Jul 31

Apple Math

The addition of Hulu Plus to AppleTV is an interesting addition to what Tim Cook simply referred to a "hobby" during the last investor call. Especially considering when Apple has sold 4million units so far this year alone.

So what's next?

Imagine this: "Siri - Please play that episode of South Park where Eric Cartman wants to go to Stan's birthday party at Casa Bonita."

Apple is creating ecosystems and going where customers have been long underserved and there is significant demand for a better way. But while everyone is focused on mobile, I think there's quite a bit slight of hand ("...nothing to see here folks…just a $400million hobby…move right along...") going on with regard to Cable TV. I'll put it this way (click here for a larger version):

Screen Shot 2012 07 31 at 5 07 44 PM





IMO Apple is quickly and quietly going after Cable TV providers with better delivery methods, a la carte selection and on demand viewing. Don't be surprised as premium content creators begin signing agreements with Apple:  HBO, ESPN, Disney, BBC as well as other international creators (maybe even TVNZ - Shortland Street for everyone! :) 

AppleTV then quickly becomes a vastly improved distribution medium and of course they'll extract a modest toll in the process. And with a world wide revenue opportunity it'll mean $billions more for Apple - funded in part by the giant sucking sound as viewers cut the cable for broadcast TV and keep it for internet access only. Heck - for only two months cable TV cost ($50/month) you can buy an AppleTV. And the difference can fund subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu Plus and more.

Or imagine this: after NBC's mis-handling of the Olympic games, can an Olympics app for the AppleTV be very far behind?

Jul 06

RTC USA Feedback

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There's a lot of blogging going on post #RTCNA (formerly #RTCUSA) in Stone Mountain. I'm going to try to list all the blog posts but if I miss any please email / twitter a link.

And if you didn't get to go, be sure to print a few reviews and staple them together with your resignation letter before placing it on your bosses desk.

Ok - maybe not with a resignation letter. Maybe just as a list of the competition who was there.

You see, It's a bit chicken / egg: you're being told you couldn't make it  because you don't have the budget…or is it that you don't have the budget because you couldn't make it?

James Vandezande / HOK

Brian Mackey / Mackay Consulting

Aaron Maller /  Beck Group

Paul Aubin / Consulting Services

Lonnie Cumpton / BIM9

Robert Manna / Stantec

Aaron Vorwerk / D|C|CADD

Jeffrey Pinheiro / Fletcher Thompson (here here and here)

Erik Lewis / Devenney Group Ltd.

Check back for updates!

Jul 03

RTC North America 2012

Note: This is a re-post (with permission!) from JamesV's blog over here:




Here I sit on the train, commuting back to work on a warm Monday morning, attempting to summarize what concluded a mere 27 hours ago. I'm attempting to find the right way to express my feelings about the RTC North America 2012 conference in Stone Mountain, GA and I seem to keep returning to Bradley Cooper's character in The Hangover II when he makes that fateful phone call..."it happened again."
Now, I'm not saying we lost all track of reality in a drunken stupor - rather that I feel a nostalgia of great events in the past. Meeting new friends, learning truly valuable skills, and having a whole bag of fun in the process.

Let's start from the beginning...even before departing New York for Atlanta. At AU in November 2011, my good old friend Wes Benn says that I absolutely must submit a class proposal for RTC in June. I was supposed to give a presentation at the first RTC North America event earlier in 2011, but an important family event forced me to defer my presentation to an excellent colleague who did a bang-up job of Effective Coordination, avoiding an imminent #screwtastrophe.

So, I submitted a topic called "Building Smarter Models" that was accepted and I was on my way to Georgia. Fast forward to June 27 and I arrive with two others at Hartsfield Airport late that evening. We share a car out to the Evergreen Marriott Resort at Stone Mountain - a 40 minute drive. Along the way, Scott Davis receives a call from Jim Balding with the news that there are no rooms left for the three of us. Surely this is one of Jim's practical jokes, but it turned out to be true. After shuttling back and forth between two hotels in the area until 1 am, we had a plan - Bruce got a room, Scott shacked up with Jim for the night, and I stayed with Wes.

The next morning I may have been caught saying that I was due for a crappy conference because I've been to so many good ones in recent years. I was about to let fate take its course. Then it was underway...

