Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Big 5 0

Bear with me here, this is a ramble on kind of post. Nothing like this one was.

Never thought I would be an author, but the chance came along, I took it and I have an author's page on Amazon.

I never made it to the cover of Rolling Stone, actually I never made the cover of any magazine. However, I was included in articles in CIO magazine and many other websites over the years.

Had some newspaper articles written about me, got included as a case study in how to grow a community on Linkedin in an executives book.

Turns out I wrote a few IBM Redbooks with people over the years, in return IBM made me a Redbooks Thought Leader. We did the first Redbooks video from the community to IBM at the time, because I wanted to give back for all the help I had received over the years.

Somehow I have written over 1,100 blog posts. When the muse is loose, run with it.

Got my name in Playbills, actually quite a few times, while I worked on Broadway. Best time of my life, aside from Ron Perlman (at the time doing A Few Good Men)looking like he was going to kill me when he was running to 2nd base during the Broadway show softball game. Stories of people I met while on Broadway could fill many posts, it was also when the Berlin wall came down.

Traveled all over South America and Europe, thanks Citibank and IBM.

Got sent to Venice, Italy, for work, not once, but twice. Best place on Earth, I proposed to my wife Vanessa while there with her, not on business.

Live tweeted the Palm Beach Opera, for 2 seasons, that was fun and free, hope it helped their ticket sales.

I miss my '62 vette, should never have sold it. I also miss the 3000GT.

Worked on Wall Street for a few years with Bankers Trust which became Deutsche Bank and in the World Trade Center on the 44th floor for Bank of America. The Wolf of Wall Street movie was pretty accurate for that time period.

Lived in London for 3 years while working for Lotus and wrote a Pantomime that was performed, I played the Godfather character. Had a great boss at Lotus and friend who recently after 49 years left IBM for HCL. I should never have let him down and left the team, but that is how life works out sometimes.

Moved to Boca Raton to be near my grandparents and mom after leaving IBM, got cable TV installed just as the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Center.

Started a business that was going to do $3 million in sales until our supplier stopped working with small companies. I tried to buy them in an auction, I lost to a VC firm by $25million. They turned around and sold it for $900 million. No thanks to GE capital who would only offer $50M. Yeah that hurt.

Worked with Burger King at their World Headquarters, twice in Miami, the 2nd time because my name was still on the names.nsf log from years prior.

I was in Caracas, Venezuela just weeks before Chavez took over.

Been on planes that engines stopped, caught fire, parts fell off, and had bomb threats, just another day of traveling when you are a road/air warrior.

Survived my teenage years and my college life, somehow, pretty sure a few people never thought I would, I never gave it any thought but to those that worried, surprise!

Worked the field at FIRST Robotics events as a robot inspector and helping kids understand there is more to life than the internet, school or work inside of them.

Mentored startups at MASSChallenge Israel the last 2 years and saw some of them get to the finals, others get funded and more succeed beyond their wildest dreams. It is a great feeling knowing you helped in some small way.

I was fortunate enough to be an IBM Champion since 2013. And thus listed on Wikipedia. My kids are impressed, the rest of the world, not so much.

My 3 kids have no idea what life was like before they came onto the scene. It is like a different world, times change, some things stay the same. I used to make an awesome Beef Wellington.

Never thought I would Home School my kids, but I did for 2 years. They claim to remember things I taught them so it was not all wasted time.

Brewed beer once because everyone should do it, but my friends who still get to do it regularly are living the dream and I am happy for them all.

It was while home schooling that I started the Daf Yomi as they started the new cycle, and 7.5 years later it will finish next January. You can have your marathons and mountain biking, this is mine.

Owned Amazon stock in their early days and sold it after it doubled. HUGE mistake.

Once parked my car up a staircase.

Tequila bowling in college. Sorry to the guys at the end of the hall.

One of my first public presentations was in front of thousands of people at Lotusphere Europe and I have enjoyed every presentation I have given over the years since then, be they business, technical or educational in person or online.

For better or worse I have worked for myself all these years since college, aside from 3 years at IBM, 2 years with an IBM Business Partner and usually from the comfort of my home.

I have all the trappings of young startup offices, Pinball Machine, books, loud music, my dog at my desk, open fridge and bar, video games, MAME and puzzles and games.

I have moved countries 4 times and pretty sure I am staying put here in Israel, but I can commute to anywhere in Europe pretty easily so what's not to like?

Even volunteered for army duty for a week because that is what you do in a country where every person matters.

If you made it this far and still reading, you probably have stories from my past we shared together and hopefully we will get to share more of them over the next 50 years or more and some of you I will see soon in San Francisco.

Thanks to Vanessa and my kids for trying to keep my young and fun.

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