The Passing of Sir Roger Bannister

Posted by Tom Locke on March 4th, 2018 filed in History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
Comment now »

On Saturday March 3 we lost a sporting legend.  But more than that, we lost a man who made his life count; a man who made significant inroads in the field of neurology; and, a man who took great pride in family.

As chairman of the Sports Council in the UK between 1971 and 1974, Sir Roger developed the first test for anabolic steroids.

In his words, “None of my athletics was the greatest achievement,” he said. “My medical work has been my achievement and my family with 14 grandchildren. Those are real achievements.”

I first met Sir Roger in August of 1993.  He and John Landy of Australia both came to Vancouver that summer to sign limited edition prints to commemorate their historical Miracle Mile run at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games that were held in Vancouver.  The prints were released to the public the following summer at the 1994 Games hosted in Victoria with partial proceeds going to support the athletes participating in those Games.

Photo 3

Sir Roger and I would meet again for the opening of the 1994 Games attending a number of luncheons and events together.

However, what I will never forget is two personal discussions I had with him.  The first came in 1993 during a signing session.  My two daughters, Cathy (aged 12 at the time) and Alana (aged 10), assisted with the signings.  When Sir Roger found out that Alana was deaf, he pulled me aside and, for about a half an hour, he quizzed me on her condition, asking about genetic background, how her deafness was discovered and how we, as a family, were coping with her situation and supporting her.  He was genuinely interested.  In our subsequent meeting a year later, he opened up the conversation with, “How’s your daughter Alana doing?”  I was both stunned and grateful.

They say in life we will experience some things that we will never forget.  My meetings with Sir Roger fall into that category … truly great moments in time.

Managing in Professional Sports

Posted by Tom Locke on March 1st, 2018 filed in Business, History, Sports ... All Sorts
Comment now »

The harsh reality in professional sport is that the only thing that keeps a manager/coach’s job is the ability to win often enough to keep the owner(s) and fans happy.

Unfortunately, the winning is in the hands of the players and the manager/coach is nothing more than a guide.  Whether the players listen to the “guide” or not and they win, then the guide is considered successful.

The iconic baseball manager, Casey Stengel, perhaps said it best, “Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits.”

When Is Big Too Big

Posted by Tom Locke on February 15th, 2018 filed in Business, History, Technology
Comment now »

Scott Galloway teaches brand strategy and digital marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Galloway has been an Internet pioneer since 1992 and has owned and sold several e-commerce companies over the past couple of decades.

In Galloway’s latest book called ‘The Four’  he addresses the rise of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, and the influence these companies have on the global economy. Galloway’s conclusion is that they should be broken up for their near monopolistic power. Here are some of the stats he shares in his book that were laid out by John Thomson in his recent wifi hifi newsletter:

“So how big is Amazon? With a current market cap of $591 billion Amazon is worth more to the stock market than Walmart, Costco, T.J. Maxx, Target, Ross, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bed, Bath& Beyons, Saks, Sears, Dillards and JCPenny combined!

If you combine Facebook and Google together, they have a market cap of $1.3 trillion. If you were to merge Disney, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, CBC, Viacom, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter and the Dish Network, and then add the five largest advertising agencies in the world – WPP, Omnicomm, Publicist, IPG and Dentsu, according to Galloway you would still only be at around 90% of what Facebook and Google are worth together.

How about Apple? Apple is on track to be the first trillion-dollar company with a market cap of $900 billion. In the last quarter alone Apple earned $46 billion, twice the profits that Amazon has earned in its entire history. Ferrari is reported to work on a profit margin of around 29% while Apple’s profit margin of 32%. Stern observes that Apple’s profits in just one quarter was greater than the total revenue of either Coca-Cola or Facebook in the same period.

So what is wrong with this in Galloway’s estimation? In a phrase – too much control in the hands of four companies. These four hold a 24% share of the S&P 500 Top 50 and, at a combined market cap of $2.8 trillion, are close to the total value of every stock traded on the Nasdaq in 2001.”

With the Big Four’s technological capabilities that we tap into daily, it makes one wonder if we are in control of our lives or are just part of a fiefdom.

How To Turn An App Idea Into A Real Product

Posted by Tom Locke on February 1st, 2018 filed in Business, Technology
Comment now »

APP Picture

A tip of the hat to ymedialabs freelance editor Rae Steinbach** for the following contribution:

Maybe you just came up with an idea for the next great app. That’s a start, but ideas are only the beginning. What matters is knowing how to take a good idea and turn it into something real. People have inspirations for the next great mobile app all the time, but most of them never get past the point of just being a vague conception.

