Brexit is a Parallel to the Make America Great Again Movement

brexit-800x500

Normally, I do not talk about politics on this blog to keep it light. I just want to highlight a monumental and historical global event that happened. My intent is not to regurgitate the information. There are plenty of outlets and news sources that will provide you with the education about the referendum in the U.K.

I woke up this morning and found out that 400 of the richest people in the world, lost approximately $127 billion as a result of the decision for the UK to leave the European Union. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos — all names we are familiar with lost billions. The financial markets reacted on Friday 6/24 to the news and closed 600 points down. The overall markets turned negative for the year as a result of the news. I am not sure what the long term impact will be from this, however I started, doing some additional research and my suggestion is that folks in the United States wake up and pay attention.

Some of the major reasons why the people in the UK wanted to leave the EU (European Union) was because they wanted to “take back their country,” they did not want multiculturalism, they want immigration reform, and other social issues that they want control over. Sound familiar?? This Brexit movement sounds very similar to the Trump Movement. I know the politics are different in the UK compared to the US, however, I can’t help but draw close parallels to what the vote in November could look like.

I keep thinking about the “Yes you can” movement in 2008 and we saw an enormous outpouring for “change.” Albeit, the change we expected did not happen, however, what could be interesting, just like in Brexit — is that you might see right wing bigots come out of the wood work to vote for Trump because they want to “take the country back” or “Make America Great Again” into the dark ages. Every political expert is saying Trump can’t be President based on where the polls are now, however, I think you could see a similar situation that happened in the UK, where old school folks voted for regression instead of progress into a new world. An eerily similar message that Trump is pushing.

I want the best for America and I vote between parties for the lesser of the two evils. I think Clinton is the devil we know and Trump is the devil that wears Prada.

Ok, back to regularly scheduled blogging on family, technology, and sports. If you have a comment, drop me a line.

The Steph Curry Haters

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics

I am a Steph Curry fan. No, I am not a bandwagoner, I am a fan of how he conducts his business on the court and from what I am able to view and perceive of him off the court as a family man. I never thought I would see another shooter as great as Reggie Miller and Ray Allen in my lifetime. Stephen Curry’s meteoric climb to stardom happened relatively fast. When you consider that it took Lebron James, 9 years to win his first title. It took Steph only six years to get his chance and he and the Warriors capitalized on their first opportunity.

Here is the question, though? What happened from last year to this year? It seems as though there is more hate this year than last year. What more do the media or sports fans want from the guy? Let’s talk about on the court: fundamentally sound shooter, gets other teammates involved, league leader in steals, made 402 three-pointers and broke his own record by 100+ three-pointers in one year, over 90% on foul shots, unanimous MVP, NBA Champion, and has a wicked handle.

He is what fans clamor for when they watch basketball. All of sudden, I don’t hear the praise and the accolades for Stephen Curry from some media personalities and fans anymore because his antics have become annoying. Are you kidding me? What antics? You mean, now you don’t want a player that plays with heart and emotion? The very thing that you ask for and what he gives, is now the reason you kill or criticize him for it. People are fickle. They don’t know what they want. Are you jealous? Why else would you hate? It’s as if people are waiting to pounce on any wrong thing that he does.

I hear people say, I don’t like him because he pounds his chest or he keeps chewing on his mouthpiece while running up and down the court. He automatically starts to chew on it during every whistle stop. Are you serious? Does he or does he not make his teammates better? C’mon folks, wake up! Please stop hating and enjoy him as a player for what he brings to the game. I guess one could say the same about Lebron James. I guess you are right. You are entitled to you opinion, until it is totally offline. Nobody is saying he is the greatest player ever, I am and many have said, that he is the best shooter ever. This is only year 7 for Steph. If they beat Cleveland, the sky will be the limit for Steph Curry. Enjoy him people and for goodness sake, stop the hate! If you or your team wanted him, you should have drafted him.

 

New Beginnings for Dluxedad

Ever since my wife gave me the name, Dluxedad, I have had this incredible vision for creating this amazing brand that focused on fatherhood, technology, sports, travel, and luxury.

I don’t think I knew how to advance my vision to an eventual starting point beyond creating this blog. I thought I would utilize this blog to share my thoughts about all the important topics that were important to me as well as to other men.

