Friday, December 08, 2006

HP completes Landmark Mercury acquisition...

All the details...

If you're interested in reading the details of our wonderful day, here they are!

Nov 18th, 2006 - I married the most beautiful, charming woman in the world!  Posted by Picasa

And he's back!

After a long hiatus, there will be many, many more posts to come starting tonight!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Amazing how those rumors come true!!

HP to Acquire Mercury Interactive Corp. Acquisition positions company as a market leader in IT management software PALO ALTO, Calif., July 25, 2006 – HP today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Mercury Interactive Corp., a leading IT management software and services company, through a cash tender offer for $52.00 per share, or an enterprise value of approximately $4.5 billion, which is net of existing cash and debt.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Some interesting rumors floating around the space....

HP to Land Mercury Interactive?

(the typical disclaimer - I know nothing, claim to know nothing, and most of these posts are my own "doodling" while I should be doing something else.. :-)

Monday, May 08, 2006

The state of our market...

Consolidation: It's an interesting paradigm shift in the Enterprise Software market. The big get bigger and the small get fewer...

Oracle acquires Peoplesoft

RedHat acquires JBOSS

Progress Software acquires Actional

BEA acquires Plumtree

CA acquires Concord

and the list goes on and on..

Oh, I forgot...

and my favorite one...

Mercury acquires Systinet


So it's been a while. Things have been extremely busy. Racing season has started! Work travel has been incredible lately -- some weeks CT to Chicago to DC, or CT to the W. Coast to DC, and so on. That said, no excuse for not blogging!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Where in the world is Mr. Bertrand?

So... apologies for all of the bloggies that I've been gone for so long. No excuse really, - but things have been hectic and I've learned that Blogging is harder than I thought. We spent some time in Grand Cayman with the Systinet team (our "first and last" Systinet President's Club) and I've been on the road about 90% before and after that. Cayman was excellent - we had a fabulous time!

Other than that, I've spent about 80% of my time in DC, as Systinet's business still continues to flourish nicely there.

I'm working on some upcoming blogs on "winning", the state of the market in our sector, an update on competitive strategies that work and ones that don't work and some fun blog entries that I've yet to think of!

I'd also like to announce that my fiance has joined the Blogsphere!

She has started a Personal Concierge business in the Sturbridge, MA area, - you can check it out at:

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Update on the week...

Phew, what a week. Monday - a 24 hour work day, up at 3:45, to Long Beach, CA - and then had meetings in San Diego all day long. Had a jammed packed week in CA, and topped it off with a red eye flight back, on my favorite airline - Jet Blue - to the East coast last night. Looking forward to the weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Things have been super busy.


- lost 8 pounds on the diet, now on to a much heathier way of living!

- new puppy, Toby, is doing very well, sister Tessa is loving him

- worked about 60 hours in 3 days this week - tired

- reading two new books: "On Bullshit" and "The Big Moo" -- the Big Moo is an extradordinary book, but caution - only read it if you want to be an extraordinary person. If you liked the Purple Cow book, you'll love this.

- found an awesome website that I never knew about if you're a travel nut like we are called Site 59 --

Ok, that's it for now. TTFN!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Diet

So I'm making a big effort to get down to the weight that I was when I graduated high school, which is about 15lbs less than I am now. We started a diet this week called Isagenix, referred to me by a colleague. It is a "cleansing" diet - that starts off with 2 days of cleansing (read: no solid food), 5 days of 1 meal + 2 protein shakes, and 2 days of cleansing. So far, in the first 2 days, I've lost 6 lbs (!!!) and my fiancee has lost 4.5 lbs.

Check it out at! E-mail me if you're interested in joining.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Systinet to be acquired by Mercury Interactive!

It looks like all of our hard work and long hours paid off at Systinet!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

"Toby" - to arrive January 19th from Oklahoma. He is a blood brother of Tessa (and Taj). He will certainly brighten our spirits... Posted by Picasa

In Memoriam: Taj Bertrand (April 2005 to December 2005). Our Christmas did not start off as we had planned, as little Taj was hit and killed by a car. He was a fantastic dog with some of the most human-like qualities I have ever seen. We all miss him dearly and he will be in our hearts forever. On a brighter note, we have a new puppy coming who is another brother of Tessa and Taj. More to come on him in the next post... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Crazy time....

Between Christmas, work, travel, home and hobbies - it's left little time for anything else the past few weeks!

