Sunday, March 19, 2023

FDU won? That's MADNESS!!!

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

The NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, branded NCAA March Madness - or now just MARCH MADNESS is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the USA, currently featuring 68 college basketball teams.

It has become extremely common in popular culture to predict the outcomes of each game, even among non-sports fans. It is estimated that up to 50 million Americans participate in a bracket pool contest every year. 

From the New York Times: "No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, the shortest team in men's college basketball, took down top-seeded PURDUE and its magisterial 7-foot-4 big man Zach Edey on Friday, delivering a shocking NCAA tournament upset that epitomized the lore of the March Madness underdog."

And so, this Sunday Blog is all about......


An underdog is a person or group in a competition usually in sports and creative works, who is largely expected to lose. The party, team, or individual expected to win is called the favorite or top dog. In the case where the underdog wins, the outcome is an upset.

Rooting for the little guy is the American way. It's Horatio Alger and Rocky Balboa and the Miracle on Ice. You can Google: The Underdog Concept in Sports. 

Researchers have found evidence for a phenomenon called the "favorite-long-shot bias" at the horse track. In other words, bettors throw money at the underdogs and underbidding the favorites. There is also a bias labeled the "availability heuristic" where we make judgments about probability based on whatever data spring most easily comes to mind. The examples you remember are the ones that influence your beliefs. If you just watched a documentary about 9/11 you might think you're more likely to die in a terrorist attack than in a car accident. Well, you are not. 

Consider all the underdogs in our culture - from the Bible, from literature, and from every sports movie ever made. It's no accident that we Remember the Titans

OK, land the plane, Tom......

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile.  Which wireless carrier is the underdog?

Zoom, BlueJeans, Webex, Adobe, GoTo, Teams. Meet. Which conferencing product is the underdog?

Researchers have found plenty of support for what seems like an obvious notion: In sports, we're drawn to a winner. Other factors - like where you live and who your friends are - can influence your choice of a favorite team. (Why else would you root for the Chicago Cubs?) 

And so, it is not BlueJeans, but BlueJeans by Verizon. It is not Teams, but Microsoft Teams. Not Meet but Google Meet. Why? Because Verizon is a Fortune 23 company and Microsoft is Fortune 21. Please don't confuse them with being an underdog, thank you very much. I have heard that AT&T is 13th on the Fortune 500 rankings, with revenues of $168 billion. Hey AT&T, what's up - no conferencing product? Hey Google, welcome to the party! 

We just had the Oscars. Underdogs won. Movies and actors that were not supposed to win - did so. And, with all the feels. Most of us have seen the pic of Harrison Ford and Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan hugging - it was way more than just a celebration of one movie's victory. It was an Underdog story. 

Speaking of Harrison Ford - ever hear of Star Wars? Underdog, big time. That movie almost never made it. It had an original budget of $11M and went $3M over budget due to multiple delays. The studio came ever so close to shutting it down. No Star Wars, no Harrison Ford. And I guess, no Mandalorian either. 

And so whether it is movies, or basketball games or conferencing products or smartphones or computers or......(the list is long) why do we buy what we buy? Are we making decisions with our heads or with our hearts? I went to PURDUE. Yeah but I live around 7 miles north of I have presented there many times. Ah yes, who does one root for... decisions, decisions. 

Underdogs are cool. Underdogs grab our hearts first, then our heads (and then our wallets). Underdogs make the memories that last a lifetime. 

"Yo Adrian, I did it"

Sunday, March 12, 2023

It's neat to meet on neat

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

What a neat car! She gave a neat characterization of the old woman. Neato!

I guess if you were going to have a meeting (live or virtually) you would want the meeting to be neat. I mean, the opposite of neat would be untidy, disorderly, messy.

This past week I attended the Neat | Microsoft event in NYC. The event was, well, it was very neat indeed.

Neat designs simple and elegant video devices that make virtual meetings feel almost as real as meeting face-to-face. From their website
Neat - seamlessly bringing rich and meaningful experiences to people's work, interactions and lives across any meeting space. Neat devices have crystal-clear audio and video, plus advanced capabilities that support enhanced, engaging and safer hybrid working and learning environments. 

The event was great. And as a result of my attending the neat event, the community is now 
Just like that - we are now a Neat partner, offering all things Neat to everyone in North America

Ah, but here is what hit me: the food

No, seriously. It was the networking. It was meeting the folks from Neat and Microsoft, LIVE. It was the handshakes, the jokes, the smiles, the noise in the room. It was the fact that you could indeed touch and feel and use the product. The Microsoft facility at 11 Times Square is a perfect venue for such events. Did I mention the food?

Turns out that the Channel Manger for Neat lives just a few miles from me in North New Jersey. I graciously allowed him to buy me lunch this past Friday in good ol' BOONTON USA. We COULD have met virtually, but we both knew that a LIVE lunch meeting would be better. Again, food.

I am very impressed with Neat. The company, their culture, their technology, all of it. I know that we shall be very successful in selling, marketing, promoting all things Neat across North America. Neat figured it out - it is all about experiences. Technology can never replace meeting someone in real life. That's because when we're off screen and meet face to face, we share a sharper attention space. We communicate in synchrony through an interplay of speech, gestures, movement, observation and timing, using our senses to constantly shift focus and filter out distractions. 

I'll have to find out how they came about naming the company, Neat. I mean, the word neat has so many meanings, but they are all so very positive. It is a neat trick to pick a great product/company name. 

Yes, I did meet some neat people at the neat event. Hey, if you work at Neat are you automatically a neat person? Well, this is all I have to say on this Sunday, my neato blog has now ended. In such a neat manner, right? 

Hey, there will be neat food later, right?