but for a moment of inspiration, might not have happened. It's not in the book, and it almost never made it into the movie. 

The director Coppola left it in. The results take an already great scene into the realm of immortality, maintaining the harsh message of the dead man in public view while closing with the supposedly ordinary lifestyle of “normal” Americans. Assassination is just another chore on Clemenza’s checklist, and while shooting a traitor to the family in the head is no big deal, he doesn’t want his wife getting angry at him for losing an expensive dessert. Coppola recognized the greatness of the improv by including it in the film, proof that greatness can come from serendipity as much as careful planning.

It was serendipity that made me download and listen to The Godfather 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION. Normally, I would have downloaded a business book for my business trip. And now, I am thinking about doing this again (and again) especially for all the movies of my life

Next up: JAWS. Ah yes - the movie that kept me from swimming in the ocean for years. I never read the book. It's time to give it a listen. 

OK, so go ahead. Ask me. You want to know if I am related to Al Capone? 

Yes. Yes I am. 

Especially when I am on the phone, making last-minute dinner reservations in NYC. Being in "sales" from time to time, "I make people an offer they cannot refuse..."

And that quote WAS in the book AND in the movie....... 

“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

Sunday, January 21, 2024

You don't have to tell me once

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

I have been a customer (fan?) of 37signals for years. I'm thinking 20 years. I have interviewed Jason Fried, the CEO and founder three times. There is something about their culture, their style that grabs me. If I was ever unemployed, I would beg for a job with those guys.

I don't need to steal his thunder, so you can read all about "Once" right here. 

And, you can read my email to Jason right (sent this around two hours ago, 1/21/2024 7:25 AM EST) here:

Hey Jason, {} this is one of the hosting vendors that we resell who gives us excellent margins and excellent support. 

One of many vendors. We can promote and Campfire 1.0  and the "Once" story to the millions in the global DLA community.  Evangelize the logic of buying / Campfire for their needs. 

They pay you full price for / Campfire 1.0 directly from you, I help them to see the value of hosting with us. Hosting via the DLA is a member benefit. Our buying power is massive based on our millions of members. If they host on their own, without us, that is fine. No hard feelings. Maybe we sell them their server, their hardware? Lenovo? We still turned them on to a cool thing which "fits" the DLA community and our global collaboration world...

My logic: worst case scenario, we are helping our friends at 37signals to spread the word about

Best case scenario: this all becomes a home run, we make 100+ sales for you, and then you contemplate allowing us to resell the same way that we resell {realnamegoeshere}. 

So unless you stop me, I'm going to do all of the above. No risk or downside to you, only upside..... 


Now, as of this Sunday Blog, I did not hear back from Jason. I think he is in CA, so it is still early out there. He might say "Hell no, Tom! Over my dead body...." But I feel that there is less than 0.01% chance of that. Why would he say no? 

There is another cool story about how the folks at 37signals came up with the name "Once" and how they bought the domain name. But that is fodder for a future Sunday Blog. 

AND SO...... this blog is LIVE on 1/21/2024. If this blog post remains live.... well then you know that Jason did not say no. Nor did he say Hell No, or any variation of "No". I might not get a HELL YES! but I don't think I'll get a no, or a soft no, or anything that even remotely sounds like "Hey, hold up there Tommy Baby...".  { is also from 37signals.... 😎 }

One of my favorite quotes from Jason is this: "When you say "No" to something, you are saying no to one thing. When you say "Yes" to something, you are saying "No" to MANY things. In other words, there are only so many hours in the day. You cannot do everything. So be careful what you say Yes to, because that YES might actually equal hundreds of NOs. 

But don't be AFRAID to say.......... YES.

The Genius of

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Are you trying to show me up?

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

The NRF Big Show, or the National Retail Federation Big Show, is an annual retail industry event organized by the National Retail Federation (NRF). It is one of the largest retail conferences and expos globally, bringing together retailers, industry professionals, and technology providers. The event typically features keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and an exhibition floor showcasing the latest technologies and solutions in the retail sector. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about emerging trends, network with peers, and explore innovations that impact the retail industry. The NRF Big Show aims to provide insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the retail sector and to foster collaboration among industry stakeholders.

