Sunday, April 25, 2021

Is COLLISION becoming a verb?

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

You know how Zoom became "a verb" during the pandemic? I think the same thing is happening with COLLISION. 

When the world stayed home due to COVID, everyone from CEOs to first graders turned to Zoom to stay connected. As a result, "Zoom" has graduated to verb-status, supplanting "hop on a video call" in much the same way we tend to "Google" topics regardless of the search engine. 

I love it when a CEO of a major company is interviewed on the Sunday Morning TV shows and the host of the show says something like "Well, all of you Zoom companies...." and you just watch the face of the person being interviewed. 

Ah yes, body language at its best.

COLLISION (noun) which can be an instance of one moving object or person striking violently against another - or - an instance of conflict between opposing ideas, interests or factions. 

We just finished up COLLISION 2021 and I think that COLLISION is on its way to having a branding moment. 

Growing up in the 60's Zoom used to mean to me "Zoom: Kids PBS TV Show" to "Zoom: move or travel very quickly" to "Zoom: camera change smoothly from a long shot to a close-up or vice versa." Or maybe how Superman would take off: "Then suddenly, Zoom!, he's off!"

NYDLA - NADLA has supported both Zoom and also COLLISION from their births. I mean, we are the distance learning > DIGITAL learning > DIGITAL LIVING association. 

And we now service all of North America, not just the "New York Megalopolis." 

Due to the pandemic, "COLLISION: The Olympics of Tech" made the pivot to VIRTUAL from classic LIVE events. This year, COLLISION was supposed to be post-COVID and live in Toronto - LIVE! I have never been to Toronto! I always wanted to GO to Toronto! 

Alas, this year, once again, we attended COLLISION - from our homes. 

Spoiler Alert: COLLISION 2021 was not the best virtual event of the past three years - it was the best EVENT. Period. Virtual or otherwise. 

I am one of those crazy people who, when attending  a live TRADE SHOW finds the Northwest Corner of the building, and then I go off walking serpentine visiting "every damn booth" of the show. I know JAVITS CENTER NYC like my own home. And don't get me started about how many aggregate miles I've walked over the years, attending CES in Vegas. 

This year, from my super comfy X-Chair I once again attended three days of COLLISION from the comfort of my home office. has supported COLLISION every year since attending COLLISION 2016 New Orleans. 

2016 was cool - my son Tommy and I had a great time bonding, as we ALSO attended Jazz Fest (going on at the same time as COLLISION). When Web Summit (COLLISION's sister conference in Europe) started in 2010 it could hardly predict that it would become Europe's biggest tech conference. Their focus was on creating the best little startup conference they could. People liked it. And from those first 400 attendees, word spread, and it grew to 22,100 attendees from 110 countries. 

COLLISION in the United States grew even faster. My memories of visiting the New Orleans legendary bars, restaurants, streets and more - with my son - are still very vivid and amazing. 

Zoom became a verb. Yep. I say that COLLISION will follow Zoom. Just as Zoom no longer means a Kid's TV show, or a button on a camera, or a Super Hero flying through the sky, COLLISION will soon "first" mean world's largest tech event - live, virtual or hybrid. 

I lost count how many times "Zoom" was mentioned during COLLISION. I have not validated this, but I am 99% sure that the video features of COLLISION were powered by Zoom. COLLISION has created its own proprietary virtual event technology, and, in my humble opinion (as of today) it is the gold standard for hosting virtual events. The UN has used the COLLISION virtual event technology for UN events. Cool. 

When Zoom started around 10 years ago, could they have predicted that the world would one day be ? I think not. 

The MINGLE feature of COLLISION was like speed dating with 38,000+ people. AI technology matched me up with like-minded people for 3 minute "who are you - what do you do" conversations. I met some AMAZING people over three days. One thing very cool: I would just say "hey, just go to and let's connect." Perfect "expert level" trick for speed dating during online at virtual events - or even live events. Did you click on yet? Get on it! 

Speaking of speed dating: I now have a man crush on Ryan Reynolds. Spoiler Alert: looks like Mint Mobile is about to become a major value-added member benefit for the millions of members of NYDLA - NADLA. You cannot do DIGITAL LIVING without wireless and mobility, right? 

As I sit here in my X-Chair, I wonder how many of my speed daters are going to click on this week. If it is anything like last week, I'm gonna to need a bigger boat...

Ryan Rodney Reynolds (actor and entrepreneur) is now a friend. As is Patrick "Paddy" Cosgrave. I hope that I do - but I might never "MEET meet them" in real life. I think that in the future, we shall start calling people by "how" we know them. "Joe is my best Zoom Friend." 

Crazy: if I DID go LIVE to Toronto this year, I would not know Ryan Reynolds as deeply as I do right this minute. Ryan would have been up on stage, and then he would probably leave the stage, waving good-bye to a room of 40,000+ people. 

For me - virtual was actually better than LIVE. Did I mention that I was sitting in my X-Chair, from my home? With my dog? I "may" have been wearing long pants during COLLISION. Let's say yes, I was indeed wearing long pants when I met Ryan Reynolds. Much better visual, yes?

