Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hey Buddy, Got a Second?

A clock is an instrument used to indicate, keep, and co-ordinate time. The word clock is derived from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning “bell”. Clocks made “noise”. A silent instrument missing such a noise making mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece. Today, a "clock" refers to any device for measuring and displaying the time. Watches and other timepieces that can be carried on one's person are often distinguished from clocks. Hence, we call it a wristwatch, not a wristclock.
The clock is one of the oldest human inventions.
Mankind seemed to always have the deep and desperate need to consistently measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units: the day; the lunar month; and the year. Devices operating on several different physical processes have been used over the millennia, culminating in the clocks of today.
Figuring out how to accurately measure time was a very big deal for mankind ever since – well - since the beginning of time. John Harrison created the first highly accurate marine chronometer in the mid-18th century. No accurate mechanical clocks, no world navigation. The "Noon Gun" in Cape Town still fires an accurate signal to allow ships to check their chronometers. Without accurate time measurement, ships could have never ventured very far from shore. What would the world look like without the invention of the mechanical chronometer?
Navigation depends on the ability to measure latitude and longitude. Latitude is fairly easy to determine through celestial navigation, but the measurement of longitude requires accurate measurement of time. This need was a major motivation for the development of accurate mechanical clocks. 



The use of an atomic clock in radio signal producing satellites is fundamental to the operation of GPS or (Global Positioning System) navigation devices. No atomic clock, no GPS in your car, or in your cell phone for that matter. It seems that from earliest days of history, the concept of “time” was very important. In fact, for thousands of years, man has tried to “master” the measurement of time. “He who has the best clocks, wins” seems to have been known for quite some time. We all want to run our businesses like "a Swiss Watch" right?


Remember all those WW2 commando epics, and right before the big mission they all synchronize their watches? The BBC World Service even still has their tones for setting your watch at the top and bottom of every hour. "Bip, bip, bip, bip, bip, bip, BEEP" and push in the knob. You and your commando team are now on to the second, ready for action. 

Today, we take knowing the exact time for granted. Look at the bottom right-hand corner of your computer monitor. That clock is synchronized with the Atomic Clock (www.nist.gov) at no charge to you. Just a few years ago, the concept of accessing the Atomic Clock (from your home, no less) was beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.


The world watches the ball drop at Times Square tonight! 
We all counted down to the exact second the start of the New Year, January 1st 2012. And yet, my friends in Perth, Australia started celebrating the New Year “yesterday”. That just seems a little odd, don’t you think?

What about the six astronauts living on the International Space Station? When do they start the “official” celebration? From about 240 miles (386 kilometers) above Earth, the crew recorded a special New Year's message for everyone on the planet. "My crew and I, we're all here to take a few minutes out of our time to wish everybody on planet Earth a happy new year from low-Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station," said NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, commander of the station's Expedition 30 mission.
"From aboard the International Space Station — a truly international space station, built by countries around the world — from a truly international crew, we wish you all a happy New Year's," Burbank said. 
365 days x 24 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds is an amazing 31,536,000 seconds waiting for us in 2012. It does not matter if you work at the International Space Station or at an Exxon Gas Station – we all have the same 31,536,000 seconds. It does not matter if we manage our time with an Atomic Clock, or with a Sundial. Time is the great equalizer for us all.


For thousands of years mankind knew the most important thing in the world, the most precious thing for everyone, regardless of your station in life - was “time”. Even before we could keep track of it, we knew that time was key to life on earth. Here’s to our fascination with time, and to making every second count in 2012 and beyond.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Time Machine for Christmas

I was invited to speak about technology and entrepreneurship, and the panelist sitting next to me was from Google. This gentleman walked in, opened up his briefcase, and pulled out a neatly organized packet with notes. I learned that his virtual assistant had prepared an entire packet on the event, the organizers, and the topic. It was obvious that he had never thought about this event until just before it began. He was skilled enough, and experienced enough that he could do this -- and get away with it. I was both impressed and inspired.

Why did I spend precious time on the minutiae of figuring out where the event was? Or what I was supposed to talk about? What if I could delegate this work, and leave my days open to be creative? What if the information I needed appeared EXACTLY when and where I needed it? (This is not just about speaking at a conference. Think about all the time you spend planning instead of being creative and doing what you're best at.) 

