Expert Q&A With

Thomas Capone

Thomas A. Capone is CEO of, one of the fastest growing telecommunications companies in the United States. Servicing over 300 of the Fortune 1000 companies in the United States Thomas Capone's clients include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S secret service. Thomas Capone is also executive director of the New York Distance Learning Association (NYDLA).

What’s the secret of your long term success?

Find what you would do for free – and then figure out how to make money by doing it. I have been in love with technology all my life, so finding a career in telecom and technology was my destiny. If you surround yourself with what you love, your competition does not stand a chance. I have not worked a day in my life, since 1983. I have been having too much fun. If it is not fun, you are doing it wrong.

What's the idea behind the New York Distance Learning Association (NYDLA)?

The world is flat and getting flatter. Everything is now about distance learning, not just higher education. Everything is about remote work, tele-work, file sharing, virtual classrooms, virtual work. Even virtual play! Look at the world of video games and virtual reality technologies. The NYDLA brings not only the technology – but the smart people – the subject matter experts to the people who must master this new world of global distance learning to be successful. If the future of our world is to be a global marketplace, then it only makes sense to master the technologies and the distance learning techniques of this new world.

Who inspired you to pursue a career in telecommunications?

James Bond Thunderball

(Photo Source: Wikipedia)

Honestly? James Bond! When I was young, I loved the James Bond gadgets and gizmos. How the technology saved the day – the real hero in those movies was Q, not James Bond. One of the first car phones that I ever saw in my life was in a James Bond movie. This was in the 60’s and I was hooked ever since. I bought my first car phone in 1983, all thanks to Bond, James Bond.

You have been in business for over 29 years, what's the secret to successful face to face negotiation?

Listen twice as much as you speak. And by listen, I mean all of the communications, especially the non-verbal. The eyes tell everything; the facial expressions, the stance, the body language is my secret weapon. It is not just knowing if someone is telling the truth. It is to know if the person truly cares; it is the knowing if the person is truly interested in your product, your service, your solution. How many times will people be polite in business, saying one thing but then doing the complete opposite? The ability to read the body language is such an asset to anyone in business, much less someone in sales. If you can get to the truth, the rest is just details.

When public speaking, what is the best way to engage with your audience?

Credibility is everything. Time is so precious, if your audience does not feel like they should be right here – right now – listening to your presentation, you are lost. The key is to make your presentation more valuable than anything else that they could be doing at that moment. The need to FEEL what you are saying, much more than hear what you are saying. If you connect with your audience, it is magical and memorable. The key is to respect their time – they could be doing anything at this moment, and they are here, listening to you. Why? If they don’t feel it, you just wasted their (and your) time. Respect their time, and you will earn their trust, and their business.

What body language do you look for when selling a product?

Eye contact and eye movement. While you are speaking what are they looking at? Are they looking at you, the product, their iPhone, or are they looking out the window? What are they looking at, and why? For me, it always starts with the eyes.

Where do you see your communications business in 10 years?

Telecommunications and technology has changed the world, and it is not slowing down anytime soon. Just look at Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, etc. - they have all changed the world forever. Texting and email have become 90% of all human communications. Teenagers today only text, rarely do they use the phone. And yet, we all know that 90% of all human communication is non-verbal. Is Facebook not one big virtual communication medium? You will never meet in-person 99% of the people that you know via Facebook.

Social media is anything but social, and yet it is the biggest thing in the world of business. I find this fascinating. I see MTP remaining focused on the human side of technology. Until the day comes when robots are talking to robots, we need to address the human aspect of telecommunications and technology. Technology Based Learning Systems is the future of all business, and I will be very busy for the next ten years, I can assure you. There are plenty of jobs and wonderful careers in this space, and the world economy will rise or fall on these new technologies, and how they are put to use. Facebook did not exist ten years ago – what will the next ten years bring? I met you Craig, through Facebook, yes?

What have you planned for the rest of 2012?

I shall be focused on expanding the as the premiere distance learning organization in the USA. Every day there will be new technologies, new services, and people will be looking for help in navigating these uncharted waters.

Learn More

E-Commerce Entrepreneurship Experiential Event: Keynote Lecture By Thomas A. Capone

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