If you want to take your idea for an app and make it into something that people will use, you have to know how to design the app, develop it into something that can be used, and then get people to install it on their phones. This may entail partnering with professional iOS developers or other app design agencies, or you may have the technical know-how to go it alone. In this guide, you will learn about the steps that will take you from having an idea to having a real app that people use.

The Basics

The first thing you are going to need to do in the app development process is get the basic concept for the app down. You might have a rough idea of what the app is going to do, but you need to develop a clear picture before you can really move on to design and development.

First, you have to figure out the type of mobile app you are going to develop. Consider the following question:

● What is it going to do for users?

● Why would people want to download this app?

● Does your app have a specific audience? If so, who are these potential users?

You also want to think about whether you are going to develop for iOS or Android. To determine the right operating system, you might need to do some research to find out which type of platform is most common among your target audience. As an additional point, you may also want to consider that iPhone users tend to be more profitable for companies that build a business model around an app.

Some of the answers to these questions might be easy and intuitive, but you also should conduct market research. Things like surveys and focus groups can provide information about what your target audience may be looking for in an app. You could also research industry trends and look for information about competing services.

Design & Development

Once you have worked out the basics of what you want the app to be, it is time to move on to design and development. You want to get all of your ideas down on paper, build some wireframe sketches, and do some prototyping.

You could start prototyping on your own by using one of the many prototyping tools that are available, or you could choose to start working with a design and development firm that will help to guide you through the process.

Even if you do choose to handle most of the design stage on your own, you may need to hire a developer to help build the app once the design phase is complete.

When you are looking for a development partner, you want to make sure to hire someone that has the necessary experience. Ask to see their portfolio and request a few references. Along with that, you should discuss your concept with the developer to see the types of ideas they have, and get an idea of how well they will work as a collaborator.

Launching Your App

With the development process complete, you’ll have an app that is ready to hit the market. At this stage, you need to think about what you can do to get people to install your app. Regardless of whether you developed for Android or iOS, you have millions of other apps to compete with, so you need to do what you can to raise awareness and get people interested in using your product.

One of the first steps you could take is to optimize your app for higher visibility in the app stores. One tip is to use a keyword in the title of the app. This should make it easier for people to find it as they search. You could also advertise your app on social media and through email.

It takes some time and effort to take an app idea and turn it into something that people want to use. Even when you see that people are downloading the app, that is not the end of the process. No app is perfect on its initial release; you need to look for any bugs that may have been causing problems, and you also need to look for user feedback to find ways that you can improve the experience.

** Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content.

Humorous Quotes

Posted by Tom Locke on January 16th, 2018 filed in History, Humour, Life
Comment now »

I have read some beauties over the years.  Here are 3 that really standout:

“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” – Mae West

“I’ve never killed a man, but I have read many an obituary with a great deal of satisfaction.” – Mark Twain

“I never forget a face, but, in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception” – Groucho Marx


Be The Best You Can Be … And Howe

Posted by Tom Locke on January 4th, 2018 filed in General, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
1 Comment »

Early in December of 2017 I happened to catch an interview with Dr. Murray Howe on one of our local TV stations here in Vancouver.

Murray Howe is the youngest son of the legendary Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey, who passed away on June 10, 2016.  Murray is currently the head of Sports Medicine Imaging for the Toledo Radiological Associates and Promedica Health System’s Care program.

I was inspired by the interview Murray gave on his new book, “Nine Lessons I Learned From My Father”, a book he dedicated to his parents.  I immediately went out and bought one.

This book is not a hockey book.  It is an in depth personal look at the qualities that Gordie Howe possessed with hockey as a back drop.

As a child, Murray Howe wanted to be like his father.  He was an adult before he realized that didn’t necessarily mean playing hockey.

The “Nine Lessons” that Murray presents epitomizes the great person Gordie Howe was.  The nine lessons are:

  1. Live Honorably
  2. Live Generously
  3. Play Hard, but Have Fun
  4. Patience, Patience, Patience
  5. Live Selflessly
  6. Be Humble
  7. Be Tough
  8. Stay Positive
  9. Friends and Family Are Like Gold – Treasure Them

If you took the nine lessons above to heart, you would be well positioned to be the best you can be.