I thought, what if I could keep my mind free -- letting me be creative for most of my work day -- and when it came down to nuts and bolts of preparation, I could walk in somewhere, confidently knowing that I had every piece of relevant information at my fingertips?

I decided to build a team to do exactly this, just like my friend from Google. My team of virtual assistants (known in business as BPO) has now become its own MTP company with global workers and contractors: www.MTP-BPO.com

  • When I travel, my appointments are automatically scheduled (e.g., lunches, dinners, meetings, conferences, presentations, etc) and sent to my Smartphone or iPad.
  • When I have a meeting (real or virtual) I get a text message alert and/or email, and I know to start getting ready. And I know if we are running late or if anyone had to cancel. No wasted time, ever!
  • My live (or virtual) meetings and conference calls are recorded, transcribed, and shared with everyone who matters, with tasks, cases and associated to-dos all shared online, in real-time global collaboration.
  • As I'm walking down the hall to grab the elevator, I open up my calendar, where I see the exact location of a meeting so it's easier to relay to the cab driver.
  • I also see the agenda of my meetings, notes from my calls or webinars, and any necessary items I've prepared, and bios of the people at the meeting or event. I can review this all in the time it takes me to get to the meeting, aka my "Taxi time."
  • Things like bookkeeping, invoicing, website maintenance, newsletters, customer service and technical support for any and all of MTP’s holdings is just flat out “done” and is not my burden. I get to focus on being creative. 
  • I now focus on doing the things that only I can do – and others can focus on doing the things that anyone can do.



The Internet has changed the way we work and play forever. 

Amazon.com has changed the way that we shop. Google Apps and various distance learning technologies have changed the way that we learn. QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, PayPal and Online Banking have changed how we spend and collect money. Audio, Web and Videoconferencing have changed the way that we hold meetings. In fact, 95% of the time the meetings that you attend are unnecessary and a waste of everyone’s time.  You can get the same (or better) results from using Asynchronous tools like Brainshark, GoldMail or screen recorder technology like Jing. Check out my good friend Al Pittampalli’s website: http://modernmeetingstandard.com/ and read his best-selling book Read This Before Our Next Meeting.  

Work is not a place to go – it's the thing that you do.

Have you ever visited Cedar City, Utah? It is gorgeous, located within driving distance of 7 national parks. Just a short drive north of Las Vegas, and just a short drive south of Salt Lake City, it is in the middle of God’s country. But Cedar City is also the home of Southern Utah University. We have brilliant student interns from SUU, who “love” working with MTP’s Fortune 1000 clients during the morning, and then attending classes (or enjoying skiing) in the afternoon. And upon graduation, these wonderful students have the choice of “leaving” paradise, moving away to work in places like Silicon Valley, or they can work from their “smart sites” in Cedar City - enjoying the low cost of living and the high quality of life.

MTP now has paid student interns from dozens of top rated colleges and universities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; many of them are experts in Social Media, Cloud Computing and other must-have, mission critical business technologies that are in demand. Fortune companies love to hire these interns for full time jobs, upon graduation. 

Check out http://www.visitdetroit.com. Sadly, we know all too well that there is a shortage of automotive related jobs in Detroit. But do you know what there are plenty of in the Detroit metro area? Smart, highly educated, hard working people, all with high speed internet connections. People who are ready to work on tasks and projects, from the comfort of their Wi-Fi enabled homes. VoIP, SaaS and Cloud Computing technology has changed everything forever. Talent Plus Technology is the new growing industry of Detroit.

Veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan need jobs. www.IAVA.org is a 21st Century veteran’s organization dedicated to standing with the 2.3 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan from their first day home through the rest of their lives. In just the last year, IAVA has connected hundreds of veterans with technology companies and BPO employers, like www.MTP-BPO.com .

The Internet has allowed many of our nation's heroes (in some cases, those who were wounded in battle) to work from their homes. These veterans who were responsible for multi-million dollar equipment, and managing highly complex projects - and supervising people who were trained by the best of the best in new and valuable business skills. Young men and women who are now looking to restart their lives, to be productive, to earn a living and to support their families.

Time is our most precious asset. Rich or poor, young or old, no matter where in the world we live, we all have the same number of hours in a day, a week or a month. The difference between success and failure is many times found in how we spend that most precious asset - how we spend our time.