I spent a few days earlier this week before jumping back on the road for work enjoying our new 2006 BMW 5 series that I picked up over last weekend. What a beautiful car -- it has all of the amenities that a modern day car should have and drives/handles better than anything I have ever driven.

I also just purchased a new Dell computer for my parents and family. I'm absolutely amazed how the price of Desktops has decreased over the past few years. You can buy a fully loaded Dell with 512MB of RAM, 160GB of disk space, 17" flat screen LCD monitor and free shipping for under $600! Plus the Dell customer service folks were second to none.

A bad customer service experience that I've had recently was with Independence Air. It's no wonder why these guys are going under in such a short time. I've flown them 30+ times, and for some reason, - moreso recently than ever, they cannot board on time, leave on time, arrive on time, or get just about anything right... Buyer beware.

It's also the end of our quarter, which is always an interesting, stressful, sleepless time! That said, Systinet continues to execute flawlessly...

Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Best Coffee

I think I've traveled around enough the last year to really recognize a good cup or bad cup of coffee. I'm a coffee nut as well, so I thought it would be fun to write a snowy day blog on the topic...

First of all, any restaurant that takes a good bean, brews it and then stores it in one of those large steel containers - WRONG. This coffee tastes absolutely terrible. Something about the large steel vat... The best coffee is either fresh brewed or stored in a non-metal container. This is why you see the "pump" mechanisms at a lot of restaurants now.

At home, we use the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Coffee maker. AWESOME! We put all of our various bean flavors in the freezer - which keeps them fresh. We can then take the beans directly out of the freezer and pour them into the Grind and Brew. It makes an awesome cup of coffee for a very reasonable price. The coffee is also then stored in a thermal container, so it stays fresh and warm for hours after brewing...

Next, we've come across some great coffee lately as well, in our quest for the perfect cup. The best bean that we have found by far is the Starbucks Gazebo Blend coffee. It's mild, but rich - and has a TON of flavor. Other good coffee that we have had lately includes some Blue Mountain coffee from Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Death by Chocolate - for those chocolate lovers, which you can pick up at Stop & Shop (which, by the way, has some great coffee choices!).

The most interesting coffee shop that I've been to recently was the Bad Ass Coffee Company. An interesting name, an enjoyable atmosphere - with some great merchandise!

Well, that's about it for now. We've got about 6 inches of snow here in Sturbridge. More to come soon!

Monday, November 28, 2005

We just returned from a fantastic vacation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at the new Riu resort ( Anyone looking for a nice get away, this is the place!  Posted by Picasa

Engaged! After a little over 3 years of a wonderful relationship, Cara and I are engaged! The date is November 18, 2006 at the Belhurst Castle and Winery in Geneva, NY. Posted by Picasa

For Sale: 1995 Gulfstream Diesel Pusher Bus style motorhome. Immaculate. $68,000. E-mail for more details. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Wow, - I never thought that I would go this long without updating my blog. In fact, I didn’t even realize how long it had been until some colleagues and friends started hounding me to post again!

Here’s an interesting topic. The world is greedy – and how can we ever continue this pace?Great example. This past weekend, I took my family (Cara and our two puppies) in our motorhome to a local/regional auto racing event. Even though it rained all weekend, we still had a great time, - along with probably 700-800 other motorhomes/campers, etc that absolutely filled the parking lot. It likely cost all of these people somewhere between $200-$500 just to get to the track, pay for fuel, food & drink for the weekend, and so on. On top of that, the prices for the event increased – in ONE year – from $50 for the weekend to $75. A 50% increase! We started talking about it – and it’s ludicrous to think about how the average family could even afford to attend an event like this… Are the owners of this event taking advantage of a devoted fan base?

Second example – gas prices. Gas prices have almost DOUBLED in the past 12 months. Let me tell you, it hasn’t seemed to affect those pumps from flowing one bit. In fact, every time I go to the gas station now, I seem to wait longer in line than ever… How can a good that is vital to the survival of our society increase 50% in price literally overnight and barely affect travel habits or the economy? It is quite astonishing to me…

Third example – college tuition. Are the costs of operation 2X what they were 10 years ago at a good school? The tuition certainly is! How will the average family afford to put 2 kids through school at $300,000 a piece (the likely cost!) in 5-7 years from now?

