Sunday, June 5, 2022

BoontonWorks - the Business Foundry

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

YESTERDAY, I was asked to speak at InfoComm in Las Vegas. At 5pm on this upcoming Wednesday. Turns out that someone had to drop out, and I'm considered to be a decent last minute replacement. Well, since I never met a microphone that I did not like, of course I said yes. The topic I am to cover? The future of work. 

Ah yes, the FUTURE of WORK. Got it!
Eh, so what what the heck am I going to talk about? 

I live in Boonton Township, New Jersey. 30 miles West of Times Square. We share a zip code (07005) with the Town of Boonton. There is only one BOONTON USA. The Boonton Iron Works were founded around 1770 by Samuel Ogden who, with others in his family, purchased a 6-acre tract along the Rockaway River. Here, rolling and slitting mills were erected in the manufacture of nail rods and bar iron. With the construction of the Morris Canal, the New Jersey Iron Company was born. This new company was a big deal, for the entire country. It imported skilled mechanics from England, and BOONTON USA was thriving. The new Iron Company flourished for nearly 75 years. Yes, the Iron Works flourished - until it didn't. 

An Iron Foundry needs lots of raw materials. Transportation. Water. People

Now let's fast forward to 2022. What does a BUSINESS Foundry need? You know, a thing that can produce all of the things that enable a business to thrive?

High Speed Internet. Computers. Transportation. People. 

The Boonton Station provides train service on the NJ Transit Montclair-Boonton Line with service to Newark Broad Street Station, Penn Station New York and Hoboken Terminal. Lakeland Bus lines provides bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. 

BOONTON USA is in the heart of Morris County New Jersey. One of the wealthiest counties in the entire country. An easy ride to NYC or Philly or Stamford, Connecticut (also 30 miles outside of Manhattan). Verizon has its HQ just 17 miles south of BOONTON USA.  

At last count, there were 11 Pizzerias in BOONTON USA. I figure at least a half a dozen nail salons, a few dry cleaners, and multiple Italian, Mexican, Japanese restaurants. To support so many competing businesses, there must be......people. Lots and lots of people in and around BOONTON USA. 

OK, land the plane Tom........ where are you going with this?

BoontonWorks - the Business Foundry. In the spirit of the old Iron Works days, the things necessary to give birth to a new business: Knowledge + Technology + Talent. BoontonWorks - from the Heart of Morris County. 

Give someone a (Lenovo?) laptop, a (Jabra?) headset and 5G (Verizon?) and they are ready to work. From ANYWHERE. Add in cloud products like Zoom and BlueJeans and Box and Salesforce and FreshBooks and QuickBooks and Klaxoon and Workplace and Shopify and BigCommerce (and...and...and...) well, you get the idea.

Work from home. And "home" can be ANYWHERE. Work from Main Street BOONTON USA. Take the bus which runs down Main Street and you are in Times Square in around an hour, if there is no traffic. Take the train to Philly for the day. Or have clients / customers come to BOONTON USA for the day. Have your Lunch 'n Learns and your Sunset Seminars from BOONTON USA. There is even an old theater on Main Street that used to have vaudeville acts. A perfect location for "TED Talk like" hybrid meetings and events. For example, you can have 200+ LIVE in the theater, and 200,000+ LIVE but Powered by BlueJeans Studio and then 20M+ watching the archives via Workplace from Meta. Easy to cater such events, when half the town seems to be restaurants and pizzerias, right? 

InfoComm is all about Pro AV. The products and services that enable all of us to live, learn, work, play, teach, train, coach, mentor PEOPLE - in the global cloud economy. The future of work, the future of education, is in the clouds. is changing the game for everything, for everyone - no matter where they live. 

"OK, Google: How many LA Fitness gyms are there?"
"Good morning Thomas, there are more than 700 LA Fitness locations, worldwide" 

Ah, so LA FITNESS is NOT just in Los Angeles alone? Got it. 

"OK, Google: How many locations are there in the USA?"
"Good morning, Thomas. Today, I see only one - but I've got a feeling you should ask me again after InfoComm." 

Photo Credit: Heather Kohut

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