It was Friday morning. We were in the middle of entertaining guests from around the world. Just about to pick up Matt Mullenweg and Ayelet Noff, both VIP guests of mine. Ayelet flew from Israel and Matt took time to fly back from Egypt just to support me. They were hardly the only ones who put extra effort in being there for me.
"Hi, this is xxxxx from xxxxxxx (my doctor) and we have your test results." (I have a sore on my nose that hasn't gone away and had it looked at).
"Your biopsy came back and it showed you have skin cancer."
The good news: it is a slow spreading type and should be easy to cut out and solve.
But tonight, while editing this video with Tyson Gravity -- he and I stayed up all night editing -- I reflected on the fact that I now am a cancer victim.
Cancer. I'm now in the club that Drew Olanoff has been a member of for a while. He's a hero to me, and is continuing to live life hard even in the face of this disease.
Anyway, it reminded me of why Saturday's celebration was so special. IT MEANT SOMETHING. We all only have a few days together in this lifetime and we might as well work hard to have fun together.
Other than Maryam Ghaemmaghami Scoble, no one knew about this phone call during my party.
No way was I going to keep a phone call from having fun with all of you.
It's 6:15 a.m. Monday morning when I write these words (I finished it at about 9:30 a.m.). I've been up all night with my friends Damien D Hustle Bryant and Tyson who came all the way from the East Coast in a van to both teach me how to live and capture and produce this video.
This video means something. It is special to me. Extremely special.
Because the love of all of you around the world who wished me well is reflected in the joy in this video. But more than that. All of my friends came on their own time and dime.
I am absolutely humbled by how many people came from around the world to see me. As Telstra exec Monty Hamilton told me "I asked you to come to Australia, how would it be fair to not come to see you?"
Many people worked to make this day special. Family style special. See, some things you do "pro style" because some brand is paying, or the audience is paying. But this was done "family style" with just a lot of love and some of my own money and not much at that since everyone shared in some of the expenses. Because there wasn't any business interests on this party, it turned very special, which you will see if you watch this video.
Some other people who made the past three weeks in Vegas and then in Napa very special weeks in my life.
First, my fellow Rackspace employees, customers, and shareholders, who continue asking me to head into the world to find what's new and be helpful to people. Top amongst them my boss Robert D. La Gesse. Then my producer Rocky Barbanica. But most of all my friend and inspiration, Graham Weston. He often tells me of the days when Rackspace was a startup, but it is the Racker culture that leads me to entertain people.
Now onto the people who I can never repay.
Angelica Mabray is at the top of that list. She's the CEO of Sullivan Vineyards. Which hosted 250 people Saturday afternoon in stunning glory. The food was exquisite and I don't say that lightly. My guests will back that up. And of course the wine was even better. I will never be able to repay the gift that she gave to me. It is humbling and I will remember her every day of my life for the gift she and her husband Paul Mabray gave me.
But over the last two weeks only one guy took my life to a whole new level: Damien D Hustle Bryant. He, and his crew: Tyson Gravity, Hakim Hopkins (who captured a lot of the video here), Lori Hamilton (also a cancer survivor), Oscar Ortiz just made my life so much better. They are lifelong friends and, as I told Tyson tonight "life can steal everything from me, but it can't strip these memories from me."
They are cool cats that started from the bottom. Hustling. Selling clothes on the street. Helping people build their dreams. They run a bookstore, Black and Nobel, which sells books in Philadelphia that represent local entrepreneurs and storytellers. It also sends books to prisons. It's a cause I love because there aren't many ways to bring yourself up than educating yourself.
I have always wanted friends like this all my life. People around you that you would die for. My producer Rocky Barbanica. Mandy McClenahan Grignon and Andy Grignon. They both are extraordinary people and every day I pinch myself because they are in my life, Jeff Stevens, who helped us in many ways both in business and in life, and shares my passion for wine and life. My wife Maryam Ghaemmaghami Scoble who sacrifices every day so that I can follow my life's compulsion to see the future. Alex Fielding, who always makes me laugh, not to mention he always arrives with a huge bottle of something and a bunch of Drumstick ice cream boxes. Who doesn't love a friend like that? John Poore and his wife Erin Hussey Poore. Special people who I'll always do anything to help . Philip Nelson (who you see playing here, what a cool dude. We just sang in the lobby until 3 a.m. Sunday morning with 20 people around us in a circle. It is among my favorite memories. Stunning people). Sam Levin. What can I say? He is always generous with his spirit, his wine, and his love of gadgets.