Last example – professional sports. The owners and leagues -- NOT the players -- are driving the cost of professional sports out of this hemisphere. Why do I say this? Number one – the players are smart. They ask, and they receive. The owners and leagues are greedy. They just keep letting the same phenomenon happen year after year without putting any reasonable regulations on common salary practices. You know who pays for this all? We do. I can’t go to a professional Hockey or Basketball game for the evening for under $200. The ticket prices are outrageous ($50-$75), it’s now $8 for a sandwich that costs them 75 cents, and it’s now $6 for a beer that costs them less than 15 cents.

The question I keep asking myself is how long can this continue and will it ever stop?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Random things...

Breathing a sigh of relief after our quarter end. Systinet executed on another record quarter - as the company continues to grow, and our customer base continues to grow as well, with over 40 new customers added in the last quarter alone!

I thought that since I've been on the road so much the last 3 years, it would be fun to start posting some random things and thoughts...

Here are some that come to mind:

Worst airports: Logan - Boston (Parking/Lines), Dulles (Lines, transportation between terminals from 1950), Chicago & Philly (Delays)

Best airports: Bradley - Hartford (no lines, easy parking, good flights), Providence (no lines, easy parking), Denver (Beautiful, efficient airport)

Best coffee houses: Any Starbucks, Peaberry (Denver)

Best Italian restaurant: Da Domenico's (Tyson's Corner, VA)

Worst hotel experience: La Quinta

Best hotel experience: Riu Palace Las America's - Cancun, MX

Best Gelato: Gelato D'Italia (Denver)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

That time of year....

With the Government year winding down, the last 2 weeks have been *extremely* busy!! More to come soon...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hw r u? Wht z ur pref? - The topic of Internet shorthand...

Is Internet shorthand appropriate for formal e-mail correspondence? Instant messenger (IM) conversations? Notes to friends or close colleagues?

This topic has sparked interest amongst the academic and business communities alike:

My personal thoughts on this topic...

If you're communicating with someone of rank or superiority, communicating with someone you don't know, communicating with a customer or partner, communicating with an elder or communicating on a formal topic -- Internet shorthand is not appropriate. If you're communicating with a colleague, a friend, a family member - and you have established the informal "contract" that Internet shorthand is OK -- go ahead and use to your heart's content...
At this point, for me - personally - it is easier for me to electronically write a note that is grammatical and structured well and comprehensive than it is to do the same thing on a piece of paper, so I will take the route of sticking to my proper grammar.

TTFN :-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Use an e-mail signature!

E-mail signatures are a valuable tool. First of all - they allow easy and convenient access to one's contact information for the person you are communicating with to reach you. Second - they can help communicate important messages about your organization or current events surrounding your organization. Last - in the days of Blackberry's and TREO's - it makes it much more convenient for the person receiving your e-mail to hit a single button to call you back.

Off to DC tomorrow. Hopefully the weather doesn't affect the trip too much....

Our prayers go out to those in New Orleans. A fantastic town, disheveled by mother nature...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Dukes of Hazzard

Last night we made the plunge and went to see the modern day Dukes of Hazzard. A huge DoH fan to begin with, and the fact that I'm a pretty easy guy to please with movies...I was rather entertained by the flick.

Perhaps one of the reasons I liked the movie was the performance from American Pie's "Stiffler" (Seann William Scott) - who always adds interesting color to any movie. Burt Reynolds was brilliant - a perfect "Boss Hog" - reminiscent of his Smoky and the Bandit days. Willie Nelson's role was also quite interesting as "Uncle Jesse."

If you're looking for some light humor, go see it...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

20 hour days

The 20 hour days this week have kept my brain fairly busy and slightly fried - trying to think of some new and interesting topics to post, but until then - I better go get some sleep...!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One of the wittiest college entrance essays I have ever read...

I came across this years ago, - don't know what made me think of it, but it is an excellent light read...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Case of the Mondays...

How about the humidity the last few days? My asthma is in high gear...!

Off to another busy start. Today, battling weather delays trying to get down to DC, where I'll be until Wednesday.

Things continue to heat up at Systinet and the market is becoming very exciting as well. We've officially taken the covers off of our Blizzard platform, a set of SOA applications performing such capabilities as Lifecycle Management, Contract Management, Policy Management and so on. Our Policy Manager product, which just shipped, is the first and only *standards-based* application for creating and managing policies around Net-Centric operations, XML and SOA.

It should be an interesting scene over the next 6-9 months as the market shakes out...

