Clearly I spend a lot of time online. Most of it occurs in my home office or around the house. Occasionally I connect in coffee shops (usually free) or at the airport (usually for a fee). As part of the Clear Heros program, I have been blessed with a 4G wifi hotspot that I can use myself, and share with others. Having high speed internet access wherever I go has benefited me in a lot of ways. Here are a few situations where it has come in handy, so far:
- Conference Connectivity: Like many conferences, people are on a tweeting & email checking rampage. The complimentary wi-fi is inevitably overloaded and slow. By having my own access point while at a conference I gained a client, and saved another attendee from losing one (she couldn’t email them the dinner plans). More recently at Startup Weekend EDU, I was able to read tweets just after our presentation to judges like Michael Arrington in a conference room where there was no internet AT&T connectivity on my iPhone. During break, I was able to meet up with a well-connected attendee who complimented our pitch, which may lead to our first source of revenue.
- Traveling Flexibility: Over the summer, my family made a trip to Florida for vacation. I was able to sit on the beach and conduct a meeting with one of my clients on a site redesign. Without being able to see their live site, I never would have been able to conduct this meeting. One thing we forgot was our camera charger. I quickly hopped online and had a charger sent to us before we ran out of juice, allowing us to take capture important moments, like our first trip out to the Florida keys and our children’s first experience with dolphins in the wild. Later in the trip I was able to save $75 on my hotel stay since I didn’t need to pay for the daily $25 internet access fee.
- Helping Others: I was with a filmmaker who had a hard deadline to upload a client’s video before the press release hit. Trouble was the coffee shops internet access was sporadic and slow, causing his video upload to fail over and over. Within 5 seconds I got him online and he was able to meet his deadline. Another time I was riding on a bus destined for Seattle and a lady was literally in tears because the bus was running late & she wouldn’t be able to give her boss the fixed powerpoint presentation in time for his big meeting. I asked her if she would like to give it to him right now & she looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.
- Information Anywhere: This has probably come in handy more times then I can remember, but one situation was a serious stress reliever for me. I bought an expensive new camera and was filming my child’s science presentation at a science fair. My camera’s LCD screen had several dull gray band floating across it and I thought for sure I had already broken my camera. Turns out the cheap florescent lighting in the building had a “cycle” that competed with the camera’s shutter rate. I would have stressed out until my next filming date if I didn’t have that information at my finger tips.