Over the course of the weekend, my cousin, friend, and business partner in other ventures, suggested that Dluxedad could be so much more than what I have done with it. We discussed how we could make Dluxedad a brand and an icon that will change our lives forever. The contribution that we will make to the world will be awesome. From this day forward, Dluxedad will become an International multi-media company that will still focus on the initial concepts that I discussed above, however, along with the blog, we will deliver  the content via other channels. We have great ideas and plans and we will work hard to make this happen.

Scott and I are going to partner to become Dluxedad(s). There will be more to come soon. For now, we are releasing our first Dluxedad T-shirts, just in time for Father’s Day. In the next couple of weeks, we will have the first iteration of The Dluxedad Podcast. So many other ideas and thoughts will be come in the next few weeks.

It is so exciting and refreshing to have an idea and work on something you are passionate about. I look forward to the journey and I know we will bring you great products and services from Dluxedad.

 

What is Hyperloop? I’m Glad You Asked

I thought Hyperloop was an app that created time-lapse videos. Boy, was I wrong. Over the last couple of days, I started to see more articles and news reports about Hyperloop. Apparently, Hyperloop is the brain child of Elon Musk. Musk is the founder of Tesla and Space X. Knowing that he does not have the time to commit to another venture. He initially had this idea in 2013 because of the cost of the California high speed line at a whopping $70 billion and using a system that would deliver the world’s slowest high speed line. He thought that high speed travel could cost less and be more efficient. In a world, in which Uber has taken over, this could upend the travel industry in 3-4 years.

Musk created an open-source project allowing anyone or company to pave the way for the possibility of making this a reality. As a result Hyperloop Technologies was first to the party to create “vacuum tube” technology that will enable humans to travel from Las Vegas to LA in 30 minutes. Hyperloop’s pod inside the network of tubes from start to finish would travel at an approximate speed of 700+ MPH. Hyperloop as a method of travel could change the way that we travel in the future. Hyperloop plans to do some initial testing this week (See Video). Musk is promising a test track will be built at Space X’s headquarters. Companies like Hyperloop insist they will have pods ready for passengers by the end of the decade. We may be riding in Pods from city to city before the proposed Apple Car ever makes it out of production.

Where was I at in 2013? Why couldn’t I have thought about this amazing new technology that will change the way that we travel? Here is a quick video of Elon Musk talking about a better way to travel — the introduction of the Hyperloop.

Let me know your thoughts…

 

Go See Captain America: Civil War

 

No spoiler alert here, but do yourself a favor and buy two tickets. Buy one for the first show and then get another for the next day because that is how good this movie is. I have been waiting for a long time for the perfect Marvel movie and I think directors, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo got it right!

When Batman vs. Superman came out, I refused to see it. First, Superman could have squashed Batman in 20 seconds before Batman could have used his super brain. Secondly, although they are starting this Justice League franchise, I think they could have done it better. Similar to how Marvel set up their franchise. I am happy Disney bought the rights to Marvel because I think they developed a better strategy than the folks at DC Comics. I digress….

Civil War is very intense and drops many hints along the way. You will need to recall past events from some of the other movies and when you connect the dots, you will get super excited about what happened. You do not need to see the others, however, if you are a true Marvel fan, you may have watched them over and over like me. The graphics are amazing and the fight scenes are realistic for the technology that is available. They did not just blow stuff up, there was a plot to the story and it was AWESOME!

We took the entire family to see the movie and my one child, literally watched with her hand over her eyes to avoid any surprises. At the end, even she loved the movie. At the end of the weekend, Civil War did approximately $239M for it’s first weekend. I am itching to spoil this for you guys, however, I will keep my mouth shut – as a matter of fact, I am going to see it again, right now — well after this post.

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I hope you enjoyed your special day!

 

All Around the World

I love traveling. I love seeing new places, having great dining experiences and meeting new people. I think it is built into the fabric of who I am. Who does not like traveling?? I don’t want to be a management consultant that is constantly traveling 3 out of 4 weeks, however, I enjoy a couple times a month.