That's it for now.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Just booked our tickets for the Dave Matthews show at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the Denver, CO area on Friday, Sept 9th. Cannot wait!!! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Networking - key to success

Someone recently asked me about the secret to very rapidly growing a small company's market share in a crowded, competitive market. The secret is "relevant partnering", which creates an unbelievable network effect. The more relevant, valuable partners you have to network with, your probability of increasing your channel power 10X increases dramatically. The theory is very simple - 10 relevant partners each generate 10 valuable referrals that you, yourself could not have generated and you now have a factor of 10X (100 valuable referrals). Now the real secret - putting it into action. Execution is always the key to any success plan... :-)

Monday, August 01, 2005


Spending time recouperating after a wonderful house warming party weekend. My lovely girlfriend and I hosted 50+ close friends and family members at our house and had a great time. We also spent some time cruising our lake, which was a great time as well.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Projects galore

Spent the weekend working on the house, took a trip to the race track (finished a dismal 9th out of 24) and then took a wonderful ride on our little boat with my lovely girlfriend, our puppies and my brother, Todd, on Sunday. Today, I flew from Boston to Long Beach, stopped and had dinner with a friend in Oceanside and am attending the NCOIC conference in San Diego tomorrow and have a client meeting late tomorrow afternoon. Wednesday, I'm flying back to Boston for a dinner meeting in the city with some clients who are in town.

Other than that, we have a number of projects going on at Systinet as we continue to evolve into new and exciting technologies in the SOA space. The "killer applications" of SOA that companies such as Systinet develop that account for SOA Governance, Lifecycle Management, Contract Management, and so on, will continuously assist customers in recognizing ROI from their SOA initiatives.

More to come later this week...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Sorry folks, have been on a bit of a hiatus from the blog. Between travel and the fact that my mother has been undergoing some health issues and treatments (so far very treatable, thank God), but it has been very stressful so far and has left little time for the Blog. It also certainly puts life and priorities back in perspective...

Some interesting developments in the Enterprise Software space recently. Graham Glass leaves WebMethods to pursue Semantic Web - an area that we've seen some tremendous interest in recently... BEA, traditionally known for building their own stack, partners with Systinet, Amberpoint and others to deliver Aqualogic, their next generation Service Infrastructure platform. This proves, once again, that Systinet has emerged as the only player in the SOA Registry/Governance space. In the Enterprise Service Management & Security space, we've also seen some extremely interesting developments recently with HP's SOA manager, CISCO's AON strategy, and others we've heard of coming down the pipeline...

It should continue to be an interesting remainder of 2005...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Back in action

After the 4th of July hiatus, I'm back in action - in DC on Tuesday and Wednesday and back in the office on Thursday and Friday. We just finished up a record quarter at Systinet. Things keep looking upward every quarter!

Life is currently very busy, getting the new house in shape, trying to keep up with the puppies, and trying to find some time in there for other fun!

More to come tomorrow on The Tipping Point - and also a topic I've been researching a lot lately moreso because it fascinates me -- Dreams.

Take care...

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Our puppies have arrived!  Posted by Hello


The end of a quarter always brings about a particularly high level of stress on any sales team!

Stress (roughly the opposite of relaxation) is a medical term for a wide range of strong external stimuli, both physiological and psychological, which can cause a physiological response called the general adaptation syndrome, first described in 1936 by Hans Selye in the journal Nature.

More to come tomorrow, once the dust settles...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Our BIG Puppies who we are picking up late Monday night at Bradley International Airport, coming all the way from Oklahoma! Posted by Hello

Word of the day -- Maven

Busy working on closing out our quarter here at Systinet - which looks to be another great one! My travels this week have brough me from Massachusetts to Washington, DC and back - and managed to fit in another 22 hour work day on Tuesday. It's amazing how 190 e-mails can amass between 3PM and 8PM in one day!

In reading The Tipping Point, Galdwell uses the word "Maven" quite a bit - as to describe those who are the first to pick up new trends and start these "epidemics" as he calls them.

It's my word of the day today:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A maven is an expert in a particular field, usually one who is self-appointed and who seeks to pass his knowledge on to others.

The word comes from the Yiddish meyvn (מבֿין), with the same meaning, which in turn derives from the Hebrew mayveen, meaning to understand. It was first recorded in English around 1952, and popularised in the 1960s by a series of commercials for Vita Herring created by Martin Solow, featuring "The Beloved Herring Maven."
Since the 1980s it has become more common since William Safire adopted it to describe himself ("the language maven").

