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The Harsh Realities of…The Morning After CES

By Matt Westover

Where are all the cameras? Where are the producers? What happened to my limo? Uh-O, CES is over and it is back to reality.

Reality started for me at about 1am Friday morning when I landed back in Boston. My limo had morphed into a dirty cab taking me home. Upon exiting the cab at the corner near my house, I accidentally hit the door handle getting out of the car and knocked my Blackberry out of my hand and onto the wet ground outside the car. This would not have been the end of the world until I realized the cab was parked over a city drain and my Blackberry bounced off the grate and fell perfectly through one of the holes and splashed in the drain water below. The screen light was on so I could clearly see my bberry sinking down and into the pipe with the rain water. In one second, my phone and my database was gone. Yes it was gone forever. How did I react? It was an irreversible occurrence and had to get over it and figure it out in the morning.

The 6am wakeup call came very quickly and the day was going to be a busy one. Once the kids were fed and off to school I was staring at a 9 foot Christmas tree in the middle of our living room that needed to be sent out with the trash. Whoa, I just went from summer weather in the “anything goes” city of Las Vegas to rainy cold weather in Boston staring at a Christmas tree that needed to be cut in pieces and thrown out. Clearly, I was back to reality. Grabbing a power tool, I cut the branches off the tree and took it all out for trash. One action item down; many to go.

Now, I was chomping at the bit to get to the cell phone store the moment it opened. Without my phone and email, I was out of contact with our MoGo team and had to get connected again. The store was open and my replacement phone was in stock. Now the challenge was restoring my database; if I could get it back at all. After 20 years in the backup segment of the market, I had a backup of my bberry database and could quickly back off the preverbal “edge of the bridge” as the day was looking up at that point.

Now I could get back to work. Or so I thought….. It turns out I had to take our dog to the vet as it was one of my roles I agreed to when we bought the dog. After a couple of hours and a little medication, our dog was back in action and I now I was back to work. What happened to my life of luxury I had the day before? It may not have been reality but it was much easier than this juggling act I was going through today! And who needs reality anyway?

Ah, there is the twist. Reality may have very wide or very narrow swings of its pendulum. It is for each one of us to manage the adversity reality can place in front of us at any moments notice. This week of CES was all real and the pendulum swung broadly from the highs to the lows and it was up to our MoGo team and me to manage ourselves through it and drive the company ball down the field in 2008.

All the best athletes, doctor’s, teachers, business professionals (the list goes on) have setbacks and difficult times in their journey to success. None have an easy ride and a straight road to success. What made them the best and what defined their character is how they responded to adversity and how they stood back up on their feet, dusted themselves off and kept competing. A champion is made in the difficult times and recognized as such later. A champion prepares tirelessly without the camera watching and executes with unwavering focus when the camera’s are rolling!

Though everyone wants to be a champion; few are preparing themselves to overcome their own or their company’s own challenges/setbacks to become a champion!

Now that the bright lights of the camera’s are gone and the limo’s aren’t here, it is our time to prepare/execute for the year and come back to CES in 2009 and beat our past performances! Yes, as it turns out, we are our own competition and if we worry about ourselves and stay focused to our game plan, we can surpass our CES success of 2008.

Today’s reality was challenging; I will make tomorrow’s reality better!

- Matt