Sunday, October 30, 2022

The meeting after the meeting - after the meeting!

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

Time Flies: 2012 at Yankee Stadium

Last week was, well, pretty amazing - as far as "meetings and events" go. 

I drove two hours to Norristown, PA for a Lenovo / Zoom event on Tuesday. Later in the afternoon, I recorded a video podcast interview with (the amazing) Liz Wiseman from my home office. The other days there was a smattering of Zoom / BlueJeans meetings, a few webinars, and some Microsoft Teams meetings. 

But this past Thursday really stands out. I attended the Electric Elevate 2022 online event, from 11:00 AM EST to around 4:00 PM EST. And then at 5:20 PM EST I jumped on a bus to attend their "after party" in NYC. So Thursday was an excellent example of true hybrid meetings and events. 

I attended LIVE from BOONTON USA during the day, and then I attended LIVE (LIVE) in NYC from 6:30 PM to around 9:00 PM. Then I jumped back on a bus to BOONTON USA. 

What was very cool, was that I "met" people (from my home) during the Elevate 2022 event, via  I like their platform. I think that I connected with 200+ people via while in Hopin.

But when I arrived in NYC at The Press Lounge, people that I met during the day - greeted me like I was attending a class reunion. It felt like "Hey, Tom Capone is here!" The people that I met virtually during the day - were waiting for me to arrive in NYC. This was networking - expert level. 

The comedian Seth Herzog was LIVE on Hopin and then LIVE (LIVE) in NYC. I intend to hire Seth for future NYDLA | NADLA events - LIVE or LIVE (LIVE). Thursday night I met LIVE (LIVE) with Electric CEO Ryan Denehy. We talked about offering the services of Electric to the millions of members of NYDLA | NADLA. Yeah, I had his attention via LinkedIn since 2019 - but I REALLY had his attention when I shook his hand, LIVE (LIVE) in NYC. 

Norristown, PA was an 87 mile drive from BOONTON, USA.  That was a full day on the road. Thursday was a full day of meetings, but 80% of them from my home. I am so spoiled that I live 30 miles West of THE BIG APPLE. I sat in the last row of the bus - with my Lenovo laptop and 5Gfor.BIZ with my Jabra headset. Sometimes I get so much work done on the bus, that I secretly pray for traffic. But I keep that to myself while on the bus. 

The future of work, the future of education, the future of entertainment, is in the clouds. 

Hybrid - everything. LIVE, or LIVE (LIVE) is going to be dealer's choice from now on. Also this: Seth Herzog is funny. Like, FAH-NEE make you pee a little funny......  

Hire him for your next LIVE or LIVE (LIVE) event. 

But first and we'll get you the friends and family rate. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Well, we all know that Libra is the best


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YouGov's latest poll finds that a little more than one-quarter of Americans (27%) - including 37% of adults under 30 - say that they believe in astrology, or that the position of the stars and planets influences people's lives. As many as 70 million Americans read their horoscopes daily. 

How big is the horoscope industry?

One report from market research firm IBISWorld showed that Americans spent $2.2 billion a year on "mystical services." This includes all things astrology, like palm and tarot card readings, astrology apps and more. Revenue from astrology apps grew to nearly $40 million in 2021 - a 64% increase from the year before. 

The bottom line is: Astrology is making a comeback, and it's making a lot of money.

While the business of astrology is new, studying the stars to try to predict the future definitely isn't. The concept of astrology was born second millennium BCE when Babylonians looked at the stars to predict things like weather - not quite the horoscopes we see today. Western astrology with the 12 zodiac signs emerged in the late second century BCE in the Mediterranean region. By the 18th century, the studies of astrology and astronomy were split, and astrology was put to the side. Then in the early 20th century, psychology astrology, which led to personality trait interpretations, was introduced. 

So, astrology has always been around, but it's experienced spikes in popularity. Last time this occurred was in the '60s and the '70s during the New Age Movement. After that, horoscopes could be seen in the back of magazines, but astrology was somewhat in the background. With the popularity of the internet and social media, it's really taken off and became even more accessible. 