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ok, I am back

Yesterday was one helluva day. I left Boston at 8AM, arrived in Denver at 10:20 MST, left Denver at 7PM MST, and was delayed in the air - arriving in Washington at 2AM, and not to bed until 3:45AM, up at 7AM again today. Thank God for Starbucks and Iced Tea :-)

I started reading an extremely interesting book called "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" - it is a thrilling and refreshing look at how ideas, messages, viruses, diseases, etc. "spread" as epidemics throughout a culture.

The author - Malcolm Galdwell, writes: "The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do."

Applying this to the software business - you often see companies who have built the most successful "viral" community as the ones who succeed. Systinet is a great example of that phenomenon -- the company has built its business from the ground up, based upon building great technology, making it easily accessible to the development audience and building a tremendous community and brand around its products.

I read 60 pages in one sitting, so that is saying something!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Too busy to write!

It has almost been too busy to write lately! Tomorrow - off to Denver in the early AM, and then back on a late evening flight to Washington, DC - not returning home til Friday.

More to come tomorrow on the long plane flight...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Off and running on another week...

Another busy week on tap after a wonderful weekend with my lovely girlfriend, Cara, in the Adirondack Mountains and racing in the Greater Buffalo area - off to Washington tomorrow, and will be flying for the first time out of Bradley International with our recent move to Sturbridge. Installed my wireless hub tonight... - they keep making these things easier and easier to use and install. Within 4 minutes I was online.

Between having wireless at home and a technology that we use from Cisco called SoftPhone - I can be "in the office" at just about any time. The SoftPhone technology is awesome and I have had very few problems with the quality so far. Basically - we installed some software on my laptop and I have a phone extension that can be dialed through 4 digits internally and allows me to make endless outbound calls to anywhere. I've been reading a number of interesting articles lately that say that phone companies will not be able to charge anything for long distance within 5 years or less...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Long week...

Well, - it has been another long week. On Tuesday we were up at 4AM EST to fly to California for a series of meetings that began in N. CA and ended on Wednesday evening in S. CA. With the time change – it could have been possible that on Tuesday I worked more than 24 hours! It was an unbelievably busy day. Then, back up at 4AM PST this morning to fly home to Boston. I’ll tell you one thing, our folks from Product to Support to Marketing to Sales and so on are working harder than ever right now and it is a time to be proud to work for such a productive company.

An interesting question came up in a casual discussion with friend this week: How were people successful in communicating 15 years ago without e-mail? I guess the argument could go two ways.

One outlook is that often times we get bogged down in e-mail chains that stem 20-30 messages long on a single topic that could have been solved in a 20 minute conference call or meeting. We sometimes spend far more time administrating e-mail than actually performing other job functions. Sometimes e-mail is used more in an “instant messaging” like format, creating far more messages to administrate than necessary. E-mail can also be very dangerous as it takes away or sometimes muddles tone, context and intent – for example, an e-mail can imply a tone that was not intended by the author and cause many issues.

On the other hand, if used properly, e-mail enables near instant communication when necessary. It takes away the “presence” factor – you can be just about anywhere in the world and communicate via e-mail. It also enables convenience – I can respond at my convenience to your note, and as long as I do it in a timely fashion for your requirement, it meets your needs. It can enable effective group communication and collaboration. It sometimes helps one effectively communicate an idea in writing that it may have been hard to communicate in person. And there are probably others that I am missing!

I’d have to say that I am a big fan of new age communications (IM, Blackberry, etc.) – but sometimes the administrative headaches of them do drag into the late parts of the evening!

Well, that is about it for now. I am off to the Adirondack’s (in New York state) this weekend for a little R&R, and also going over to Perry, NY to visit my girlfriend’s family. If you are ever looking for a fantastic getaway, there is a Bed & Breakfast that we stay at in Beaver Falls, NY called Hidden Comfort B&B ( and the hospitality and food there are second to none!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Getting settled

Well, it was a long week between work, travel, a wedding and moving into the new house, - but it is finally over!

This coming week I will be traveling to California (Northern for a day and Southern for 2 days). Look for more words of wisdom during the week :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Long day, hard night...

I will probably not be posting too much until later this week. I was up til almost midnight packing for our move to our new house on Thursday of this week, up at 4AM today and off to Washington, back tonight, packing until midnight again, and in meetings all day tomorrow in Bedford, MA and at our office, then moving!