While reading this book, my mind wandered back to February of 1986 when I first met Mr. Hockey.  Prior to meeting him, I had cause to have dinner with Gordie’s wife, Colleen Howe, at the Westin Bayshore, here in Vancouver.

At the conclusion of dinner, she mentioned that she was going to the Canuck hockey game at the Pacific Coliseum where Gordie was doing a between period interview on radio.  I offered to drive her, she accepted and off we went.

I made sure that she got in the building okay and connected with Gordie and the rest of the crew.  At that time Gordie was representing Emery Worldwide, a freight company.

Colleen Howe then asked me to join them.  There was about eight of us at the table in the Centre Ice lounge and you could feel Gordie’s presence.  The conversation was light and informal with Gordie getting in a few humorous digs here and there.

As I was about to leave, Colleen leaned over to Gordie and asked him to sign one of his 8 x 10 photos for my mother, Norma, who was dying of cancer.  Without blinking an eyelash, Gordie did so, writing “Dear Norma, Please get well soon. Best always”


Gordie Howe - Feb 1986


Handing it over to me, he said, “Here’s to one fighter from another”.

I have never forgotten that moment and upon my mother receiving the photo, which I framed, my mother’s energy level rose significantly.

My mother has subsequently passed on but that “Gordie Howe” moment lives on with us.

I look forward to passing on these “Nine Lessons” to my family and friends … and Howe.

Time Flies

Posted by Tom Locke on December 22nd, 2017 filed in Business, History, Life
Comment now »

You have often heard the expression, “Time flies when you are having fun.”

That may be true.  However, if we do not attempt to monitor our time, the passage of this limited resource could result in regret and/disappointment.

Adding to the fact that I am not getting any younger, it’s led me to ask myself the following questions:

• What is most important right now and how can I make sure I don’t miss it?
• What do I want or need to do, but haven’t?
• If today were my last day would I want to do what I’m doing?
• What would I regret not doing if I died today?

For me, the next step is to take small steps to do these things.  Hope this gets you thinking the same way.


Marketing From The Inside Out

Posted by Tom Locke on November 23rd, 2017 filed in Business
Comment now »

Over the years I have found that the best marketing of initiatives or projects occurs when there is total engagement amongst those who are involved directly or indirectly.

Having an idea or sales pitch and getting it out to the market is one thing … but informing and testing the idea with all those involved prior to launch sets the table for optimum success.

Getting buy-in from your team who are involved with the deployment and execution of an initiative results in more consistent messaging, a willingness to share the load in getting the message out and a feeling of accomplishment.

So the next time you go out to market or sell something to your target group make sure you involve your team at the front end … you will be glad you did.

Gen Z: Loyalty is Back

Posted by Tom Locke on November 10th, 2017 filed in Business, History, Life
Comment now »

For aging Baby Boomers like me, it is most refreshing to hear that loyalty is returning to the workforce.

According to the folks at n-gen (, members of Gen Z (those born between 1996 and 2012) are now graduating and entering the workforce.  Per n-gen:

The good news for organizations, HR, and leaders is that Gen Z cares about loyalty.

This is a big shift which will have a profound impact on recruitment and retention efforts. The data suggests that Gen Zs want to work for an employer for the long term. They want work that is secure, and they don’t believe they need to work for several different companies to be successful.

This generation is pragmatic and realistic about what they need to do to get ahead. They grew up during the last recession and witnessed the impact of the housing crisis, the demise of long-standing institutions, and the collapse of economies. For this reason, many members of this cohort crave stability and are willing to do what it takes to receive it.


A Comeback Strategy

Posted by Tom Locke on October 26th, 2017 filed in Business, General, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
Comment now »

In June of 1991 I broke my arm throwing a softball in a competitive tournament.  I was in a cast for 6 months and was facing a year of rehab.

What kept me going was my ability to direct the anger that arose when I was told that I would never throw again and I should retire.

With a “I’ll show you” attitude, I let the anger fuel my desire to do more and try harder during my rehab period.

I also combined this with two other things – Purpose and Control


Having a purpose/goal that is bigger than us can be just what we need to find the strength to go for it and get past what is holding us back. My goal during my rehab was not simply to get my arm functional again but to play again as a starter.


Whether others let us down or not, taking control of our own destiny and making a commitment to ourselves to do all we can is empowering. Not relying on others and taking charge of turning things around is better than waiting and hoping someone else will do it for us.

This approach allowed me to get back playing 3 months earlier.  One year later, I was throwing again.  I played competitively for another 20 years.