The app CoStar raised $25M+ from investors. The app provides personalized horoscopes and lets users connect with friends. It's attracting millions of users without any real marketing. Other apps seeing success are The Pattern, known for helping navigate relationships, and Sanctuary, where you receive one-on-one monthly chats with an astrologer. These apps are attracting more and more attention from investors. 

Well, we all know that Libra is the best...

I just realized that I have been getting DailyOM Horoscope in my inbox - daily - for over 20 years. Sometimes I read it, sometimes I don't - and sometimes I read it and say "OMG, that is so true!!!" There is something about it that makes me feel that it was written just for ME. 

Around 20% of Americans will check the Horoscope before making a major financial decision. When meeting people for the first time, around 32% of Americans will slip into the conversation, "Well, I am an Aires, so I feel that..." and this helps to bind the tribes together. Or, seperate them. Back in the day, when you met someone at a bar or a nightclub you would ask "What's your sign?" but I digress. 

The businessman (the scientist, the biomedical engineer) in me tends to focus on "the business of astrology" and the money and the apps and such. But (full disclosure) Angel Numbers like 333 and 1111 have deep meaning to me. And, when I get to know people well enough (you know, like you) I can speak about how when I was 8 years old my dead Grandfather (also a Thomas) saved me when I was trapped and drowning at the bottom of a Miami Beach swimming pool (I was all alone) and how my Spirit Guide helped me to pass Organic Chemistry while at PURDUE. [ Oh well, there goes my Blog readership and following...] 

Or, will this disclosure INCREASE my readership and following?  Hmmm....

I think that there is nothing wrong with a Daily Horoscope. And in times of stress, we always welcome a comforting word, or support from others. I don't think I have ever read a Daily Horoscope that made me feel worse, I only have felt better after reading. 

Below is my Horoscope for 10/23/2022. 

I'll allow it. 

Motivated By Understanding


OCTOBER 23, 2022

Your empathy will likely be awakened today when you consider that your ability to succeed at your goals is no doubt related to many factors outside the range of your conscious control. At first, this sudden comprehension of the benefits and advantages you have enjoyed can make you feel vulnerable, as it may seem that your life is comparatively fragile. However, consider today that these factors can also empower you to help others cope with the challenges they must face. Your heartfelt intention to pass the advantage you have enjoyed on to those less fortunate will likely remind you that each human being must do the best they can to evolve.

When we are cognizant of the fact that many people have not enjoyed the same advantages we have, we are motivated by the plenty we see all around us to do all we can to make the world a better place for those less fortunate than ourselves. It is easy to believe that there is little we as individuals can do to help others, but the truth is that there is so much we can do to facilitate the growth and enlightenment of our brothers and sisters in humanity. We may be able to do nothing more than share the wisdom we have gained through experience or to mentor others as they follow in our footsteps -- but even such a relatively small gift can mean everything to someone who never imagined they would come so far. Your vulnerabilities will disappear today when you devote yourself to a course of empathetic and philanthropic action.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Make it, don't fake it

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"Fake it till you make it" is an English aphorism that suggests that by intimidating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life and achieve the results they seek. 

During tough times or when we are under stress - we all lean on mantras of aphorisms to keep ourselves going. One of my favorites is "Everything happens for a reason." These statements are meant to remind us of our values, so we can connect to a little positive encouragement when we need it. When we are feeling less than confident, we might tell ourselves to just "fake it until we make it." 

When I was in my 20s I had a red Corvette convertible. And, I had a car phone.

I was selling car phones at the time - there were no portable phones. You had to INSTALL the phone in the car, plus an antenna. Cell phone service back then was around $29 per month, plus around $0.50 per minute, plus taxes. What did you do for a living that you needed to make phone calls from the car for those rates? Back in the 80s if you have a car phone - you were important. I remember people buying car phones who had no business buying car phones - because they just wanted a cellular phone antenna on their car. Heck, I remember (many, many times) people would ask: how much just for the antenna? FYI: I sold more antennas than phones...