To top that off, my flight was cancelled tonight and I sprinted to another terminal to get on another flight that had been delayed from earlier in the afternoon and had about one of the worst flights ever. The plane was going about 120MPH or slower (!) for the last 40 minutes and we were in constant turbulence. The guy sitting across the aisle getting sick did not help either.

More later this week!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Well, she was sooooo cute, we decided to get them both!! Meet "TAJ" (right - boy) and "TESSA" (left - girl)! To arrive in late June from Oklahoma. Posted by Hello

Identity theft in taxi cabs...

Because I travel so much and am often behind on expense reports, I strongly prefer to use my credit card for all transactions, including taxi transportation. I did have an enlightening conversation the other night though with a Boston Cabbie who gave me a few tips to follow:

1) Only use your credit card with a cab service who "swipes" the card electronically in the cab - or who calls your number into their home base

2) If the driver uses a paper/carbon receipt - always ask them who processes the transactions. What the driver told me was that a lot of operators will take the receipts to a processing service center, and you as the consumer have no guarantee on who and how the transaction gets processed.

3) Keep good track of when and where you use the card and watch for fraudulent transactions.

Upon hearing this, I will certainly be a bit more careful since I tend to use my card everywhere!

Other than that - we're getting ready up here in the Northeast for what seems like the 20th weekend in a row of potential rain. The forecast was beautiful all week, - now today it says 50% chance of rain. I guess my "glass half empty" side comes out when it comes to the weather lately!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

New pictures of Taj the puppy! Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

False starts...

Tried to post a couple of times last week, but became a bit frustrated when I went to publish – only to see an error screen and my post wiped out :-(

So, - had a long week last week. A few 18 hour (one was around 20 I think!) days, but all well worth it.

One nice thing about my current job that I’ve began to realize is that we work with a lot of *smart* people! Some of the discussions that I’ve had lately with customers, prospective customers and our own employees have absolutely blown me away. The high-tech space certainly breeds some smart cookies!

Had a great weekend and the weather actually took a turn for the better with Saturday being a picture perfect day! We did a bit of auto racing (won our qualifying race and had a DNF in the feature event due to a faulty spark plug), worked on the house and enjoyed the weather.

Off to DC tomorrow for the day and will spend an unusual amount of time in office or in my home office this week actually trying to catch up :-)!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Wow! Our dog "TAJ" (currently with his mother in Oklahoma) is growing like a weed! Posted by Hello

Monday, May 09, 2005

Another day...

Spent this past weekend working on our house and watching it rain! Also spent some time walking through the woods yesterday. We live on historic Indian reservation land, and it's absolutely amazing to see some of the structures still standing in the woods. For example, there are stone walls and structures running every which way through the woods. I asked myself -- What were these used for? How many people did it take to build these? (miles and miles of stones!) How old are they?

I guess it was an enlightening experience to spend the weekend at least partially disconnected (the Blackberry was still percolating every 10 seconds!) from the world.

Off to Washington for 3 days, - another very busy week.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I need a snorkle this week

Finally coming up for air -- it has been an unbelievably busy week, and it does not stop until the close of business on Friday.

I'm reading a book called "How Full Is Your Bucket?" - a piece focused on positive motivation.

The book gives some great examples of filling or emptying of buckets and gives some practical strategies for filling buckets. They are as follows:

-- Prevent bucket dipping - are you adding to people's buckets or taking away?

-- Shine a light on what is right - spend time, energy and attention to what is right, rather than focusing on the negative.

-- Make best friends - great relationships lead to increased satisfaction in life and in business

-- Give unexpectedly - the gifts can be material or intangible (ie: trust, respect, gratitude), but given unexpectedly increases their "bucket filling power"

-- Reverse the Golden rule - "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them".

A short, but great read. Even I read 1/2 of the book in my first sitting and I usually don't read 1/2 of anything at one time!

Monday, May 02, 2005

We Are Experiencing An Increased Call Volume At The Moment

I would like a dollar for every time I've heard this over the past few months. Airlines, PayPal, Microsoft, Travel Services, the DMV (of course!) -- just about anyone with an automated recording.

To me, this means "we have cut, the customer will now have to wait longer...but to be polite, we'll tell you the same thing everyone else is telling you...'we are experiencing an increased call volume.'...we'll also direct you to our website, which will not be the least bit helpful, but if you figure out how to use it, you'll save us money because it costs us 1/10th the cost of a full time person to maintain the site..."

