Wake up?!

So when you gonna wake up?

wake-up-ceiling-cat-is-watching-youThat’s right, once upon a time we relied on Bob Dylan and other musicians to speak the truth. But that no longer happens. Instead we must watch cartoons and comedians. You’ll get more honesty on “South Park” than you will on the nightly news. And it’s lucrative too, just check out “Book Of Mormon.”

So keep telling yourself the game has changed, that the old values are out the window, that everybody’s got a short attention span and we live in a hit and run society wherein Britney Spears is already too old and we need someone much younger to replace her.

You need no money to speak your mind. You need no money to be good. But if you pay your dues, those supposedly against you will embrace you, HBO will pay John Oliver to skewer the establishment. And the end result will be of such high quality that the unwashed masses will lift you above and beyond, you will become a superstar with credibility. Which is a far cry from what we’re featuring on today’s hit parade.

There is hope.

Fix the TEETH

Fix the teeth, make it shorter and lie about your age.

Is John Oliver breaking all the rules or is the truth there are no rules to begin with?

fix itWhat we know is you’ve go to appeal to the younger generation, oldsters don’t switch products, advertisers are not interested, if you’re not shooting for tweens and teens, we don’t care.

And god help us be beautiful. Isn’t that the Fox News mantra? If you find a guy who doesn’t want to bang Megyn Kelly, he’s gay. If you’re gonna hire a lawyer, one who’s actually smart, why not get someone beautiful? Yup, no ugly people on TV.

And don’t you know that kids have a short attention span? I mean you’re gonna talk about income inequality for fourteen minutes? Everybody’s gonna tune out, no one cares, can’t you throw in some cute dogs or cats while you’re at it, and a feel good moment too?

But no, John Oliver is British. So he’s self-deprecating and can verbalize the truth everyone in America is afraid to utter. That’s right, the mayor of Los Angeles utters the F-word and it dominates the news for two weeks, as if no one over twenty ever swears.

And there’s the fiction that there are two reasonable sides to every story. As if every time someone’s bleeding to death, we should call in the Christian Scientists for their take.

No, the truth is everybody knows what’s real, and it’s beyond refreshing to have someone in a position of power utter it.

That’s what John Oliver is, a truth-sayer. Who’s been doing his job for decades.

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

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It’s all about art. And art is about conception. Not painting by numbers, but looking at the world in a skewed way and exercising your vision and titillating your audience.

In other words, Zack Danger Brown (I mean really, his middle name is “Danger”?) knew Kickstarter was not about money, that the way to get famous was to have a great idea.

It’s no different from Marcel Duchamp – or Pablo Picasso for that matter – or all the modern art you think you can replicate but could never come up with.

Or the Ramones… You didn’t think of breaking it down to the basics, never mind have the ability to write catchy tunes.

The potato salad Kickstarter is a joke. Unless Mr. Brown has some gigantic plan, which I doubt, or otherwise he’s delusional, this will be the end of his fame, his notoriety, no different from Napoleon XIV’s rendition of “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!”

And what I find fascinating is a complicit, brain dead press so starved for something to trumpet that they tell this story with no analysis, saying merely LOOK, THIS IS COOL!

In other words, Zack Danger Brown achieved what everybody desires to. He rose above. With tongue firmly in cheek. If some band we’d never heard of had raised the same amount of money we wouldn’t be interested.

But potato salad? - Can potato salad be art? –  Yes, when it’s wrapped in a fundraising campaign that makes no sense.

P.S. He only asked for ten bucks. Instead of saying my dream can’t come true without your help, Zack is saying I can do this without you, but it’s so much more fun with your involvement.

P.P.S. The updates keep the same attitude, the same ridiculous self-congratulatory Kickstarter attitude all the worthless fundraisers employ. We did it, couldn’t have done it without you! In other words, Zack didn’t break character, he didn’t say LOOK AT ME, I WON THE PRESS LOTTERY! Although he did ultimately link to news about his campaign, which I would have advised against. Hell, if I’m already at your site, why do you have to bang me over the head with your success?

P.P.P.S. And the real loser here is Kickstarter, which allowed its site to be hijacked. That’s what Zack Danger Brown is doing here, poking fun at the fundraising site. And once you become the punch line… Kickstarter never should have let that happen. Or should immediately put out a tongue-in-cheek publicity release, salivating for the product, with puns and jokes. Because if someone is ridiculing you, the best thing to do is to co-opt it and own it.