I was making good money in my 20s, and I fell in love with the concept of residual income. I would sell car phones to rich people - and I would make a piece of the phone bill for the life of the customer. Plus a nice upfront "spiff" of several hundred dollars per phone installed. I leased a Corvette for around $750 per month - plus insurance for a Corvette. I justified this (not insignificant) expense as a business expense, and I would indeed love driving around NY/NJ/CT with the top down - talking on the phone. Can you hear the song "Little Red Corvette" in your head right now? Well, you do now......

I would tell myself that my Corvette was advertising. I would tell myself that my Corvette with the car phone was my mobile office and that it was worth the high monthly expense. "Wow, look at that young guy in the red Corvette with the top down, talking on his car phone. He must be successful!" I sold myself on the idea that my fancy sports car was critical to my sales success. 

My buddy Jason Fried founded Basecamp. You can find a few of our "Coffee in the Clouds" interviews here. Jason and his partner David Heinemeier Hansson are making millions via their company 37 Signals. And they are great examples of the DO NOT fake it till you make it philosophy. is their company handbook. They put it on the internet. Their company handbook is published on the internet! They are like a magician who shows the world how the trick is done. The corporate culture at Basecamp is so strong, so powerful that they can share their secrets - without fear. 

When Basecamp comes out with a "new feature" or a new release, they are so damn proud! They tell the world about these new features like a parent showing off newborn baby pictures. Jason and David are proud - they get to say "Hey, we made this!" and they also get to say "Hey, we made this even better!" And, they get to say: "Hey, we made this better - for you - our valued customers." 

The 62 year old me looks back at the money that I spent every month on my Corvette. I am afraid to calculate how much money I would have (today) if I invested the majority of my "Corvette Money" and let it compound. When I was young and foolish, I lived the "fake it till you make it" method. Thankfully, I outgrew that philosophy. 

The comedian Steve Martin was asked how to become a famous comedian. "Be so good they can't ignore you." Great work is defined by rare and valuable traits. If you want to have great work you must be able to offer something in return, namely, rare and valuable skills (so-called career capital). 

Jason and David made a product that is so good, they can't be ignored. Heck, they made a product so good that people will write a Sunday blog about it - and about them. And, they keep making it BETTER

I don't think Jason or DHH drove a Corvette in their 20s. But I do know that today, Jason collects rare antique watches, and DHH lists photography and race car driving amongst his hobbies. 

When you make it (when you really make it) there is no need to fake it. 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

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At a recent dinner party, the little kids in the next room were watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on Prime Video. When I asked what they were watching, all I heard was "Cloudy" and "Meatballs" so of course - I took a seat.

Aside from the movies' detailed story and epic voice cast (Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and James Caan) one of the biggest highlights is the lush animation and the comedic elements that seem to fill every frame. I'll come back to this.....

Last week was Propelify in Hoboken, New Jersey. This annual event is pretty amazing pulling people from NY/NJ/CT/PA for the day. When the weather is great (which it was) it is truly an amazing outdoor event, with the best backdrop in the country.

This year, we were Powered by BlueJeans Studio. Folks were walking around with a Steadicam, so we could broadcast LIVE in HDTV video and Dolby audio. I figure that over the course of the entire day, there were 5,000+ LIVE in Hoboken, 50,000+ LIVE via BlueJeans, and now, we shall have millions watching the archives soon to be hosted on

Over the past 30 days, we have hosted hybrid meetings and hybrid events at schools, corporate board rooms, art studios, football stadiums, firehouses, and coffee shops. I have used both BlueJeans and Zoom from my home office, interviewing actors, authors, athletes, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and - dogs. Yes, we had a Learning Journey visit at The Seeing Eye - where they breed and raise puppies to become Seeing Eye Dogs, train Seeing Eye Dogs to guide blind people, and instruct blind people in the proper use, handling, and care of the dogs. We also were on-site at another Learning Journey destination: located around 30 miles West of New York City. 