Also this: I have asked my new VIRTUAL BFF and COLLISION / Web Summit main dude Paddy Cosgrave to do a interview with me, now that COLLISION 2021 is in the history books. I am sure he is going to retweet this blog today. 

Right Paddy? Paddy? Hello.....

Distance Education has become just Education. Telemedicine has become just Medicine. eCommerce has become just Commerce. Remote Work has become just Work

I predict that in the future, our "Zoom Friends" and our "COLLISION Friends" shall become (and will be known as) just - friends

Just don't ask him about Green Lantern...

Sunday, April 18, 2021

I was just trying to yelp

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

According to Merriam-Webster, a yelp is a sharp bark or cry (as a dog or turkey). To utter a sharp, quick shrill cry. Howl, scream, screech, shriek, squeal, yell. "The dog yelped in pain." 

And Yelp the company, which you can read all about here, has a complicated relationship with small business.

Yesterday, while visiting my son in Connecticut, we had take out from Carmine's. We went to their website to check out the menu, and to place an order for pick-up. 

The first thing my son said was: "Wow, they have 1,046 votes of 4.9/5 on Yelp."

He was impressed.

I find it funny how to me, being older, I associate Yelp with pain. I associate Yelp with a negative. If a customer or a consumer is yelping about something, they are not in their happy place. 

Facebook, Google, Tripadvisor all gave good to great reviews. As did Yelp. It appears that there were no Yelpers who were not Helpers. 

Here in my town of BOONTON USA there must be at least ten Pizzeria Restaurants - including a Domino's Pizza. And they all have Yelp reviews. If you want to see how mean Yelp reviewers can be, check out the reviews of Domino's in BOONTON USA. One jumped out at me:

"Seriously? We're not in the mid-West. There are AMAZING REAL Pizzerias up and down Main Street Boonton, and you order from Dominos? What are you, stupid?" 

Also this: Domino's Pizza (DPZ) stock is +1.84 at $394.83 as of April 16th 2021.

All of this got me to thinking about MY business, and the cloud, and telecom and technology. There are basically three carriers for 5G in the USA, and I sell them all. Need 5G for your business?  Well then, get thank you very much. 

There are around the same number of video conferencing companies in the USA as there are Pizzerias in BOONTON USA. And, I also sell them all. There is no secret (to anyone who knows me even a little bit) that I am a Zoomie. I love all things Zoom. But there is ALSO a time and a place for WebEx, or Microsoft Teams, or BlueJeans, and others. Or shall we say BlueJeans by Verizon now that Verizon decided to get into the Denim Jeans business (bad joke, sorry). 

What is Net Promoter Score you ask?

NPS is a customer loyalty metric that measures customer's willingness to not only return for another purchase or service, but also make a recommendation to their family, friends or colleagues. Is Zoom Video Communication's NPS of 62 considered to be good?

Yes, it is. Actually VERY good indeed. 

Net Promoter Score is a number from -100 to 100. Scores higher than 0 are typically considered to be good and scores above 50 are considered to be excellent

By the way, Yelp, Inc. has a Net Promoter Score of 3. But if you really want to be entertained, take a look at the Yelp reviews of...... Yelp. Pot, meet Kettle. Hey folks! If you like to complain about stuff, we built a company just for you! 

Call me old school, but I like to know what I am talking about before I speak. I first use (or eat) things, and then I have an opinion. And, I am happy to share what I picked up along the way, teaching everything I know to be true. At least, my version of the truth. To me, influencer marketing is great, celebrity marketing - not so much. 

And finally this: The Chicken Parmesan Sandwich at Carmine's Pizza & Take Out at 16 Main Street in Durham, Connecticut was AMAZING

[ But NOT as good as Top of the Park in BOONTON USA!!!! ]

And if you go to Top of the Park, ask Joe for THE CAPONE. 

Trust me. First-hand knowledge is always the best. 


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed

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

We all (now) know talks. Well, did you know that the original Technology, Education and Design "talks" were a flop?  You can read all about it here. The first event was financially unsuccessful; hence, it took six years before the second conference was organized. 

I wonder if the first talk was really a talk.....

The Beverly Hillbillies is an American situation comedy originally broadcast for nine seasons on CBS from 1962 to 1971. THE STORY: a poor backwoods family transplanted to Beverly Hills, California, after striking oil on their land. 

THE STORY by Paul Henning, was the first "fish out of water" theme. He also did Petticoat Junction, and then a REVERSE rags to riches story, for Green Acres. The show paved the way for later culture-conflict programs such as McCloud, The Nanny, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Doc. The Beverly Hillbillies ranked among the top twenty watched programs on television for eight of its nine seasons, twice ranking as the number one series of the year. A number of their episodes remain among the most watched television episodes of all time. 

It's not who has the best story. It's who tells their story the best. 

I started doing audio podcast interviews (Coffee In the Clouds) a few years ago. Why? Well, mostly because everyone was doing it and I did not want to be the only person on the planet without a podcast. 

Around five years ago, I met the folks at NARRASYS. I was blown away by their Story Telling Technology. From this, we met Jim Citrin who came out with The Career Playbook. I helped Jim to promote his book, because it was the right thing to do. The Career Playbook should be in the hands of everyone in their 20's, full stop. So, I wanted to help to promote it, no charge. 

