By Gary Griffiths, CEO
The warm breeze whispers
Through new green leaves
Telling us these days are fleeting,
When we thought we’d always see another spring.
Time. Our worst enemy, or our most cherished friend? It’s Saturday morning; I’m on the 7:45a.m. United flight from Boston to San Francisco after a long week on the road. Normally, I’d be head down reading email, or actually, what I should be doing, preparing for Tuesday’s board meeting. But on this morning’s Uber to Logan, I put down the iPhone and looked out at Boston waking up to a glorious spring day, a day in which the city’s relief is almost palpable. You see, this was marathon week, and on this third anniversary of that deplorable bombing, nothing happened. Time. Three years have passed. Time enough for survivors of 2013’s tragedy, those who lost limbs in the bombing, to learn to live again and to run again in the Boston Marathon. Pretty stunning. Poignant. And a testament to Time, truly the great healer.
With more springs behind me than ahead, I guess I think more about time these days than I did when I was chasing girls in foreign ports, and even later, when I was chasing product problems as a young IBM engineer. I’m less likely to squander time these days. I’m more sensitive to those whom I really care about in my life. They’re a short list. And I’m also keenly aware of what matters to me – and the importance of prioritizing. The heady days of changing the world are far behind me. Even as a child of the 60’s, the lofty ideals of those days were blunted by the hard edge of reality, for while my peers were growing their hair and waving banners of peace and love and free dope, I was training to be a Naval Officer. Vietnam was raging, and it wasn’t a popular time to be in uniform. But as I mentioned, Time is a healer of broken bodies and damaged nations.
So all thoughts of fleeting springs aside, I’m back to the realities of time and priorities. No, we’re not going to change the world at iPass, either. I’ll leave that to those altruistic visionaries with more time and ambitions less selfish than mine. I’m a mercenary – I’m not ashamed to admit it. But my shareholders are too. They expect a return on their investment, and they expect me to deliver it to them. Maybe what we are doing here is not as noble as saving the whales, but providing affordable, safe and secure connectivity anywhere on the planet is not a bad way to spend one’s remaining time. Because whether you’re saving a whale, training for a marathon, running a farm, or closing a sale, it’s important to be connected. It’s important to make connectivity – everywhere – simple. Invisible. It makes us more productive. It saves us time.