Give me a break! I'd rather be told by the phone system -- "your wait time will be 12 minutes," or even 35 minutes for that matter! That way, I can at least try to plan when I should call back, or I can do something else while on hold.

On the road again this week -- 16 meetings in 3 days (T, W, TH). Should be a fun one!

More to come soon...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Our new dog (to be named!) coming from the midwest on June 26th! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


It's been a busy week so far, Boston to Dallas to Washington, - but I've had the time to do some thinking.

While at the auto races the other day (my father and I own a race team, I do some of the driving and we also have a very talented guy who drives one of our other cars) -- I had an epiphany. It happened while I was watching some fans root for their favorite driver and root against their least favorite driver. I then went back to the pits and saw all of the teams from our division strategizing...putting together the last minute plans to beat their competition.

Thinking about this over the last few days, I began to realize that competition drives just about all aspects of business and life. We compete for position on the highway and strategize how to get home the quickest. We compete for market share in our respective markets and develop strategies to out-gun the competition. We compete with our siblings when we are young and try to position as Mom or Dad's favorite. We compete with others at the airport to get the best position in line, and the list goes on and on and on...

It is certainly an interesting phenomenon. Maybe I'll take up "people watching" as a hobby to come up with more of these scenarios :-)!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I'm Baaaaaaaack!

Back from vacation - lots of painting completed on the new house and some nice renovations. It was also very nice to take a break from the daily grind and travel to spend some time with my girlfriend and also some time outside in the beautiful weather.

More to come this week! Off to Dallas tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Jack of all trades, master of none (Thanks Roman)

So it seems as if some of the other companies that are trying to compete with Systinet, unsuccessfully, are at it again, offering "free" software to the customers who rush to them to take advantage of their offer. They use the excuse that it will "expedite" adoption of the standards.

I think of it like this -- your local mom & pop Chevrolet dealer sends you a letter in the mail saying "We are going to try to compete with Mercedes. Because of that fact, we are going to offer free Chevrolet Malibu's for a limited time to those lucky ones who rush here to get them. We believe that this will quicken the adoption of the Malibu versus the Mercedes."

Fine print: This offer requires you to have your Malibu serviced with us (at a minimum of 10 times per year) - and we may even throw in some proprietary parts to make sure that you keep coming back to us. There is also no guarantee that your Malibu will ever run. Finally, when we go out of business, no one else will be able to service your Malibu.

Back to a post from a couple of weeks ago -- predatory pricing is a sign of desperation. I believe that our customers and prospective customers realize this and continue to see the value in our Mercedes.

As for my week - my long awaited vacation is... - nice, but tiring. We're settling into the new house, painting, plastering and thensome!

Have a great week.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Well, as of 10AM today my girlfriend, Cara, and I are now homeowners! We just closed on our first house today - goodbye to the rental life!

It was an extremely busy week, - one day I can say might have went on record somewhere around 22 hours.

I'll probably post once or twice next week, as I have the week off to start moving and working on our house.

Until then, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

People are tired...

Traveling all over the country the last few years, and especially recently, I've started to see a common trend: people are tired. Lines at Starbucks are longer than ever, people falling asleep in meetings, and everywhere I look, I see tired people.

I'd say there are three fundamental reasons for this. One, people are burned out from the ever increasing workloads/stress and have basically given up on putting energy into their jobs. Two, the other end of the spectrum are the people who put so much energy into their careers that they just wear themselves out on a daily basis (sometimes I'm in this category!). Three, people are taking less vacation time than ever. Vacation is defined as "paid leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure." If this is what it is meant for, then why not take it?!! By not taking vacation, you become a liability to your company for more than one reason...

Speaking of tired, it is time to call it a day. I'm thinking of writing a post in the next few days on IM - "Presence or Communication?". Giving it some more thoughts.

This week's favorite comment from The Cluetrain Manifesto -- "Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies. No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak as they do."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Mobile Blog

5:11AM and another cab ride to the airport. This week it will be off to DC for the next two days and to Dayton, OH for the day on Thursday.

A friend recently sent me an e-mail about a "e-mail etiquitte" seminar that his company was putting on. Topics included "how to e-mail your superiors, how and when to effectively CC, and so on..". Probably a good idea in an age where we are all getting so much e-mail many times we do not take the time to actually *think* about what we're writing or why we are cc'ing someone's superior without discussing first...

My .02...

Have a great day!