Case study on quality time: Boardwatch

Back in the day (well late 1997), wearing my Director of Marketing/PR hat for SkyCache (which later became Cidera), we wanted to brief the folks at Boardwatch magazine about our madcap idea to use satellite broadcast to bypass internet bottlenecks and places where there wasn’t a whole lot of bandwidth.

After a couple of phone calls, we got onto publisher Jack Rickard’s calendar to brief him on the whole scheme between Christmas and New Year’s.  We agreed to fly out to Denver and do the brief there.  Didn’t hurt that I knew Jack from my writing and he knew Doug Humphrey by rep since Doug had sold off ISP DIGEX earlier in the year.

Our flight out of BWI gets delayed, so we don’t roll into the Boardwatch offices until about 4 PM.  There are cigars present, and an open bottle of red.   Everyone has a glass, everyone is drinking.

We go through the briefing on a white board and go through about 1.5 bottles of red.

At about 6 PM,  Jack looks at his watch and says “Well, we’d better get going, I made reservations over at The Fort for dinner. ” He tops off all of our glasses and we get into Jack’s Hummer.  I wonder to myself if Denver or Colorado has an open container law.

At The Fort, Jack orders drinks before dinner, wine with dinner, and it all gets blurry from there. At some point in time, I realize that Jack and his right-hand man Brian Noto are professionals when it comes to imbibing, so I just step back and switch to water.   We all eat a lot of interesting cuisine, including roast bison marrow bones, Rocky Mountain oysters, bison tongue, and jalapeños stuffed with peanut butter.

After dinner, we climb into Jack’s Hummer and go to his “house.” We sit down for after-dinner drinks, which include sampling Jack’s home-made honey mead, and the (suddenly small and insignificant) bottle of port we’d brought along from Maryland.  I think we finish up talking at around 2 AM and back at our hotel by 3 AM.

Way too early in the morning, Doug and I wake up and get to the airport for our AM departure, heads sore, mouths dry.

A few months later (remember, this is print we’re talking about), Doug Humphrey’s caricature graces the front cover of Boardwatch along with a two page writeup from Jack describing the SkyCache concept.

I run into Brian Noto at a trade show and ask him if he and Jack did that sort of thing on a regular basis.  He says something like meetings of that sort were particularly exception on their end as well…


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