I am sitting in Houston as I write this post. In the last 24 hours, I have been to Buffalo for the first time and I did not make it to Niagara Falls, which I learned was 20 minutes from where I was visiting. It was too close not to visit. Hopefully I will get a chance to get back up there in the near future.

I left Buffalo same day to head to Atlanta for layover with an eventual destination in Houston. Had several meetings in Houston and am now headed to Dallas. When it is all said and done, I will have visited three cities and been to six airports.

Houston is nice. If my family had an interest in moving here, I would strongly consider it. The flooding right now does not make it an easy sell. Downtown is not as bad as some the north & west parts of the city. I really like how the city is prepping for the 2017 Super Bowl. I think that Houston will be an excellent host city for the big game.

I think I was surprised by how well the city has been developed. There is construction on every corner. Major retailers are have planted their flags downtown. They have awesome restaurants and although Houston has been a long time city, I feel like they are in a position to move up on the best cities to live list. The economy is becoming more robust and not just dependent on energy. I really like the two towns that I spent the most time in for this trip. Can’t wait for the next adventure.

The Best Part of the Weekend–April 2016

Weekends tend to go by so quickly, that I question whether or not I am actually “off.” What was great about this weekend is that I attended a intense boot camp like program, called — Breakthrough Intensive. This program was part of a family and friends/ community outreach done by Gap International. The company has been around for the last 30 years. I was asked almost 4 years ago to take this program and I am thankful for the consultant that was persistent enough to catch me at a good time as I go through this transition that I am in and to get me into this past weekend’s program. I am forever grateful.

Day One:

There were 40-50 people that flew in from around the country. The purpose of the program was to help you change your current thinking from your current reality — to creating extraordinary thinking, that leads to extraordinary outcomes. This was the day where the team of consultants break down your thinking to get you to recognize all of those probable thoughts that hold you back from creating something great. The 15 people that were in my session, were awesome. We all begin to share and to acknowledge where our current mindset is in our own respective lives. Because of the structure and models that Gap International used, I did not think that I received a plethora of information out of day 1, however, as I reflect back — day 1 was the catalyst for the shift. I won’t kid you and tell you that I am some newly reformed strategist right now, however, the Breakthrough program did help me to recognize those thoughts that do not have a place in my mind. We did a ton of introspection during the day and sharing. Towards the end of the day, we started addressing some of those past thoughts or “files” that sometimes want to hold us back from greatness.

Day Two:

I was charged up and ready to return on day 2 to get to the crux of becoming extraordinary. We originally had to come with a goal or issue to address within ourself. I had goals about 5 For Friends, about a new career, and about being more reflective instead of reactive. Those were great, however, I was not going to go to the next level of thinking with those issues. I arrived with a new issue to work on — that new issue is, “to work on where my passion is, what it is, and how it translates to my life’s work.” I believe that my passion is already inside of me and has been for a really long time. Many of the other participants in the room were in similar positions, trying to figure what is next for them in their lives. It was such a great day that we could all help each other and this is the day that bonding started to happen with each other at an intense velocity. We all wanted to remove or minds from our current reality and focus on creating a new reality. This is where our breakthrough started happening — with our words and our declarations! How we related to our words and our declarations was really cool.

So much of this is biblical and I appreciated it much more because the root of speaking things into existence is more spiritual than anything. I think what I missed all along was that you/me/I has to be inspired by those words in order for them to become truth!

Day Three:

Day 3 was powerful. We began to create plans for our declarations. Yes, SMART goals, but beyond that. There was belief behind these statements and what I loved about our group is that we want to hold each other accountable for our Stand statement. My Stand statement that I created in the room is:

I am a catalyst that enables people to move their ideas, connections, and thoughts by using my platform in their personal and professional lives by January 1st, 2017…And it shall be!

To some degree I am doing this already and have done it in the past, however it needs to be in better alignment with my life. I am very excited about what the future holds and I am no longer holding on to the past. My goal is to create a sustainable model for my life. There is something very special about the present, that I plan to embrace because it will connect you and I to the future.

  • Day One: Examine Current Thinking
  • Day Two: Creating Extraordinary Thinking
  • Day Three: Create Breakthrough!!