I did not have any contact with Jim Citrin for around five years, until I learned of his NEW book, Leading at a Distance. I reached out to Jim, telling him that we should promote his new book to the 5.6M+ members of via our new platform: ZoomTalks. You know, like talks, but on Zoom. 

It's not who has the best story. It's who tells their story the best. 

I love it when you reconnect with someone after years of silence, and you pick up right where you left off. I think that is magic. I think that proves the value of the relationships and the depth of the connections. You cannot fake that, it's real. 

Last week, I asked my friend Peter Onorati to "re-do" a video podcast interview, as the last one was audio only. Thanks to the power of Zoom, we broadcast LIVE from BOONTON USA to/from HOLLYWOOD USA. I think that everyone that Peter has known in his 30 years in Hollywood has now watched this Coffee In the Clouds interview. Or: "Hey, youse dis ting, don't make me tell ya twice....."

Jim Citrin knows...everyone. Seriously, that is not hyperbole. Jim leads the CEO Practice of Spencer Stuart, and with his 25 years at the firm, he KNOWS around 750 of the Fortune 1000 CEOs. As they say, show me your friends, and I'll show you who you are. Jim is now telling "his friends" all about NYDLA and ZoomTalks. Cool. 

It's not who has the best story. It's who tells their story the best. 

Born in 1960, I remember growing up thinking that Jed Clampett was REAL. I thought the ballad of Jed Clampett was real - and that you could get rich by shooting at some food. I thought that J.D. "Jed" Clampett, the son of Luke Clampett and his wife had a sister named Myrtle. I don't know how old I was when I figured out that Jed Clampett was not a real person. But I can sing the Ballad of Jed Clampett from memory, still to this day. 

Gotta love a good story - and - a good storyteller. Thanks again for the great memories, Paul Henning. 

You would have made a GREAT ZoomTalk.

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed
Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed
Then one day, he was shooting at some food
And up through the ground come a bubbling crude
Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea
Well, the first thing you know old Jed's a millionaire
Kin folk said, "Jed move away from there"
He said, "California is the place you oughta be"
So he loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly
Hills that is, swimming pools, movie stars
Now it's time to say goodbye to Jed and all his kin
They would like to thank you folks for kindly dropping in
You're all invited back again to this locality
To have a heaping helping of their hospitality
Beverly Hillbillies, that's what they call 'em now
Nice folks, y'all come back now, y'hear?

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Eggs for Adults

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

Do you know what an Easter Egg is - in movies?

PAC-MAN in Tron

To put it simply, Easter Eggs are hidden references, clues or inside jokes that have been inconspicuously (and sometimes not so inconspicuously) placed into TV shows, video games, and movies. They're pretty much a creator's secret love letter to their fans, or in some cases an inside joke with fellow creators. 

Hidden treasures, hiding in plain sight are called Easter Eggs because they mimic the idea of an Easter Egg hunt to find them. If you have seen Ready Player One or read the book, you will know the significance of Easter Eggs

Star Wars Episode 1

I have to admit to this being my favorite Easter Egg of all time. In episode one, the action starts with a council meeting. The pods are discussing the state of the federation. If you pause the scene and scan around in one of the pods you can see E.T. and his family. 

Hidden Mickey Mouses

I could dedicate an entire podcast to hidden Mickey Mouse in films. In most Disney films Mickey Mouse appears. In Tron, it is in the shape of his head as they pass over a computer field. In Wreck-it Ralph he appears on a billboard in the background. Sometimes it is the full Micky Mouse and sometimes it is three circles in the shape of his head. This however from Toy Story is one of my favorite Easter Eggs. At the back of Andy's wall, he has a watch clock with the picture of Mickey Mouse. 

Raiders of the Lost Arc

This is a film that has many Easter Eggs and web pages dedicated to showing you where they are. There a large connection with this film and Star Wars and not the obvious, they both star Harrison Ford. At one point Indiana Jones is holding up a gold artifact, one of the hieroglyphs on it shows both C3PO and R2-D2. 

Yes, for as long as I can remember, I became obsessed with Easter Eggs. Sure I also love the delicious chocolate ones as well. But as an "adult" I have become fascinated with the hidden gems in films, games, and other media. 

Collect them and trade them with your friends!

The best, best, BEST thing about Easter Eggs, is that you can share them. The true POWER of Easter Eggs is in the sharing. When you find something of VALUE, when you discover something worth sharing, you cannot wait to do so with people that you care about. You want to teach everything you know. You want to pay it forward by sharing the tips, the tricks, the knowledge that can help the people that you care about to become successful, in business and in life. 


OK, last one. If you have young children (or grandchildren) you can score big points with this Easter Egg. At Elsa's coronation as the guests are coming through the door two of the guests might look familiar. Both Rapunzel and Flynn can be seen entering the palace. In the scene, Rapunzel has short hair as seen in the final scenes of the movie Tangled

I hope you have enjoyed this little hyperlink powered Easter Egg hunt! 

And Happy Easter!