The most important aspect of travelling and experiencing new places, cultures and ideas is the return home. The place you return to now looks and feels different than it did before you left.
Travel gives you perspective. It opens your mind to the possibility that there are other options, other ways to live, than what you experience every day in the place you call your home.
Integrating your new world-views into your day to day life can cause it to be changed dramatically.
I cannot wait to see my friend Kevin and hear about how his time visiting India has changed his view of Boston.
My buddy Dan and I just played an open mic tonight at Igor’s Checkpoint Charlie in New Orleans. It got me thinking about the concept of open mics.
They are a great equalizer. Anyone can perform. The people performing at them can range from downright awful to remarkably good.
The internet is a digital open mic. Anyone can step up and get their art out to at least a few ears. They will likely bomb the first few (or more) times. The best people keep at it and refine their art based on the reactions they receive.
Get out there!
1. You don’t have a true value-alignment with your fans.
This happens fairly often. Are you pricing your rewards correctly? You need a pretty good handle on how much your fans are willing to spend on certain items. It’s not an exact science, but you should try to make it as close to one as possible.
2. The goal is outrageous.
When raising money from Angels or VC investors, the standard advice is to say you are raising less than you actually plan to so you can have people oversubscribe rather than undersubscribe and make it so you don’t reach your stated goal. Think realistically about what you need and what you want to raise; especially if you plan on doing the project regardless of the crowdfunding campaign’s outcome.
3. The calculations are never done.
If everyone contributed at the lowest (CD) reward level, how many people would need to back the project in order to reach the goal? If this number isn’t realistic you should be a bit concerned.
Happy to answer any other questions about crowdfunding. Tweet me @iamweisser
"When we arrive at the gym or a subway station, our devices will detect the location and play the mix that we like for working out or commuting"…"This is what the future of music is."
This quote from Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, is alarming.
The most powerful form of recommendation is word of mouth but in order for it to be credible it must come from a trusted source. Honestly, how many people can say they trust their computers with much at all, let alone making choices about art?
That fact that some technologists think they can replace music curators with an algorithm is the most disturbing trend yet in the music industry. The industry that was already bemoaning the devaluing of music is now on the way to devaluing those that expose wonderful art to a wider audience.
Are museum curators next on the firing line? Will we one day walk through a museum that senses our presence and displays only what a computer has been programmed to think we would enjoy?
The age of context holds so much possibility but we must realize the value of hand-picked curation will never be replaced, only supplemented.
We have guacamole in our fridge. About two weeks ago we noticed it had gone bad. No one wants to deal with disgusting guacamole after it goes bad. We left it in the fridge. We are delaying the unpleasant activity of throwing the “guacamoldy” out and cleaning the bowl it was in. When we actually get the courage to remove that cover from the bowl and take care of the nasty business, we will be experiencing something much worse than we would have two weeks ago.
In short, don’t hold off on doing things that are unpleasant or painful. They will only get worse.
- visiting the dentist
- telling a bandmate they have to go
- telling your employees the company is closing down in 30 days
That guacamole will only get nastier as time passes. Suck it up and take care of business.
Creators need to think past Klout scores and other “black box” metrics when identifying influential fans. These are more for vanity than anything else as they do not provide much in the way of actionable data. Being more observant of who is sharing a creator’s links, writing about them, bringing their friends to the concerts - I think these metrics are more meaningful.
Engagement and discovery will continue to occur on social media platforms but, like I state in this Hypebot article, the focus should be on bringing the new fans into your ecosystem and eliminating the distraction of the social networks and the millions of other tracks on places like Spotify.
Stop what you are doing and read about cruft:
“Cruft is jargon for anything that is left over, redundant and getting in the way. It is used particularly for superseded and unemployed technical and electronic hardware and useless, superfluous or dysfunctional elements in computer software. The word may possibly originate from the Cruft Laboratory at Harvard University, U.S., where stacks of old and redundant radar research equipment dating back to World War II were conspicuous to students in the late twentieth century, but there may be other linguistic reasons for its wider adoption.” (via Wikipedia)
How much of what you do for work every day is unnecessary? How much of it is simply clutter that obscures the wonderful things you do from view?
Most things that are superfluous waste time, resources, and distract people from what is truly great. It can (and has) killed amazing businesses. There’s a reason John Mayer stopped tweeting - he realized it was detracting from his art rather than adding to it.
Don’t waste your time creating something that reduces the overall value of what you do.
I like to write because it gives me a way to express my opinions. I want to improve my ability to share the ideas I have so I blog. Every. Damn. Day.
Sometimes I’m not in the mood and other times I’m crunched for time (today for example) but regardless I will suck it up and write something. Want to become better at expressing yourself? You MUST take out your paintbrush of choice. Every. Damn. Day.
Sure, some days will not be as good as others (exhibit A), but a weak post is way closer to a strong post than none at all.
The roads our ancestors carved across the world were once dense with vegetation and rocks. The journey was rough and they didn’t even get an iced coffee when they reached their destination! Over time the roads got easier to travel. The same thing will happen as you work on improving how to express your ideas.
Every. Damn. Day.
There is a problem many bands experience when starting out which can be devastating to their careers: playing shows too often in their hometowns.
Unless people are breaking down the door to the club and there are lines around the block to see you perform, you should probably be playing far less in your hometown than you currently do.
Your hometown is where you should have the most excited and passionate fans. When you play there it should be a scene - a special experience. People should be excited to hear you again.
In order for this to happen you need to manually create scarcity. Sure, you could probably play at least one show a week in your hometown, but that’s no good for you because at best you’ll be playing to the same people, and at worst you’ll be playing to no one at all. For the fans it’s just as bad because they’ll hear the same music over and over and it will change from an exciting night that they’ve waited a month for into exactly what they just saw a week ago.
Create scarcity by playing once a month or less in your hometown. Supplement that with digital media that will get your fans amped for your shows. Get them to give you their email addresses to access this media so you can in turn promote shows to them.
Playing one show (or less) in your hometown per month now allows you to spend more energy promoting the one gig instead of the four you might normally have booked. Decide on another market or two you think will be good for your group to hit next and play each once a month or less. Try to get a flow going. Sure, it takes more time to leave your hometown for a gig, but that’s what you’ll need to do if you want to get anywhere as a touring act.
Recently I was walking in the Arnold Arboretum with a friend. We had been walking around for 30 minutes and stopping intermittently to read the tags identifying the origins of various trees. Our conversation darted between many topics but at one point we found ourselves discussing education’s impact on creativity and individuality.
My friend told me she knew someone at an art school that felt pressured to follow the form which was currently popular amongst his peers and professors. He did not have a particularly strong passion for the form but felt he would be looked down upon because he was not part of that community based around it.
As we were walking through the park pondering this, a strong aroma of flowers blasted our senses. There we stood in front of a lilac tree that had been brought over from Japan in 1997.
This lilac tree had stood out from the other trees we had walked past. It wasn’t particularly better than the other trees we had enjoyed on our walk but it was different. My friend and I decided that her friend did not need to make better art than his peers, but in order to be noticed he needed to make something strikingly different.
I’m delighted they put in the effort to move that tree to Boston nearly 20 years ago.