There is something going on in the world of meetings and events. The technology is changing at an exponential rate. The quality of the HDTV video, and the quality of the audio is now broadcast quality - it is what you would expect from a Hollywood production. What would have normally cost tens of thousands of dollars (per hour) to produce such an experience, is now available for hundreds of dollars - all in - for the entire month! 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a children's book first published in 1978. You know, before the cloud became "the cloud". And then in 2009, the movie version released with a box office of 243 million USD.  Books, becoming movies. And now movies becoming HDTV events, via multimedia, transmedia, omni-media immersive hybrid events. Personally, I am now involved in converting a book (a memoir) into a movie - and it will most likely be PoweredByBlueJeans Studio. Ah yes, I can see it now: Thomas Capone, Producer. 

Have you seen the TV commercials where Samsung and Apple are now bragging on how the entire TV commercial was filmed with a new Apple iPhone or the new Samsung phone? And the Apple commercial shows them filming an entire movie - with an iPhone? And did you see how I said filmed, when it is not film, but these days there is no "film" but everything is digital? 

Yes, we live in interesting times. Hey, why not join me for some Coffee in the Clouds? 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

This Nebula is not Nebulous


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A nebula is an enormous cloud of dust and gas occupying the space between stars and acting as nursery for new stars. Wow, "nursery for new stars" is pretty cool. 

This past week we had an Open House at Nebula NYC. It is a Night Club / Event Space in Midtown NYC. The cool thing about THIS space (I mean, we are talking about renting spaces in The Big Apple) is that Nebula creates an immersive experience. Transmedia, multimedia, omni-media events can be hosted at Nebula. And via today's cloud technology, these events become global real-time immersive experiences. 

It was our first time using BlueJeans by Verizon Studio, with a Steadicam. I figure there were around 250 people LIVE (LIVE) at Nebula, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. But, we could transmit LIVE to 250,000+ people, and we could Livestream to 25M+ around the world.

It really hit me hard this morning - how the world has changed over just the last five years. The "before times" with most events being LIVE and attending virtually was just an afterthought. And then, when the pandemic hit, we had ONLY virtual events - nothing in person at all. Zoom was already a verb before COVID, but during the worse of the pandemic, that was all we had. I still snicker when I think about how CEOs of companies would be interviewed on TV during the teeth of the pandemic, and the interviewer would say things like "well, all of you Zoom companies....." even if they were interviewing the CEO of Webex. And the CEOs of the Zoom competitors being interviewed would just roll their eyes....

So last Thursday, my afternoon consisted of the 5:20 PM bus to NYC - Nebula event - and the 8:30 PM bus back to BOONTON USA. I walked the floor(s) plural, met very interesting people, ate a ton of sushi, and I also ate a ton of sushi. I also reserved Nebula for our upcoming Holiday / Christmas party. Using a Steadicam at such an event was pretty amazing. We shall have the final edits of our Nebula Open House event live on early this week. 

But yesterday, we had another event - this time LIVE from good ol' BOONTON USA. From the Boonton Coffee Co. we recorded another Coffee in the Clouds video podcast interview. Once again using BlueJeans Studio and the Jabra Meet Anywhere kit, we had HDTV quality video, with Dolby audio. It was just two people (having coffee in the clouds) but we (could have) been transmitting LIVE (LIVE) to 20,000+ and we SHALL allow 20M+ to watch the Livestream or the archives of the video podcast interview. 

We have been hosting live and virtual events for years, and always hosted at cool places. MOMA, the Bronx Zoo, THE INTREPID to name just a few. But since we are all about  "the cloud" and the future of work, the future of education, Nebula - the nursery for new stars - really moves me. 

There is NOTHING like the energy of New York City. I feel very spoiled that I can drop what I am doing and leave BOONTON USA and be at 11 Times Square in less than an hour, using WiFi on the bus the entire trip. Give me my Lenovo laptop, my Jabra 85 headset and 5G and I'm good to go - anywhere. And I think this shall become the future of work, the future of education for all of us. 

We truly are living, learning, working, playing, teaching, training, coaching, mentoring in the global cloud economy. It might feel a little nebulous, but it's not. And hey - there is a support group for all of this - there is a support group for your personal cloud journey. and THRIVE in the clouds. 

My Limousine to NYC