This blog has celebrated innovative products, people and places for 15 years. In the last couple of years with seemingly so many people unhappy and angry, I have become lot more observant of products, people and places that also make you feel good even if momentarily. I encountered several in the two days at the SuccessFactors event in Vegas last week.
It was held at the Aria, which is one of my favorite places to stay in the city. Unlike other Vegas properties where you are subterranean most of the time, the Aria is naturally lit and has plenty of foliage inside, even on the walls.
As I got into the elevator to go to the conference, Do for love was playing. For four decades, this Bobby Caldwell hit has never failed to instantly lift me up. So, I am humming the tune as I walk up to the conference desk. And Monet, already smiling as she checks me in, asked me what the song is. And I gladly played it for her on my iPhone and made her smile even more.
Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP kicked off the event with a fireside chat. And watching him at his exuberant best from the audience, I sent him an email “I think unbelievably you are even more positive after your (eye) accident. “ He responds a bit later “Thank you for kind words, Vinnie. Gratitude is everything!”
Gratitude - what a great emotion.
That evening a few of us had dinner at Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie. I don’t think I have had a more heavenly salad than theirs with roasted beets, arugula and goat cheese.
Arianna Huffington is known for her tough love of hyper executives like Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick. So it was refreshing to see her send an audience of HR execs into stitches as she talked about wellness and counseled they buy a bed and blanky for their phones so the owner and object both sleep undisturbed through the night. And it’s available in mahogany on Amazon, she helpfully added!
The piece de resistance was Michael J. Fox. How he has survived through Parkinson’s and spinal surgery and continues to humorously talk about it all (”J” is for genius he deadpanned). The audience gave him a standing ovation at the beginning and ending, and in that adoration I guess we felt less guilty laughing at all the jokes he made including one where hockey great Bobby Orr allowed him to score.
As I was walking away. thinking how well Fox and McDermott have handled the lemons life has dealt then, I run into Monet again. This time she is directing crowds. She recognizes me, smiles brightly again and says “You know what, you made me go listen to Bobby Caldwell at home”.
Made that day even brighter.