Tanya Denise Halepota. She was the one who led to my discovery of Sarah Francis who just humbles me with her bravery. If you haven't seen the video of her sharing what it was like to lose $800,000 worth of her very special wine in the Napa earthquake, you really should. She's a very special entrepreneur who does what she does not to make a whole lot of money, but to make wine that changes lives. It changed mine and Saturday night it changed a lot of my friend's lives too. She, and her wine, touches my soul. Sarah, you are welcome in my home at any time for any reason.
Ayelet Noff and Motti Peer for helping me convince Yo to fund the CES Suite. Brad Rosen, of Drync app that helps you find and buy wine right from your mobile phone. He, and Aimee Cronin, helped my wife serve hundreds of people every night. I can't repay that debt either.
Musicians. Roem A Baur. Roem beat 100,000 other musicians to get on the Voice and he has grown so much. Teresa Valdez Klein (AKA Tae Phoenix). Wow. Anna Post. New talent. Stunning talent. Pete Stringfellow. Country music star. Philip Nelson. NewTek TriCaster™ main man. (Newtek makes the video system we use in our studio). Clint Jackson. Guitarist in One Republic. Find him at https://twitter.com/clintistouring Jeremiah Owyang, who played piano during the birthday song.
They donated their time and paid their own expenses to get here. I'm so fortunate to count these people as friends. Musicians are special people who create joy. That's a gift and these people all have that gift.
Thank you also to NewTek, who provided a Tricaster in our Las Vegas suite. Drobo for providing our storage for editing. Keeps my stuff safe even if a drive fails.
Perkins Coie for providing champagne for our guests in Las Vegas.
Kara Keenan Goldin for sending us a bunch of Hint Water to serve at our afterparties.
I know I'm forgetting so many who made my party so special. Every single person in the building is a friend of mine. Or even worse, family. It was so nice to see folks like Michael Arrington, Bebo White (who built the first US-based Website), Fred Davis (who started WIRED), Dave McClure, and Marc Canter, who went way beyond the call of duty to make my birthday extra special. He's working on a startup that's looking interesting.
Mary Hodder and Ed Falk made one night extra special by making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. That was so great.
Scott Jordan for giving me constant inspiration in how to live life.
Rich Reader for arranging an awesome visit to the Tedeschi Family Winery. Great wine and a great family that's been growing grapes in Napa since before Prohibition.
I know I'm forgetting so many but I haven't had any sleep yet and it's almost 10 a.m.
In the end, I told Tyson that the cancer doesn't matter.
What matters is in this video. What is in it? Love. Pure love. I am watching it for the 10th time and each time is makes me emotional.
Thank you so much and make sure you watch to the end, some incredible performances there.
I can't say thank you enough. I've been given a huge gift that I will try to pay forward.
A ton of videos are coming from CES and other places, but first gotta get some sleep.
I just can't believe what my friends did for me this weekend.
Extra special thanks to my family. Bill Scoble, Sharon Bosley, Alex Scoble, Cassie Scoble, Atime Tomove, Shadi Hayden, Shadi Ghaffarian, Cassie Leigh, Aram Ghaemmaghami, Fariba Rahmatpour, Patrick Scoble and others who traveled distances to celebrate with me.
Oh, and to my son, Patrick, I'm so proud of you (he turned 21 this week too).
SpaceTag is one of those apps that intrigues me. Very close to genius but is one of those things that requires lots of people using it to really be fun. I also think the UI needs more affordances to figure out what it does, which will limit the number of people who get into it.
Why? Because it lets you put tags down around where you are and share lots of things with other people based on where you are.
This company, when I was in Israel earlier this year, showed me a bunch of indoor mapping tech that's pretty cool. Try it at http://spacetag.me/
This is the most interesting new thing/company I've seen this year. Wattcost tracks when different electrical appliances are turned on or off (it can tell what brand of refrigerator you have, for instance, just by the electrical signal it shows on your power line/meter). Reduce your carbon footprint.
Will be coming to United States in mid 2015 for $149.
Why is this important? Google bought Nest for $3.x billion. This would generate even more data about what you do in your house than that. It knows, for instance, when you turn on and off lights, or open your refrigerator door, all by watching your power line.