The Airbnb Of The Seas

It was about 30 years ago that I met a couple in their early 80’s who lived on a cruise ship, Crystal Cruises, to be exact. They had one cabin for themselves, and one for their luggage. At the time, I thought it was so glamorous. No one from my neighborhood growing up could afford that.

It was one of the first cruises I was ever on. Eliot and Whitney were with me. Coincidentally, the couple were the parents of my client Norman Olson of AudioSource. His father was a pioneer in the retail tech business. His company was Olson Electronics, headquartered in Akron, Ohio.

I couldn’t get my eyes off of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Olson all week. I watched them enjoy the best meals, the best entertainment, the best accommodations, the best spas, and the best gym facilities available. What caught my eyes the most, was the way the staff treated the Olson’s. They knew them by their first names, their needs, and their wants. They were well attended to, better than in most other shelters.

The Olson’s never got off the ship at ports. They have seen it all over the years. All they wanted to do was sail and lead a healthy and comfortable existence. It was beautiful to watch.

That kind of life was only available to the wealthy. Today it’s much more affordable. There are a number of startups that are aiming to help baby boomers retire in the same fashion as the Olson’s. I don’t know all of the companies trying to do this, but Storylines was the one that has been in the news lately. From what I read, Storylines has just started selling 302 cabins on a 584-foot luxury cruise ship. Price, $255,000.The fees cover food, alcohol, housekeeping, etc. However, monthly fees are quite high.

The tech industry is calling this new concept the Airbnb of the seas. Storylines will allow owners to rent out their apartments to cover the monthly expenses.

Happy sailing.

Google Clips Is Here, Almost

Images: Google

I think I might put my name on the wait list for the new Google Clips camera. I wrote about Clips last October 5, and now it’s available. Google received so many orders they had to create a “wait” list.

Google Clips is a tiny camera with artificial intelligence that takes pictures when it sees something interesting. You don’t take pictures, the cameras does.

Click here for details and please watch the video. It’s so much fun.

The camera costs $249.00. Clips is being marketed to parents and pet owners. Its AI is programmed to recognize familiar faces. You can finally take a selfie from a distance.

Once a bunch of photos have been taken, you can view them on a companion app. Delete anything you don’t like. Save the goods ones on your camera roll. Don’t worry about someone else invading your privacy. You turn it on or off. The photos stay on the camera, not the cloud.

The camera has a 130-degree field of view and takes video at 15 frames per second. It has 15GB of internal storage.

Comments From My Audience



This guy will be giving me a colonoscopy next week. I certainly hope he washes his hands. Say hello to my doctor, Bruce Yaffe, who is in Thailand this week.


Thank you Howard Margolis for scoring the Grammy tickets for my client Owen Kwon of Astell&Kern. A&K hi res music players are the rock star in the audio industry.


Amazon’s Giant Spheres, A Mini Rainforest

Photos from Bloomberg Technology

I have seen some amazing work spaces in my time but this takes the cake. Amazon has just opened a new rainforest type office that is available to all of its 40,000 employees in Seattle. Amazon employs 541,900 people in total.

Called “Spheres,” the three dome structures costs $4 billion to build. I had to check out that dollar figure several times because I couldn’t believe that a company would spend that much money for employee comfort, but I was wrong.

According to Bloomberg Technology, that figure paid for a miniature rainforest planted inside. The rainforest features 40,000 plants from 400 species that are curated from around the world. Amazon employees are encouraged to hold meetings at “Spheres,” or just chill. Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, believes his new establishment, will spur great creativity.

Promise me you will watch the above video. It’s certainly a destination we should all visit, if they will let us in.

Dance Your Way To Better Health

I think we should take the following recommendation seriously. We don’t need scientific proof that dancing is good for us. We all know it. However, it’s nice to see various groups endorse this form of exercise and mental stimulation. I hope the following slides inspire all of us to stay as healthy as possible.




MoviePass and the AMC Theatres Chain Kaput

MoviePass and the AMC Theatres chain are going their separate ways.

I was surprised to learn that MoviePass is no longer working with the AMC Empire 25 in New York, Universal City Walk near Los Angeles, and the AMC Loews Boston Common.

I heard about the split from friends who use the subscription service. The MoviePass app is associated with 4,000 theaters in the United States for one low monthly fee.