If you could focus your energy and passion on the things that you want to do - focus your time and energy only on the things that you are good at, what would happen? What if you could work only on the things that you are passionate about, how would that change the quality of your life?  How would such modifications change your business model (and change your profits) in 2012 and beyond?

Here is a holiday gift for you. You can borrow my (now) perfected Time Machine for 2012, for free. You can use any and all of the tools and services of www.MTP-BPO.com and our diverse and well trained “Time Machine Crew” for 10 hours at 100% no cost to you, totally free, with no strings attached. But I warn you up front, once you give it a try, you will get spoiled fast.

Once you have the wonderful people of Cedar City Utah, or Detroit Michigan, or the hundreds of paid college and university interns, or our returning war heroes - doing excellent work for you on time (and at half the costs) you will never want to go “back in time” to the old ways of doing things.

Once you visit the future, it is hard to go back to the past.

I stole the idea for MTP-BPO from Google, now you can steal it from me. It’s easy to beat your competition when you have your own Time Machine.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ho Ho Hold On!

Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated as a way to celebrate the holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism. It was created by writer Dan O'Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a screenwriter for the TV show Seinfeld, as part of a comical storyline on the show. The holiday's celebration, as shown on Seinfeld, includes an unadorned aluminum "Festivus pole", practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles". Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as "a Festivus for the rest of us", a saying taken from the O'Keefe family traditions and popularized in the Seinfeld episode to describe Festivus' non-commercial aspect.

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists, and with agnosticism, which leaves the matter of existence open.

Our family is Roman Catholic. I thought it would be cool to attend Midnight Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral and this is the answer I got:

Thank you for your recent email. Unfortunately we do not take Midnight Mass requests until after Labor Day. You would have to send a request in writing to the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, 14 East 51 Street, New York, NY 10022 attention Midnight Mass requests, include a self addressed stamped envelope and there is a limit of 4 tickets per family. The Masses Christmas Day are as follows: 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:15 a.m.; 12 noon, 1:00, 5:30 p.m. Thank you for writing to the Cathedral of Saint Patrick.

So, the Capone family is SOL this year – no Midnight Mass at Saint Patrick’s – we needed to plan ahead!

And then, it hit me like a Festivus pole to the head:

Christmas is not about going to the “cool” Midnight Mass in New York City. It is not about being Catholic, or Christian, or Jewish, or even an Atheist. It is not about Black Fridays or Cyber Mondays. When you finally figure it out, when you finally “get it” and understand what Christmas is all about, you will feel it from the top of your head, to the tips of your toes. And you will never forget.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, regardless of where you live in the world, regardless of what you do for a living, married or single, rich or poor, we all have the ability to make a difference in this world.  We all have the ability to leave our mark, to change a life, and to make the world a little better place than how we found it.  


I watched "One Solitary Life" and I shared it on Facebook today. I have seen this many times over the years, and I think it is very cool indeed, regardless of your religious beliefs.

Today, a friend on Facebook sent me this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DXL9vIUbWg

Just a few years ago, receiving such a gift was technologically impossible. Today, we take such technology like YouTube – such “gifts” for granted.  Some would call it a “Festivus miracle”. I am a little old school, so I am going sticking with “Christmas miracle”.

Please, please, please watch the YouTube video “Change for a Dollar” like 1.3 million others have done to date. Tell me that you don’t feel the “Christmas Spirit” like you never felt it before.

PEACE and Blessings to Everyone


Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Favorite Electrons

Ancient Greeks noticed that amber attracted small objects when rubbed with fur. This is humanity's earliest recorded experience with electricity.  English scientist William Gilbert coined the term electricus to this property of attracting small objects after being rubbed. Electric and electricity are derived from the Latin ─ôlectrum which came from the Greek word (─ôlektron) for amber.

We just had one (of many) holiday parties in New York City. I always love New York, but spending time in the city during the holidays is very special. $10 for a beer seems like a bargain during the holidays, bringing new meaning to “holiday spirits”. A Martini was $21. Ho Ho Ho.

Here's what I find interesting: 99% of the people who attended this party, I consider to be my close friends. I have known many of these people for years. We have shared secrets. We have openly expressed feelings that only true friends exchange. We do what you would expect good friends to do – to speak openly - sharing the deepest of thoughts from the heart. 

And yet, I just met most of these people (live) for the very first time.