We were first treated to a fascinating "fireside (albeit a virtual fire) chat" with the one and only Dick Morley - the father of such modern day innovations as the programmable logic controller, anti-lock brakes, and the picture keys on McDonalds restaurant registers. Dick was followed by Steve Stafford and a few folks from Autodesk talking about what's new in Revit 2013 and what's to come. Of course, Autodesk can't reveal details about what's coming without everyone being under NDA, so I felt that was an unnecessary addition to Steve's summary.

After lunch, we were off to the first round of classes. This is where the magic begins. Without a fully detailed summary of every session I attended, let me just say that you probably won't find a better assembly of speakers and topics covering Revit and related technologies than at an RTC event. I'd have to say that my favorite presenter was Marcello Sgambelluri. His passion, eloquence, enthusiasm, and overall knowledge of each topic was remarkable and inspiring.

Removed  << EDIT: Sorry, had to remove the video snippet of Marcello's presentation by request >>

RTC is a multi-track event in which there are several simultaneous classes in regular time slots over three days. It is difficult to decide which class to attend in any given schedule slot and they don't yet record the proceedings. I hope they do in the future because I didn't hear anything but positive reviews from my colleagues attending other sessions.

One thing that seems to be receding from the itinerary of other industry conferences are the social events. This is where RTC certainly doesn't skimp. As event founder, Wes and his committee understand the immeasurable value of networking at these types of venues. It might make their event a little more costly, but I wouldn't even hesitate to keep coming if they keep up their high standard of excellence. On Friday night, we were treated to a paddle boat ride across the lake to the Stone Mountain Golf Clubhouse for a fine BBQ dinner and on Saturday, the gala dinner concluded the conference with the announcement of the contest winners and a bluegrass band.

Future conferences are scheduled for RTC North America - Vancouver in July 2013, RTC Europe - Delft, Netherlands in September 2013, and RTC Australasia - New Zealand in May 2013. I encourage you to visit www.revitconference.com to learn more about these upcoming events.

Jul 03

Bluegrass + (Madonna + DEVO + INXS) / Stone Mountain = Packway Handle Band

Hey everyone - if you've still got the tunes from Saturday night's Gala Dinner stuck in your head there is a cure! The Packway Handle Band is available on iTunes.

Screen Shot 2012 07 03 at 9 43 01 AM

Please support these full-time musicians - we all know what it's like to be a passionate, driven artist. I'm digging the (Sinner) You'd Better Get Ready CD which features the wonderful rendition of Madonna's "Like A Prayer". Listen closely to the last 10 seconds or so for the cut in by the neighbor with insomnia. :)

Insert earbuds, press play and close eyes…I'm back at RTC!

Jun 22

It’s Friday!

And what could possibly make it better?

That's right! RTC North America is next week! We'll be indoors during 90 degree highs. But a few evening events will be outdoors in pleasant 70 degree lows. So feel free to pack your shorts and t-shirts. Start here for the latest / greatest registration info if you're still on the fence!

Could that possible be all the good new? What? No?

Wait! There's more!

We've just found out that the FLAT TIRES entire discography has been accepted by Pandora:

Screen Shot 2012 06 22 at 2 21 46 PM

It's not as easy as you'd think - and they don't just accept any / all music out there. So we're really pleased to have make the cut. Go here to get started! http://www.pandora.com/flat-tires

See you at RTC!

Jun 20

Put Your Pencils Down

Screen Shot 2012 06 20 at 8 38 23 AM


Thursday, August 9

Baltimore, Maryland

Friday, August 10
The Iron Works
Pittsburg, PA

Saturday, August 11
The Grog Shop
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Sunday, August 12
Mohawk Place
Buffalo, New York

Sunday, August 13

Tuesday, August 14
Burlington, Vermont

Wednesday, August 15
Chameleons Nightclub

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Thursday, August 16
The Dover Brickhouse

Dover, New Hampshire

Friday, August 17
Rocks On Concert Cruise

Boston, MA

Saturday, August 18
Rocks Off Concert Cruise

New York, NY

 - Bonus -

 Here's a link to download a six song sample of FLAT TIRES music across their past three albums:


Enjoy! :)

Jun 14

Facts and Figures

RTC2012us abstract header 800x215 copy


Two weeks from today RTC North America gathers at Stone Mountain Resort for the 2nd annual conference. What better time to rattle off some interesting facts and figures for this year's event. This is a great opportunity to get kick started with the latest and greatest in the BIM ecosystem. We have a full schedule of events - but plenty of time to discuss best practices, cross discipline workflow and more - including: 

