Come Fly With Me

Come Fly With Me I do a lot of travel for work.  That means I spend a lot of time on planes, some of which is “wasted” – or at least time that can’t be productive for work in the traditional sense of being connected, or in a lot of cases, of even reading.  One thing I’ve always appreciated in my career but have grown even more attached to of late is traveling with colleagues.  Any time I have an opportunity to do so, I jump on it. First, I find that I get solid work time in with a colleague in transit.  A check-in meeting that isn’t rushed with a hard stop, interrupted by the phone or visitors, and…

Starbucks, Starbucks, Everywhere, Part II

Starbucks, Starbucks, Everywhere, Part II In 2004, I blogged about Starbucks’ implausible Forbidden City location (post includes picture) in the heart of one of China’s most prominent national monuments. Today, under pressure from the Chinese government, Starbucks announced that they’re closing the location, reflecting “Chinese sensitivity about cultural symbols and unease over an influx of foreign pop culture,” according to a very short blurb about this in today’s Wall Street Journal. It must be indescribably different to live in a society that’s so tightly controlled.

A Better Way to Fly (to London)

A Better Way to Fly (to London) Eos Airlines is a new airline that has a single route, and but one flight per day (each direction) — London-New York.  And boy, did it do the trick.  I was able to get a complimentary ticket, but let me tell you, even at $3,250 (about their normal fare), it’s worth the price if you have the money for it.  And a spot check of BA and American’s sites shows that a first class or even business class ticket on those carriers can run as much as $5,000-$7,000 if you’re not using miles to purchase or upgrade. It’s a new concept in airlines.  Their marketing materials call it “what Starbucks did for the…

A Study In Contrast

A Study In Contrast We just visited India for a great two weeks of vacation (with one quick business meeting thrown in for good measure).  The most striking part of the country was its seamless transition between  old and new.  Bumpy dirt roads and new, gleaming highways give way to each other at random intervals.  Streets in many cities and most smaller towns are filled with trucks fighting for space with cows, oxen, camels, elephants, dogs, and donkeys.  Ads for cell phones and new Internet cafes are mixed in with storefronts prominently advertising land line phones, since almost no one in outlying areas can afford or has electricity to power an in-home phone. Anyway, if you’re up for a quick…

How Much Blogging is Too Much Blogging?

How Much Blogging is Too Much Blogging? After being completely (and blissfully, I might add) offline for 11 days, I have returned to find 247 new postings in my Newsgator folder.  Only a short year ago, I would have come back from vacation to too many emails…now I get to sift through too many emails AND too many blog postings. On the bright side, I have at least these two images of the Barolo wine country and the Amalfi coast solidly etched in my brain to ease re-entry to work. Anyone interested in a brief travelog of the Italian countryside, click here and follow the top link.

A Different Take on The Gates

A Different Take on The Gates We went up to Central Park today to see The Gates.  We thought it was ok, but boy was it a madhouse up there.  Anyway, we were struck at some angles by the similarity between the gates of the gates, and one of the most famous gates in the world which we saw on our trip through Asia last year:  the O-torii. The O-torrii is one of the most recognizable images of Japan.  It is a 53 foot high vermilion gate rising out of the sea in front of the Itsukushima Jinja shrine on the island of Miyajima, off the coast of Hiroshima.  It was built out of trunks of local camphor trees in…

If Only International Relations Were This Easy

If Only International Relations Were This Easy Iceland is one of those weird places on earth where two continental plates meet — and you can see it. Here we are, me on the American plate and Mariquita on the Eurasian plate, with the earth seemingly coming apart at the seams in between. If anyone’s interested in a short travelog to Iceland, here it is.

The Land Without Blogs (Can You Imagine?)

We just spent three days whitewater rafting in Glacier National Park, Montana.  It was great fun for many reasons, but one thing that really struck me is how rare it is to completely unplug these days.  No cell phone, no email, no TiVo, no electricity.  Not even an iPod.  Just a raft, a tent, and an open fire for cooking.  And I’d venture to guess that of the 15 other people on our trip besides the two of us, not a single one even knows what a blog is, let alone writes one.  In many ways, those three days of being unplugged were as refreshing as two weeks on many other vacations.

Starbucks, Starbucks, Everywhere

A while ago, Fred Wilson wrote a posting about the incredible ubiquity Starbucks has achieved in recent years. I wrote a comment at the time, but I never know who actually reads blog comments other than the author. The comment was: Talk about ubiquity…my wife and I were just travelling in Asia and saw many Starbucks there, which was not a surprise. The one that WAS a surprise, however, which completely blew me away, was the Starbucks located in the middle of the Forbidden City/Imperial Palace in Beijing, the 600+ year old home of China’s emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. To be fair, it was tastefully done (no big green awning), and if it weren’t in its particular…

Oh, And About That Picture

Yes, that’s me. I’m in an ice pocket inside a glacier on Antarctica, the most interesting place Mariquita and I have ever been, and I think the most interesting place on earth. We were there last winter with a great tour company called Adventure Network and had the trip of a lifetime. And yes, the picture does have something to do with the theme of the blog, You’re Only a First Time CEO Once. 🙂