I’m riding the train right now, typing and watching all of the different-colored, half-leaved trees speed by me, and I’m reminded of how awesome this time of year is. It’s always been a time that we fall into our routines as a family (which is important for us), settle in for the upcoming season and year, reconnect with our families and friends, and get to see – visually, really see – how beautiful our surroundings truly are. This time of year always provides a nice centering for me because of all of these factors. This centering gives me the right perspective on what’s really important and meaningful. It allows me to reflect on those things that have blessed my life and to vocally be thankful for them.
No doubt, I have lots be thankful for. My family and friends and our health top the list. I lost a teacher and mentor yesterday, and I’m thankful for all of those who have taught and purposefully (or non-purposefully) mentored me. Over the years, I have learned from many people and they have collectively given me the knowledge, confidence, guidance, and experience that have enabled me to get where I am today. I can only hope to have a fraction of the impact on others as those have had on me.
This blog is another thing I’m thankful for. It’s a labor of love for me and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It would not be what it is, though, without you guys, my readers. So, the biggest THANK YOU goes to YOU. You have shown interest by reading and providing comments and some of you even come back a second time. :) It’s really humbling. Your readership gives me reassurance that I am providing some sort of value to you. I only hope to continue, and ideally, get better. I’m always open to thoughts and suggestions on how to make this better for you, so please feel free to share. I feel like I’m just getting started.
I have to also thank my boss and friend, Matt Dickman, for encouraging me to start this blog. Without his support, I would have never started it and without his advice, I wouldn’t know the real “right” way to approach and do something like this. He encourages me unconditionally. He’s a great mind and I’m grateful to be working right along side him.
To that end, I’m privileged to work along AMAZING people who are committed to doing GREAT work. Brad – your help and insights have given me inspiration for pushing. Spike – your perspective is fresh and gives me courage. Herb – you’re wicked smart and you push me in ways I don’t like to admit (especially to you). Miker – you’re a rock, dude, and have been for a LONG time for me. Oh yeah, you’re super-talented at that video thing. Cindy – you keep us in line and strive to do what’s right. Sarah B. – you jump right in and aren’t afraid to mix it up. Most importantly, you want to get better. Chrissie – you’re a sponge. Keep sponging. Sarah F. – your drive is amazing. Aly – you just get stuff done and are a pleasure to work with. Clare – I can tell we’re going to get along just fine. Welcome to our team. Warren – you’re calm under pressure, brother, and your level-head sets a great tone. Rob – you think things through like a mad man and your edge levels that tone out. Ryan – your flexing is powerful. And I’m not talking muscles. Christian – does that smile ever leave your face? Matt W. – it’s been great to see you open up and you add a pleasant, chill dimension to the team. Abby & Lane – you’re machines with that research. And Chris – you do your thing, you bring quality thinking in everything. Inez – you’re the backbone of our group. Most of all, everyone’s just nice. And that’s nice. Thank you all for being who you are and doing what you do.
Outside of work, specifically inside the “industry,” I also have many people to thank, starting with the leaders of the two large industry (DOOH) conferences. They have both been incredibly generous and kind to me. Geri at the Digital Signage Expo (DSE) really gave me my first “break” in this blogging world. She gave me behind-the-scenes access that exposed me to things and people that I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to. Early on, in the life of this blog, she provided a source of great momentum by taking a chance on “the new guy.” And Lawrence at Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) has been extremely gracious, too. In his time, his open ears, and his access. He’s also given me the opportunity to speak at both of his shows this year. For all of that, thank you both. You’re unsung heroes of this industry and I am honored to have gotten to know you, work beside you, and help you get the word out this year.
I’ve also had the good fortune to meet and become pretty close to other industry leaders. Dave Haynes and Paul Flanigan – two rock stars in this industry with LOADS of experience – have treated me so well since I met them. They reached out to me like a friend, as if we’d known each other for years, and have made it comfortable, and even more, insightful, every time we interact with each other. We’ve had many great conversations, and I hope to have many more. They’ve been instrumental in sharing my thoughts with their personal communities and have both opened up opportunities for me that are invaluable.
Another one is David Weinfeld, a kindred spirit. David runs in the same group as Dave and Paul, so it was a package deal – (along with Pat Hellberg) I got to know them all in one fail swoop. David is passionate about this space and the potential it provides and works tirelessly to advance the knowledge, capabilities, and power that technology enables when people are on the move. He’s become my Twitter BFF.
The last guy in that group is Pat Hellberg. Although I’ve spent limited time with him, the time that I have spent has been rich. He’s a video guy and a Nike guy. Both awesome in my book. I was in Portland earlier in the year and he spent a few hours with me and showed me around his old stomping ground – the Nike campus. It was one of my “industry” highlights of the year.
Adrian and Gail at DailyDOOH have also been kind to me, welcoming into the small world of industry bloggers. They are the premier news source in the industry so it’s been cool to get a glimpse of their world and how they operate.
Ken Goldberg, Keith Kelson, Kyle Porter, Stephen Randall – thank you for your openness in our conversations, and more importantly, your leadership within the industry.
And there are, no doubt, many that I’ve probably missed. It’s been a rich year to be sure. Not only for me, but for this industry. Regardless of our view of Out-of-Home or Digital Out-of-Home or Digital Signage, we’re all working together for the same thing – to advance the knowledge and the potential of this powerful medium. I see great things in the future for this industry and I’m glad to be part of it.
Thank you all, again, for your part in this. Thank you for reading and sharing. I hope you have had just as rich and rewarding of a year as I have and I wish each one of you a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season and a prosperous year to come.