  • 24 Sponsors and Exhibitors (and climbing!)
  • 95 Sessions
  • 80 Speakers
  • 13 Delegate Countries
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Lithuania
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United Arab Emirates
  • USA
  • 12 Published BIM Authors
  • Scores of Bloggers and Industry Experts
  • 2 Fully Operation Cloud-based BIM Labs
  • Special Vasari goodness compliments of Matt Jezyk and Zack Kron
  • Keynote Speaker Dick Morley
  • Complimentary airport shuttle to Stone Mountain Resort
  • And in addition to being the premier North America BIM-centric conference, Stone Mountain Park is a wonderful, family friendly environment. Consider bringing your spouse and children for a relaxing getaway. Let them play while you work!

    For registration start here.

    There are still a few exhibition and sponsorship opportunities available. For the full prospectus start here.

    Full conference schedule and information is available at http://www.rtcevents.com/rtc2012us/.

    RTC 2012 North America 500x240

    Jun 08

    Before and After


    Jun 07

    Are You an “Intrapreneur?”

    Thanks to Mike Plotnick (@SomeChum) for tweeting this link. Different than entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg; intrapreneurs are people who have an entrepreneurial streak in their DNA, but choose to align their talents with a large organization in place of creating their own. I like to think I fall into this category, albeit on a much smaller scale than people mentioned in the article from Ford, Intel, Dell and others.

    Move Over Entrepreneurs, Here Come The Intrapreneurs
    By David Armano, executive VP, Global Innovation & Integration at Edelman.

    On a similar note, in my time with HOK, I have always been impressed with the somewhat low-profile business within the firm that designs their own products. HOK Product Design was founded in 2009 and is an “independent business that engages designers who use design thinking to create innovative products for the built environment.” It has the “unique ability to draw on the knowledge, research and evidence-based data available within HOK as well as the firm’s leadership in strategic planning, workplace consulting and sustainable design.”

    Some of the innovative products that have come out of this group include Full Circle®, a continuously curved luminaire concept manufactured by Winona Lighting, Balance Beam, a grab bar with touch activated LED lights manufactured by Cooper Lighting IO division, and Gather, a collaborative furniture line manufactured by Allsteel.

    There are many other products ranging from recycling systems, to coping, to wall/curb rain gardens – all designed by talented team members working on HOK projects! Please hop on over to their website and peruse the product offerings. You can even submit your own idea.

    Jun 06

    Three Weeks from Today!

    RTC 2012 North America 500x240

    RTC North America begins three weeks from today! Last year's inaugural event in Huntington Beach, CA was extremely successful and we're expecting even more during this years conference! Here's just a few highlights to look forward to:
    • LEADERSHIP. RTC North America is attended by many of the most well known names in the BIM-universe! This is a unique ‘for users, by users’ event, where experts and leaders in the field of BIM share their knowledge and experience. You'll have plenty of time for one-on-one discussions with well known industry leaders. 
    • PROGRAM. RTC North America caters to a broad range of interests and skill levels with seven simultaneous streams - providing a comprehensive program for everyone. Detailed presentations, lab sessions, showcases and more create a lively mix of learning opportunities, while the expanded social functions allows for relaxation and an opportunity to keep up to date with industry peers.  
    • INSPIRATION. During the inaugural RTC in North America, over 90% of the attendees indicated that they would return for this years event. Register now! With limits on attendance numbers, each conference will continue to bring the relaxed and friendly RTC atmosphere to its attendees, with innovative, thought-provoking and informative presentations and discussions.
    • ENTERTAINMENT. Following the Gala Dinner, the award winning alt-bluegrass Packway Handle Band (http://www.packwayhandle.com/) will be providing this year's entertainment! After three days of intense learning and knowledge sharing it's time to relax and enjoy some great music in the scenic Georgia outdoors!
    • FAMILY. Stone Mountain Park (http://www.stonemountainpark.com/) is a wonderful, family friendly environment with numerous indoor and outdoor activities! If you're within driving distance of the conference bring the family! Children young and old will have fun-fill days and rest well at night.
    For registration start here.

    Full conference schedule and information is available at http://www.rtcevents.com/rtc2012us/.

    RTC2012us abstract header 800x215 copy

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