I May be the Last Person on Earth with a Flip Phone, or, Now Hear This

While sitting on a plane a couple weeks ago prior to taking off, I was speaking with my mother-in-law about company she was curious to learn more about. I told her what I knew, we said our goodbyes, and the plane took off. Typically on planes I pretty much keep to myself and prefer reading to chit-chatting with my neighbor.

On the flight in question my neighbor didn’t notice the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign and about twenty minutes into the flight he said “that’s a real nice flip phone you got there”.  Ah well, nicely played, game on. Once the introductory formalities were dispensed with he whipped out his iPad and proceeded to spend probably thirty minutes showing me a super whiz-bang, multimedia presentation detailing the hearing aid he founded a couple years ago.

Turns out my seat-mate was a 78 year-old retired ear surgeon, is a current professor at Stanford Medical School, and is a serial entrepreneur who’d founded and sold almost a dozen companies. He’d been in Minnesota because a large medical device company has its headquarters there and is an investor in his most-recent company. All that and he had more “i” stuff than a Cyclops and had the sense of humor to make fun of my old-time phone. We talked the entire flight about pretty much everything under the sun and hit it off. I liked this guy.

When the flight ended and with a friendship established (or at least an airplane connection made), we exchanged business cards. But before he gave me his card he took out a pen and wrote the words “Make it Happen” in all caps on the front of the card. He wasn’t going all Anthony Robbins or Gilad Janklowicz on me, rather, I think he was saying “It’s a great big world of opportunity out there and we all owe it to ourselves to do something about it”.


None of this would have anything to do with the price of tea in China were it not for the fact that I had just hours earlier left a note under Wendy’s pillow which said something like “Thanks for everything you do, you make this family happen”. A cool coincidence. So what’s the point? I’m not exactly sure other than writing stuff down and creating a written record can have positive (usually at least) unintended coincidences and consequences.

6 thoughts on “ I May be the Last Person on Earth with a Flip Phone, or, Now Hear This

  1. Cheryl Hauser

    Loved, loved, loved this entry….I’ll remenber not to disturb you on any future flight we take as a f amily. Cheryl

  2. Sue Astin

    Lucky Wendy to have appreciative you in her life . . . and I KNOW you are lucky to have her in your life too . . . you’re both the best! Thanks for sharing this little life lesson.

  3. Angell Magliulo

    I agree, positive messages may often create inspiring, positive responses. Love your writing Nick.


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