Sunday, July 18, 2021

A 2nd Bite of the Apple

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

We're back baby!!!!  Jerry Seinfeld was RIGHT!

Last week was our first "sleepover" event in New York since COVID first hit in 2020. I live around 30 miles west of Times Square, so I am (was) very spoiled for years. $11.35 bus ride and less than 60 minutes later, I can be teleported from BOONTON USA to 11 TIME SQUARE. 

Man, did I miss our Lunch 'n Learns and Sunset Seminars in The Big Apple. Our Sapphire Sponsor Microsoft is so generous with their space at 11 Times Square. Events on THE INTREPID. Happy Hours at Beer Authority. Bryant Park. Oh, and the CONVENE! The CONVENE on 42nd Street is AMAZING. 

NYC IS BACK!  Yeah, but not every day. 

When I first started working in the "Distance Learning" world, there were people still using dial-up modems. Audio conferencing was still north of $0.15 per minute, so a meeting with ten people was going to cost "someone" $1.50 per minute. Unless, of course, you were going to use things like or Skype for free, but then you looked like you were broke. And no one wants to do business with a business that looks like they are broke or have no money for tools, right? (Hello, I'm looking at you - Zoom Basic users....)

Yeah, The Big Apple is back baby!  But, The Big Apple might have been bruised. 

The economics of New York City (or any city) is based on volume. Commuters. Foot traffic. Every day. I just asked "OK, Google: how many people commute to and from NYC every day?" and she came back with 1.6M+ people flowing in and out of NYC every day, via bus, train, subway, and car. 

I was all alone on the bus to NYC. A bus that normally has "standing room only" during rush hour. I was able to get a room at the Hilton in Times Square for well less than $200 on Thursday night, with a free breakfast. I did notice that Uber, Lyft and Via were MORE expensive, due to a lack of VOLUME. Ah so - their business model is based on VOLUME. 

Here is what I know to be true. I will now be going to NYC (at a minimum) twice a month for stay-over events. I will go to NYC a few more times a month for "day trips" for meetings and events. I will go to Orlando, San Diego and probably Mexico at least once a year. And, I will go to London and Toronto at least once a year for major events.

The rest of the time, I will be working from BOONTON USA. I will be teaching, training, coaching, mentoring from BOONTON USA. I will be living, learning, working, playing from BOONTON USA in the heart of Morris County, New Jersey. Also this: Google Morris County NJ - it's amazing for business.  

This past Thursday was a blast. An afternoon in Bryant Park, after a great meeting in Salesforce Tower. A fantastic dinner at Capital Grille (thanks Star2Star!) and an amazing rooftop bar experience at The Knickerbocker (thanks Jabra!). But, I don't have to go to NYC tomorrow (Monday) or any day this upcoming week. Unless something happens, and then I'll catch the bus to NYC, but I will still sleep in my own bed that night. 

Distance Learning has become DIGITAL Learning, and now post-COVID it is all just DIGITAL LIVING. 

I love going to New York City. Just not every day. New York (or any major city) became "big" because that is where the business phone system was, that is where "the files" were, the fax machine, the computers, the (damn I'm old) typewriters were. How many of the things that you HAD to go "to the city" to access are now in your smartphone? And here comes 5G which will make business grade high speed Wi-Fi available to most of the country. 

LAST WEEK OF THIS MONTH, I shall fly to San Diego for our first major LIVE event of 2021. It shall cost me an easy $2,000 in airfare and hotel. Probably closer to $3,000 for the week, all in, when I add up all food and Uber and such. Now my brain compares $3,000 for four days, vs. 10+ two-day events in "the city that never sleeps" for less than $3,000. Yeah, I'm still going to fly to San Diego to hang out with a few hundred people LIVE (in the heat of the summer no less) but I am still crunching the numbers. I see the opportunity cost analysis of staying with NYC (ten times) vs. flying to San Diego (one time) clearly, do you? 

I think the biggest thing that COVID-19 did (to all of us) is it forced us to calculate opportunity costs. Going to the city to work vs. working from home. Travel vs. Not Traveling. Going to school "on campus" vs. attending a class in the clouds. "Zoom" vs. Hotel Room. Humans like to have choices. 

It was GREAT to meet people in real life. LIVE is better than VIDEO, 100% true, no debate. The brain chemistry is different when you are in the same room. It is visceral, you can feel human connection, or lack thereof. Note to self: always have breath mints - for you - and for them! 

And the steak that I had at Capital Grille was amazing. But you cannot eat Filet Mignon every day, right? All things in moderation. This is why I only blog on Sundays, and not every day. The people that I met (shook hands, and even a few hugs) will make our NEXT meeting on video that much better. Meeting LIVE and then meeting on video is always very different than only meeting on video and never meeting live. 

Yeah, absence (scarcity) makes the heart grow fonder. 

Scarcity: good for Zoom and Blogs and Filet Mignon. Bad for any business or for any city that needs (requires) high volume of foot traffic (or paying customers) daily

This Thursday's Commute to NYC

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