Back in the day, when I was married, my wife, used to joke that if the hotel didn't have broadband or Wi-Fi, "Andy didn't stay there." It was why we installed cable broadband in her mother's house, and why over time her broadband went from cable to 100 meg fiber (which she still has). To me, as Ken Rutkowski and I used to say on the "World Technology Roundup," "stay connected" was and remains a way of life.
Yesterday started out as it always does. Waking up, finding the laptop, a quick check of email, a peek at Facebook for notifications and to see who has a birthday and the publication of the "Comunicano Communique." Because I was on the road in Fort Lauderdale, I also had something important to do before leaving the hotel. That was to prepare for my keynote at IT Expo. To do that I did some quick reading on API's, the subject of the Keynote Panel that I hosted and led later that morning before a more than packed house.
My keynote speech and panel flow were written yesterday morning. To do that I culled the panelists' information in WuFoo, a form builder, which sends completed forms to me via email, but which in the future with a Zapier integration will have the information sent from the form directly into a Google Docs file adding and appending the content from each one, something as I was preparing my talk, I realized I should have been doing all along as it would have saved about a minute of time on each speaker's input gather, as I cut and pasted. Next I began to write my opening. For that I decided to compare the business of API's to stock markets and central banks, about how they are now the lifeblood of the data economy, and in doing so, knew others would pick up on the meme and tweet it (which they did.)
Once I was ready to leave I summoned my Uber, and off I went. At IT Expo there was a really nice presentation on the changing workspace and place by a Polycom exec (I want that presentation deck), followed by an engaging chat about how sales and marketing don't always work together by a Shoretel VP....then it was my turn. I used my iPad 2 with the Brydge keyboard vs. my Mac Book, opening the Google Doc in the Google Drive App. It was as if I was on my Mac, with one difference, since the iPad has LTE, I never worry about connecting to a venue's WiFi, no matter how good it may be. If I'm presenting, I trust what I know works.
The panel ended on time, and being that I was a last minute addition this past Thursday, it was too late to change my noon flight. Uber was summoned and by 11:10 I was on my way to the airport for my NOON flight. A quick pick up of the ticket on Virgin America, and even faster TSA Pre-Check got me through security by 1128 and within two minutes I was at the gate, as the agents were starting to call boarding.
Once on the plane, the iPad became my comms device. I turned off my cell phone, but charged it for the trip home (I would need an Uber once I landed in L.A.), and went through emails that had been coming in, smiling at all the Twitter alerts from the panel attendees and those not there. With email out of the way, a quick check in with my team via Skype chat and a review of Basecamp let me know all was under control. They called wheels up, and off we went, after a 20 minute delay due to weather. Once in the sky I pulled out my Mac Book and sat back and watch some TV programs I missed over the past few days. Watching TV programs while I fly coast to coast, or reading a book on the Kindle app on the iPad is a way to relax more when I travel. After two programs, I was back into work mode. Via a Twitter exchange with a few conference attendees I confirmed interest in carrying on discussions, and using a online calendaring tool or two (gosh there are many) I booked a few appointments as conference calls for later in the week. That's where being connected in the sky via GoGo on Virgin was so valuable.
As I crossed the country, bouncing over Mississippi and Texas due to weather, I was able to also work on a News Release for YIP TV with our Client Services lead, review a story deck with the Senior AE on the business, engage with a new client about our upcoming kick-off session, review terms of a contract and make a dinner date with some of my new friends in L.A. for Asian food. Heck, I even helped two friends re-connect, from up in the air, further defining the "stay connected" mantra.
Oh, and of course, I even sneaked in a test call while flying on the plane using Switch again.....proving that GoGo isn't stopping voice calls like they claim. The quality though wasn't as good as my call via Fly-Fi from Exede.
After landing, it was another hailing of Uber, a turning off of Do Not Disturb on GoogleVoice and Switch so people could reach me, a quick check on who was coming to dinner, a check on my plans for dinner with friends next week, and a very fun ride home with a hip Uber X driver where our conversation was on real jazz, great jazz men, and my turning him on to Sun Ra, via Spotify. When I got "home" my August app unlocked the door to the flat, the Bluesmart app unlocked my new rolling suitcase, a powering up of the desktop Mac Mini and the return to working from home.
And with that, by the time 5 PM in L.A. rolled around my 14 hour day was done......until dinner.