 

Beware of Partnerships…An Entrepreneurs Guide – 5 Tips You Need To Know

We are at the greatest time in history for entrepreneurship. I believe that the future of America is in how we reinvent our capitalistic society. Many people are now forced to start their own company and become an entrepreneur or an independent contractor for other companies as large organizations seek to reduce headcount. I recently read an article about Uber and Lyft becoming the duopolies of our current time. It all makes sense based on where we are as a society. More people are stepping out on faith to create their dreams and act out their visions to create wealth and a better quality of life.

With that increased desire to become an entrepreneur there are some pitfalls and landmines that one must watch out for, namely starting a company with multiple partners. Partnerships are tough! They are demanding! And they can derail a great business over time. I just celebrated a two year anniversary of 5 For Friends with my cousin and business partner, Scott Speed. The journey is still in progress, but I believe that what we are working on will eventually manifest into this incredible product that people never knew existed or we will use it as a learning experience for the future. Scott and I have worked on our partnership over time and we continue to improve on our working relationship to make it the best situation possible to have success. We have had tough conversations and will probably have more. I think having transparency with your partner(s) is key to any business endeavor having success.

I was recently consulting on a project, in which a couple of partners came together with a great idea in the energy space. What complicated this idea was including a financial partner that provided the backing for the business. My role was to oversee and help the company get off the ground with one of the partners and the visionary for the business. When you’re first starting out, everything goes well. It’s the equivalent of having that new love feeling with a new boyfriend and/or girlfriend. That magical feeling last only a short time until some adversity hits the startup. In this particular case, the financial partner sensed some tension among the founders and they jumped in and changed the business plan as well the expectations. This can happen to anyone that befriends someone and starts a business.

My goal is to provide you with 5 tips to help you avoid some of the traps of starting a business with partners.

  1. Get everything in writing — An operating agreement is helpful, but don’t stop there — write down the expectations and roles of everyone in the business (i.e. who is selling, who is accountable to who, etc.) Everything should be written and documented to protect all parties involved. In the example above, company XYZ never received a formal agreement from their financial partners, therefore it allowed them to change the terms of their agreement on the fly. Very important to get everything in writing. Many people say, I just want to start and it eventually will work itself out — that is a person that is naive and chances are it will come back to bite them in the you know what!
  2. Communicate like it is a marriage – I am not overstating this! Being in a partnership is the equivalent of operating in a marriage. You cannot use text or email to communicate your thoughts or ideas with your partners. It must be done in person or via phone for the simple purpose of sharing your thoughts, ideas, and emotions — no matter how sensitive the other person is to your views. The reason is that it keeps positive vibes flowing in your partnership. In addition, it’s hard not backstab your partner to another partner, however, as a best practice, please go directly to the partner that you have a problem with and share your thoughts. Your success is depending on communication.
  3. Share Expectations – This is a continuation of the above, however, very important to discuss what is expected in the beginning of your startup, during, and at the exit of your startup. The open lines of communication will allow you to intercept any issues that may develop. It’s going to seem tedious at times, but it will be well worth it in the end.
  4. Learn from your mistakes – There will be mistakes along the way. I have been guilty of pointing the finger or playing the blame game and that is totally unacceptable in a partnership because you and your partners are in it together. The best part of learning from your mistakes is that your more aware of the personality types that you work with and that can help when entertaining business opportunities for the future. Also be very careful of entering into partnerships with family, people you have known for a short period of time, and friends of friends. Take the time to reflect on the opportunity and do a SWOT analysis to help you make the best decision. Also consider trial periods to evaluate how you work with others.
  5. Don’t Move Fast – This is a business killer. People that want to move fast have the potential to kill an idea. If you think I’m lying — see Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes as an example to moving too fast. A company in in’s infancy is susceptible to moving too fast to bring a product or service to market. I am not saying that you have to be Tortoiselike, however, you do need to research, think, and observe all outcomes. If you move too fast you are bound to make mistakes.

I think all of these tips could have been helpful to company XYZ when starting up. The benefit is that they now have the experience of these mistakes to help them in the future.

Mamba Out! & Warriors Win 73

After March Madness and the Master’s you generally do not have too much to get excited about until the latter part of the NBA Playoffs, NFL Draft and, the Kentucky Derby. Last night was something special for basketball fans and sport fans in general.