The people that I just met - I know them better than I know anyone on the planet. I have pictures of their pets. I know when their pets make a mess, or when their doggie ruins a pair of new shoes. I know where they went to school, what they do for a living.  I know everything about them, and their kids. I know their friends, and I know their friend’s friends. I know what they like, I know what they read, I know their political beliefs. I know what they think is funny and what they think is disgusting. I have seen videos of birthday parties, pictures of their cars, pictures of them in their pajamas, and now - thanks to Facebook’s new timeline feature – I can see what I missed from years ago. The statement “tell me about yourself” has taken on new meaning, in the age of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.

This particular holiday party was planned 100% online. It was organized and confirmed via emails, texts and postings on Facebook. Not a single phone call; just the free exchange of electrons. No hand written invitations, no cards in the postal mail, no notes, no face to face conversations. Everyone exchanged their opinions of “what we should do and where we should go” - all done remotely and virtually.  

Over time, I became very close with my virtual friends – or should I say – I became very fond of their electrons. I never met these people live; I never shook anyone’s hand, or put an arm around their shoulder, or patted them on the back. I never bought these friends a beer after a round of golf or gave them a hug when they needed my support. Oddly, I have lent them money via PayPal!  *Yeah, that was for you, Joey.

When you do meet a virtual friend in real (not simulated) life, it is amazing. Your brain replays all of the emails, texts, videos and online chats that make up your virtual friendships. It is that “life flashing before your eyes” feeling, when you see standing in front of you (in the flesh) your close, no longer virtual friends. All electrons are now fully assembled, ready for a handshake or hug.

The morning following the party, my inbox was full of new electrons from the same people that I have known for years – the same people that I just met for the first time. And now “friends of friends” have now connected with me on Facebook, or joined my blog, or sent me a text – all thanking me for our very dear and very important friendship.

What was the best part of the entire evening?

We all promised to have a reunion dinner, sometime after the New Year. A real “breaking of bread” meeting. Real life - not virtually.  No sending of electrons on our behalf; we need to show up for our (no longer just virtual) friends.

I hope that someone posts plans for the reunion dinner on MeetUp.com


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Take a deep breath...

About a year ago was the first time I ever had “pure oxygen”.  I was in the hospital for a procedure. I had one of those attractive little tubes in my nose, slowly giving me a constant, steady flow of oxygen pumped gently and directly into my schnozzle. 

Oxygen is what keeps us alive.  However, there is actually less than 20% pure oxygen in the air we breathe.  In other words, each inhalation and exhalation contains only around 20% of what we’re working for in the first place – the oxygen.  The rest of the breathing process is just the “cost of sale” as the air we breathe is just going along for the ride.

I remember the first night that I slept with oxygen.  It was the best sleep of my entire life.  I don’t think I moved an inch all night long; I fell asleep at around 11pm and I did not make my first noise until 8am in the morning.  When I woke up, I felt twenty years younger. 

When I saw my doctor in the morning, he asked me how I was feeling.  I went on and on about how GREAT I felt, all because I slept with pure oxygen pumped into my lungs, and ultimately into my brain.  He said, “Well, don’t get your hopes up - you are not getting a prescription for oxygen”. 

After I went home from the hospital, I never forgot how breathing pure oxygen made me feel.  Every time I see a football game on television, I see the athletes sitting on the sidelines, sucking in oxygen after running as fast as they could run for less than 100 yards (and they were only running for a few seconds, in total).

If there is around 20% pure oxygen in the air we breathe, then easy math tells us that we need to take 5 breaths to get the equivalent of one breath of pure oxygen, right?  5 steps to 1 to get what we were after in the first place. And, if you are ill, it might take many more shallow or inefficient breaths to deliver the oxygen that your body needs to survive.

Technology is the oxygen of business.

Just as it is impossible to survive without oxygen, it is impossible for a business to survive without technology.

How many “breaths” of technology do you take every day?  And how “pure” is the technology ratified air that you are breathing?  How much voice, data, wireless, wireline, hardware, software, SaaS, Cloud computing, mobility, social media does your business breath in and out, every single day? And more importantly, is your business suffering from some form of technology impaired emphysema?

Many businesses are suffocating from a lack of proper technology - which is slowly choking and killing off their business, and they don’t even realize it is happening.  Their businesses are needlessly sick, due to a lack of proper technology. They don’t even know they are sick at the time – or - they don’t know how to get better.  They don’t know how wonderful their businesses could operate, if they only had access to better technology.  Just like I had no idea how wonderful breathing pure oxygen could make me feel - how could I know, unless you experience it for yourself?

