Ah..I can now Write For Medium

Confessions of wine, tech, travel communications junkie

Well now, after all this time, you would think I’m written out..or some may say, written off. I started writing about wine online in 1985. Yes, 1985 so all you late bloomers who thought posting a wine blog was cool—take a step back and discover some older “vintage” writers who either made the jump, or jumped off.

In 2003 I started to write about all things real time connected over at VoIPWatch which you can now find at www.andyabramson.com . I was doing that and still am as an offshoot to what Ken Rutkowski and I were doing with the World Technology RoundUp, a daily 30 minute newscast (ok, PODCAST) of all things you needed to know about tech. At our zenith, we had about 300,000 daily listeners, downloading, streaming or finding us somewhere on the radio, someplace.

We sure didn’t do it for the money, but what we did helped us both parlay our knowledge into business. Ken now hosts Business Rockstars in Los Angeles, which I do a guest spot on a few times a month, and, well I have this cool communications agency called COMUNICANO.

We’ve done a lot in our history-32 exits to date, the most recent being Vidtel to Fidelity Investments, but others have included StubHub (we helped launch them, took stock, made money), GrandCentral which is now Google Voice, SightSpeed which is now part of Logitech, HiDefConferencing, which is now with Citrix and the guts of GoToMeeting and many others with GIPS also going to Google, Nukona going to Symantec and more.

All in all there have been four IPO’s, 28 M&A deals in the last 14 years, which to be associated with that many companies, either at their start, middle growth phase or end, isn’t too shabby for a shop that never has had an office, works virtually as a team, and in our history has had a client base that spans from Australia to the west coast….and that’s why I’m the road warrior while the rest of the crew works in their PJ’s, Sweats, all the while in their homes or from their boat.

Last year (2012) I logged according to TripIt 266 days on the road, 122,000+ air miles, 85 cities and 13 countries. I went around the world once (and am doing that again later this year), made my second wine with Doug Margerum in Santa Barbara, and was knighted in France by the Chevalier du Commanderie in Faugeres for my wine exploits and pioneering unpaid promotion of wines of the Languedoc for over 20 years. Along the way I somehow became the USA Ambassador to the International Grenache Association, which means I get to buy more wine, talk more about wine, and yes, go to some really cool wine events like G-Nights during even bigger wine events like Vinisud and Decouverez du Rhone. In reality, being the Ambassador is about evangelism of the great grape of Grenache-red, white and gris (grey). I host dinners, help winemakers out when they visit the USA and even go off to other countries to help develop more sales of the world’s most planted grape.

I do all this with TECHnology at its core. When it comes to that, I’m polyamorous. Some may say, I’m almost promiscuous with that stuff. I don’t care if it’s iOS, Android or even Windows. As we used to say on the World Technology Roundup for over 14 years, the goal is to “Stay Connected” to the rest of your world, community, contacts and colleagues no matter where you are. And to do that is not always easy. But thankfully I’ve evolved past the needle nose pliers, alligator clips and screwdrivers in my luggage and the need to destroy a hotel’s phone adapter to get online.

Heck, I’m even connected when I fly most times, and think we used to sleep on planes—well, that was until I discovered the unlimited GTE Airfone Plan one year and plunked down my $1000 and would yak, connect my Apple Newton or Palm Pilot (for you youngsters please see WikiPedia to see what they were) and quickly realized I was spending less money per minute talking and emailing from the sky on flights (I booked only Airfone equipped airlines that year) because the rates for Long Distance (LD) were .13 cents per minute, and that wasn’t including my cell phone either…

Medium will be for me, a place to muse about things impacting the tech powered, hipster generation from an older guys perspective. As I get older I’m now gravitating not towards people older than me (I did that from my earliest days in Pro Sports Team Management-starting at age 14) but to the younger, more wide eyed and focused “on them” and “their” generation. You see, as Billy Idol (again see WikiPedia) once sang in when he had a band called Generation X “your generation” was about the older generation not meaning a thing to him…in his parody of the Who’s “My Generation”. So by growing up in both the British Invasion era, and the “punk” new wave era, spinning those tunes in my teens, and collecting vinyl (see WikiPedia again) means to me, not looking back, but looking forward and commenting on the now, not the past….because just like hockey, where your only as good as your last shift, writing here means you’re only as good as your next post.

Follow me on Twitter @andyabramson or read my occasional blog post at andyabramson.com