In a turn back the clock performance, Kobe Bryant scored 60 points as the grand finale to his legendary career. To put this on scale, my favorite and by most accounts the greatest player statically and to the naked eye is/was Michael Jordan and he only scored 15 points in his last and final game. Kobe scored 45 more points and hit the game winning shot against the Utah Jazz. MJ did the same thing to win the championship, but I digress — What’s great about Kobe is that he is one of the greatest competitors to play sports — ever!! I remember the beginning of Kobe’s career at Lower Merion HS and I saw one of his last games in Philadelphia at the Palestra before going pro. I wish I could have been in attendance for his last game at Staples.

After a can you believe it performance, I wonder what we will remember most, the 60 point finale game or the 81 points against Toronto.

Just having an opportunity to see that game would have been great, but there was more history being made in Northern California. The Golden State Warriors eclipsed a long standing MJ Chicago led Bulls record of 72 wins in the regular season by beating the Memphis Grizzlies to set the new record of 73 wins. The Warriors and Lakers game was on at the same time and I had to old school and set my TV to PIP to capture all of the magic.

I never thought in my lifetime that we would see that record broken. That is an amazing accomplishment. Stephan Curry is freaking awesome! He shattered his own three point record by 130 three pointers. He ended up with 402 three pointers on the season. He has 1,593 threes in 7 years in the NBA. At this pace without injury, he should be able to catch Ray Allen (~2900) in the next 6-7 years. That would be amazing.

Back to last night, as a sports fan, you could appreciate Steph’s God given talent as he effortlessly skewered the Grizzlies for 7 threes in the first half. The game was essentially over by half-time. To have Kobe go out with 60 and Golden State win 73 games on the same night, I think it’s safe to say either may never happen again. Kobe was the oldest player to score 60 by 5 years. I don’t think we will see anything like him or the Warriors during our lifetime.

Glad I had a front row seat in my living room to see it to tell my kids about it down the road. Mamba Out…ok, how about — Dluxedad Out!!

Kobe Stats

 

Apple Keynote w/ No Splash

Today was an uneventful day at Apple. So much so that they finished the Keynote in less than an hour. I am the ultimate Apple fan boy and I just did not see the point of the event. I’ll get right to the point, since when did new watch bands and existing OS updates warrant a Keynote. Yes, they released an iPhone SE — to target the 33% of existing users that still have an iPhone 4 and 5. And yes, they released a new 9.7 inch iPad Pro! I thought these would fall under the banner of quiet releases.

The iPhone SE and the iPad Pro do not do anything different than its predecessors. Again, I am huge Apple fan, however, maybe this event was not for the Apple early adopters. Maybe it was designed for those at later points in the product life cycle that are looking to make a decision about their next purchase. I came away from the event feeling empty. With that said, here is everything that you need to know about today.

Apple Releases iOS 9.3, tvOS 9.2, watchOS 2.2, and El Capitan 10.11.4

  • Includes several new functions, bug fixes, and feature refinements
  • Newest feature called — Nigh Shift – reduces the overall exposure to blue light at night and makes the display warmer and better for your eyes. This is pretty cool. I have already tried it and love it!
  • More personalized options for Apple News
  • In the Health app, there is a new activity view that is similar to the Apple Watch view.
  • In Notes, you can now password protect some notes with a password and/or Touch ID.

New iPhone SE:

  • Available for pre-order on 3/24 and shipping on 3/31
  • 12 MP rear facing camera
  • 5 MP front camera
  • A9 Apple Processor
  • Apple Pay
  • 19 LTE Bands for more reliable data support
  • Prices start at $399 for 16GB.

New 9.7 iPad Pro:

  • All the same features of the existing iPad Pro 12.9 inch model.
  • New True Tone display – that automatically adjust to the light in the room – Pretty cool feature.
  • 6.1 MM thick and approximately less than one pound.
  • A new Rose Gold color
  • Prices start at $599 for 32 GB, a new 256 GB is $899.

As I mentioned before, there really was not a need for a media event for these updates, however, I do believe the OS updates were needed considering some of the bugs and lack of features. This is probably the last major release that you will see from Apple until the iPhone 7 is released.

 

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