This year, we expect 50K+ to attend NRF BIG SHOW LIVE at Javits Center, and 10X that number to attend virtually

The Javits Center, officially known as the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, is a large convention center located in New York City, USA. It is situated on the West Side of Manhattan, along the Hudson River. The Javits Center is a prominent venue for hosting conventions, trade shows, conferences, and special events.

Named after the former U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javits, the center spans several city blocks and features a significant amount of exhibition space. It has been a key hub for a wide range of events, including business conferences, cultural exhibitions, and large-scale gatherings.

The Javits Center is known for its modern architecture and versatile facilities, making it a popular choice for hosting events of various sizes and industries. It plays a crucial role in facilitating business interactions, showcasing products and innovations, and bringing together professionals from different sectors.

Last week was CES in Las Vegas. Later this month shall be ISE in Spain. Last night kicked off THE BIG SHOW in THE BIG APPLE. 

OK, Google: how far am I from Javits Center? { 33.8 miles away, 41 minutes by car if you leave right now } What about Times Square? { 33.6 miles, figure 42 minutes if you drive }

So, here's the thing: people attend Trade Shows because there are things at Trade Shows that they cannot get, cannot experience, cannot acquire, cannot obtain, cannot learn, if they DON'T attend the show. And, the first thing that comes to mind are the Speakers

Subject Matter Experts. Thought Leaders. Industry Experts. Yes, the booths are cool, the energy of the expo floors is palpable. People that return from CES will take weeks (months?) to unpack what they experienced. But live speakers will always be "the draw" for events like CES, NRF, ISE and others. 

I am spoiled. Living less than an hour (door to door) from the Center of the Known Universe (New York City) I could go to Javits Center every month (every week?) as there is ALWAYS SOMETHING going on at Javits. People travel from all around the world to meetings and events at Javits. Yes, Vegas is probably Trade Show / Expo mecca, but no one ever says no to a trip to New York City. 

I did not go to CES this year (120K+ attending live) but many on my team did physically go. NRF BIG SHOW is in my backyard - I could take an Uber round trip, every day (starting today) and save on hotel rooms. I will not be attending ISE (LIVE) in Spain, but we shall attend virtually. 

Direct office space in Manhattan costs an average of $82 per sq ft each year. Class A space is more expensive, costing an average of around $91 per square foot per year. New York's office vacancy rate has surged more than 70 percent since 2019; there's some 96 million square feet of office real estate available for lease in the city.

During the first three months of 2023, U.S. office vacancy topped 20 percent for the first time in decades. In San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston, vacancy rates are as high as 25 percent. These figures understate the severity of the crisis because they only cover spaces that are no longer leased. Most office leases were signed before the pandemic and have yet to come up for renewal. Actual office use points to a further decrease in demand. Attendance in the 10 largest business districts is still below 50 percent of its pre-COVID level, as white-collar employees spend an estimated 28 percent of their workdays at home.

With a third of all office leases expiring by 2026, we can expect higher vacancies, significantly lower rents, or both. And while we wrestle with the effects of distributed work, artificial intelligence could drive office demand even lower. Some pundits point out that the most expensive offices are still doing okay and that others could be saved by introducing new amenities and services. But landlords can’t very well lease all empty retail stores to Louis Vuitton and Apple. There’s simply not enough demand for such space, and new features make buildings even more expensive to build and operate.

AND SO.................. Trade Shows!

Trade Shows like CES, NRF, ISE allow people to get together, at least a few times a year - LIVE. You don't have to go to the office every day (or even every week) if you can all meet up a few times a year - in Vegas, in Orlando, in Chicago, in Dublin, in Toronto, or of course, meet up in the Center of the Known Universe.... THE BIG APPLE. 

My Uber shall be here in a few minutes.... will I see you at Javits today? 

Also this: members in NY/NJ/CT who work from home can use our NYC office for meetings and events. You are welcome. 

Whew! I made the cut...