Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia through his Kingdom Holdings Company controls in my home city of Toronto two luxury hotel groups, they are the Four Seasons and Fairmont Hotels. Toronto is head office for both the luxury chains. So when Prince and now I am talking about Prince the multi-Grammy winning singer-songwriter, man of jazz, who put purple into purple said he wanted some clothes he had seen on YouTube video I had posted as an experiment with social media sent to Montreal naturally I was only too eager to transport them. My friends at Fairmont Hotel suggested I stay with them at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, after all I was going to be sitting at the bar and tweeting to my then thirty-four followers. The team at Fairmont hotel did not care, after all it’s not like my video had million of views but it had the most important of views which was the master of funk Prince. Herein come that old adage ‘It’s not the quantity it’s the quality’.
My friends Mark Reilly, Jeremine St-Pierre sat down at the bar, ordered wine, cheese, as I tweeted this along side Price being in Montreal. My friend Kate Good who at the time was working at the hotel at the time was watching this all unfold before her eyes. I would get them to say shout-out upload them to YouTube and tweet them right on the spot. Now we have Vine fully integrated to do that. Mark and Jeremine looked at me and said “so this is your job, drink wine, eat cheese bring clothes for Prince and just tweet it”. Prince had finished his show, my phone rang, it was his assistant calling to inform me he loved all the clothes, and wanted me to text her the telephone number of my designer friends, who went on the become designers for Prince. The outfit he is wearing in the picture above is one of the many they have designed for him at their store on Queen Street West, in Toronto called Magpie.
I wrote a two page memo on how effectively Twitter communicated and integrated Prince the musician with that of Prince of Saudi Arabia’s hotel and a few months later a private investment of $300 million was made in Twitter. Then again if there is one thing Prince Alwaleed understands its communication. In February Kingdom Holding invested $125 million in Chinese e-commerce company 360Buy Jingdong for an undisclosed stake.
Prince is also part of the major history of Montreux (Prince the musician). He is highly regarded in this town of musical rock history. At the time of my arrival the Twitter IPO was looming, as such those who I would meet would ask me about Twitter. They understood Facebook, but they did not get what Twitter could do for them. Then again in Switzerland everyone wants to be private considering all are wealthy or hidden away from some tax authority Tweeting would be the last thing they would want to do. As I had those three words attached to me upon arrival ‘NDA’ what could I really tweet? Montreux being a village news spread that there was a a guy in town making a film on David Bowie on a iPhone, and is very excited about the Twitter IPO. It was not long that people started to pop into Lino’s cafe to have meetings and talk about Twitter. Soon I was busy explaining about ‘trends’, ‘hash-tags’ ‘recycling content with emerging trends’ (thereby keeping old content relevant and current), its like owning a film library you can show it over and over again if you create content. How you can communicate with the world and make things happen. I told them about my friend who I met over Twitter Ana Uribe and how she was united with Madonna’s guitarist Monte Pittman in Colombia and ended up in the front row of the show. Soon I was being refereed to as the ‘Guru of Twitter’. On the day of the Twitter IPO everyone had to come sit with me and buy beer, or wine, waiting for the bell in New York at NASDAQ to ring. Twitter would create 1,600 millionaires, it would provide a California State Tax Windfall of $479 Million, IRS Tax Windfall of $1.72 Billion.
It was dinner time a man with a German accent walked in. He had heard about me. I thought to my self this place would be too small a place to live in news was traveling faster than Twitter. He sat down next to me, made it very clear he was buying me wine and dinner, as he expected that I had my entire net worth invested in Twitter. We both laughed. He then asked me if I was going to tweet anything, or pictures. I put him at ease, “you are a German in Switzerland, no I am not tweeting this”.
If I walk into a coffee shop and they say they don’t have WiFi , I simply walk out, they are not worth giving money too. If I ask those in business are you on Twitter they say no, then I don’t say anything about them, no matter how good they are. If His Holiness The Pope, President of The United States, Hillary Clinton and others tweet, you think you are okay without it, remember what happened to the dinosaurs. So if you are coming to Montreux Jazz Festival 2014, you will be able to catch me teaching about the effective manner in which you can use twitter as a musician, artist, painter, or photographer.
Below is the video I posted that caught the attention of Prince.