MoviePass said that the list of participating theaters is subject to change, and MoviePass customers should consult the mobile app for updates to that list.

AMC didn’t feel that they could produce enough income to provide filmmakers with sufficient incentive to make great new movies.

Let’s hope this doesn’t become a trend with other movie theaters.

Remember these…….

Thank you Barbara O’Connell for these fabulous memories.

Bedside Visits

(I’m sorry for this lousy formatting. I wrote this piece on my email and it didn’t transfer well. I tried retyping it here but the copy came out the same way. Let it be).

A young friend of mine is going

through a major health crisis. She

lives on the other side of the country

so I can only be in communications

with her when she is available, or well

enough to talk to me. I know her

family and friends but I can’t be calling

them all the time for status updates.

Plus, I am not sure how much of the

details of her illness she really tells


This gal used to work at our PR

agency for a number of years so I feel

very close to her. She is a gorgeous

woman who could have capitalized on

her looks. She turned out to be one of

the most serious workers in the history

of our business.

I tried communicating with my friend

on Facebook but she got tired keeping

up with all of the inquiries she was

getting. I was worried that I would lose

touch with her. Then all of a sudden

I was notified that my friend was using

a digital platform called Caring Bridge

so she could talk to many of us at one


It has really been a great way to send

frequent good wishes to my friend and

get her almost daily updates. We all

want her to know that we are in this



Just Walk Out

It’s going to take me a while to get use to shopping in a store where I don’t have to check out. You better get used to it too, because Amazon is going to change the way retail is conducted today.

All the media is talking about the new convenience store Amazon opened today in Seattle. Called Amazon Go, there are no checkout lines and no cashiers. It’s all explained in the quick video I posted above.

It’s so ironic that the online company that helped put so many book stores out of business, and is now doing the same thing to other kinds of retail outlets, is now luring customers back to bricks-and-mortar.

Amazon Go is a cashier-less and, checkout-line-free store so people can shop in record-breaking time. All customers have to do is scan the Amazon Go app when they walk in, and then take what they want, and leave. Amazon does the rest. Every move you make is recorded. Eventually Amazon is going to know more about you than anyone else.

Watch the video to see how Amazon has perfected the entire automated process. You can take something off the shelf and then change your mind. Amazon is adding and subtracting from your bill every second of the way. It’s miraculous.

Recode, the tech site, did a marvelous job covering this story. Photos from Recode.



Photos by Jason Del Rey

The Fountainhead Experience Art Walk

Eliot and I belong to the Fountainhead Residency and Studios in Miami because the non-profit has a multitude of programs for emerging artists and collectors. We are contemporary art enthusiasts. We do not pretend to be knowledgeable or serious art collectors. We have spent a lot of money on art because we fell in love with the passion and determination of certain artists and what they created. Many of our purchases were made at the Williams McCall Gallery, the only fine arts gallery South Of Fifth, South Beach.

It’s amazing. We have no regrets. We love every piece we have bought over the years, even the ones we have on loan to many of our friends because we just do not have enough space in our apartment.

We are always on the hunt, even though we promised each other many times that we spent enough in our lifetime. Yesterday was proof that art is for love and investing. Fountainhead co-founder (2008) Kathryn Mikesell took a group of us on an art walk of three galleries on South Beach.

We were introduced to several pieces of art that sold for $500 a few years ago and now go for $20,000 plus. That certainly caught the attention of everyone in the group. A number of the art works we saw yesterday featured computer disks, paint swatches, photo negatives and pennies. Eliot went head over for heels for the pen and ink on woven paper by Ben Sack. The detail and the imagination used in his drawing just has to be seen in person. Visit the Robert Fontaine Gallery.

We heard a wild story about Ben Sack. He spends most of the year cruising around the world taking in the sights and learning the history of each city he visits. That helps him achieve the details in each drawing. I also remember something about Ben being blind in one eye. That seems impossible, doesn’t it?

We also had the pleasure of visiting David Castillo and Conde Contemporary galleries. The penny piece below is from Conde Contemporary. The gallery owner, Stacy Conde, is pictured below with Kathryn.

Fountainhead is a Miami treasure. Kathryn and Dan Mikesell have been bringing artists from around the world to live and work in Miami for up to two months each. That means 30 to 40 artists a year, and a total so far of over 300 artists from 36 counties. They also host open houses several times a year, and are presently establishing other art experiences.