For the past 28 years, I have been selling technology based “oxygen” to businesses of every size.  As the world becomes more and more populated, we all can see how having access to clean air is critical to our very survival. 

If you can see how having access to the most pure (access to “the best technology”) is the oxygen of the business world, you might see running your own business in a different light.

I formed www.MedicalTechnologyPartners.com years ago, offering best-of-breed telecom and technology solutions to medical and pharmaceutical companies all around the world.  Today we have 300+ of the Fortune 1000 using “something” from MTP, even 100% free services like www.MTPFreeConferencing.com

Our parent company, TAC Holdings LLC has now grown to over 30 MTP companies, all servicing different vertical niche markets, but all telecom technology related. Maybe TAC Holdings should send our 28+ years worth of clients and customers a little bottle of pure oxygen, scheduled to arrive a few days after their New Year’s hangover wears off. 

How healthy do you want YOUR business be, in 2012?  Just don’t forget to breathe….. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tommy Baby!



It was not in the MTP business plan for 2011, but over the past several months I have been speaking to College and University students about getting jobs and careers after college. After 28+ years in “sales” public speaking is something that I take for granted. I love it – I look forward to it – give me a microphone and a laser pointer and I am one happy camper.

This past week I had the pleasure of speaking to the students at Quinnipiac University. This was an extra special day, as my son Tom Jr. is a Senior at Quinnipiac, in the School of Business - Computer Information Systems. 

My first presentation was to my son’s Systems Analysis and Design class.  It is a little daunting to present to a room full of people who are half your age and possess twice your IQ.

Next up was to the entire School of Business. It was a standing room only crowd, and the students were receptive and very attentive.  I might not be smarter than the students, but I am still bigger.

Not too many years ago, a College or University was judged by its library. “He who has the best library wins”.  In fact, that specific asset (the library) is what forced students to physically attend that institution of higher learning in the first place – that is where all the books are located.  No books, no learning. No learning, no education. No education, no advancement.  And then, no American Dream.

Technology has broken down the barriers of entry to reaching the American Dream.  

If you really want to learn something, you can do so. Now. Right now, from your home.  Just as only a few years ago, a College or University would be judged by the size of its library – they would be judged by the number of books and periodicals in the rows and rows of “stacks”. Today the academic criteria and asset judgment is a “wired campus”. Global distance learning, cloud computing, high speed mobile broadband, VoIP and other unified communication technologies of the past ten years have let the proverbial genie out of the bottle for higher education. 

When founded in 1901, United States Steel Corporation was the largest business enterprise ever launched, with an authorized capitalization of $1.4 billion. Throughout the years, U. S. Steel responded to changing economic conditions and new market opportunities through diversification and periodic restructuring. Today, over a century after its founding, U. S. Steel remains the largest integrated steel producer in the United States.

In the film The Godfather Part II, Hyman Roth tells Michael Corleone "Michael, we're bigger than U.S. Steel". If I referenced that movie quote to my college student audiences, they would have no idea what I was taking about. In fact, some of the younger professors in the room would not know what I was talking about either!

Times change, and it is technology that drives that change.

So, here is what I learned in college this week:

The best days of this country are ahead of us.  I know this to be true – I can see it in the faces of the students.  The hard assets of this country might have shifted; but the most important assets are still there: passion, energy and a thirst for knowledge. 

Just as the USA was once known for U.S. Steel, and once known for its manufacturing muscle and other “hard” assets, the USA will soon be known for a different kind of manufacturing. It will be the manufacture of innovation and change. Just as colleges and universities were once known for their physical libraries and massive cavernous lector halls, technology will continue to change everything. Especially in higher education.

The USA will be judged by its ongoing creation of (and open collaboration of) ideas, the production of thought leadership and global creativity through education.  The job descriptions of teachers and educators will change, and the techniques and technologies of global distance learning will continue to morph and adapt to a global marketplace.  Global distance learning screams out that “none of us are as smart as all of us”. 

That quote is indeed stronger than steel.

One more thing. I promised my son Tom Jr. that I would not embarrass him while presenting to his college class at Quinnipiac. I am not sure how he felt when I shouted out “Tommy Baby!” when I spotted him in the audience….