P.P.P.P.S. The best things in life are simple. A kiss. The three minute single. And mama’s homemade food. Nail any of these and it’s much more satisfying than any possession. Because life is about experiences and the memory thereof.

ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACKS

I’m sick and fucking tired of armchair quarterbacks e-mailing me what they think is a hit, adjudicating while knowing nothing.

ARMCHAIR

Huh?

That’s right, welcome to today, where you’ve got a bunch of pontificating blowhards angry the world doesn’t conform to their desires when the truth is they don’t want to spend or play, they just want to bitch!

So, you used to be addicted to the free format FM station. So, you used to watch MTV incessantly. I’ve got news for you, the world CHANGED! You’re no longer a teenager, you don’t spend all day in front of YouTube, you haven’t bought a concert ticket in eons unless it’s from Goldstar, and you say the best music is made by people in clubs that you don’t go to, even if there’s no cover charge.

It all comes down to money, people vote with their wallets. And today, time is also currency. Are you willing to watch the YouTube clip again and again? Because then the artist will get paid. The reason your fave is broke is because nobody is watching, nobody is streaming. Forget about sales, the revenue may be great per unit, but there’s no guarantee anybody listens, and not that many buy. But can you get tens of millions of people to stream on YouTube or Spotify? Do this and you’ll no longer bitch about dough. Ariana Grande is turning down opportunities every day while you’re crying in your beer.

Starting – StartUp

Starting

We’ve all got to start somewhere, just don’t delude yourself that because you’ve started you deserve to be successful.

start-upThere are a number of routes to take, some of which can be combined.

Skills cannot be emphasized enough. Remember, once again, talented people are a dime a dozen.

Furthermore, creativity is king. When you’re starting at the bottom you jump to the top by creating. We are looking for unique and you eventually will need a finished product. Best to learn how to make it yourself.

Don’t talk about money, don’t talk about royalties. I’m not saying to sign a bad deal, I’m just saying if you’re thinking about getting paid from the get-go, you’re on the wrong track. Get real and understand: “what sells today”… your looks and personality, it’s key to major companies investing in you.

MENTOR

Every great company has one. One can argue that the Mentor is more important than the founders. The Mentor believes in you and promotes you. It doesn’t matter if the Mentor is famous if they’re not committed to you. Who knows a scrappy young person may pay further dividends, they’re banking their progress/career on you.

You’ve got no idea of the amount of work involved. As Shep Gordon so famously said, if the ‘mentor’ does his job right, it’ll probably kill you!

GUARANTEED WINNER

GUARANTEED WINNER

Top graduate at an Ivy League college.
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Used to be we lived in a meritocracy, he who worked hardest and was smartest would rise to the top. That can occasionally happen today, but your best bet is to get yourself a pedigree. Something the upper middle class is fully aware of, and those below them are usually clueless about.

Do you know that most top-tier universities are need-blind? That means if you can get in but are broke, they pay. Yet seemingly nobody other than those who go know. So if you’re a top graduate at nowheresville high school you believe you cannot afford the Ivy and just go to the state school and forever inhibit your future advancement.

There’s nothing like the Ivies. And Stanford.

The Ivies impress. Even better, they are useful networks, the graduates look after each other, take care of each other, till the end of life.

So if you want a guaranteed income… Go to the Ivy.

And that’s what kids are looking for today, the smart ones, they don’t want to be left behind, sure, they’d like a NetJet card and a gated community, but they’re driven primarily by fear, that they’ll lose out, be left on the bottom.

Yes, the top-tier Ivy graduates do better than those who end their four years on the bottom. But the truth is, as a result of grade inflation, no one looks that bad.

Graduate from the Ivy and you can get a job in finance. That’s the number one exit strategy from the educational farm. And people do this because they want money. Everybody wants money. That’s what all the poor artists are bitching about, that they can’t make any money. The graduates of the Ivies ensure that they can.

It’s not about the product.

It’s not about the product.

That’s the dirty little secret of all these tech companies, the goal isn’t to create a good product, but to SELL OUT! – a game of musical chairs, cat_musical_chairswhere the buy-in is millions, and everybody’s afraid to be left without a seat at the table when the music stops.

The problem is that is has affected music too.

Today’s game – find someone to fund your art, get someone else to sponsor it, and to then focus on lifestyle. Your goal is not to thrill the alienated poor at home who lay their hard-earned money down to support your career, but to remove yourself from them, live behind a wall and fly private. Look at is as income inequality, it’s the coarsening of society, it’s elected officials who are beholden to corporations and lobbyists, not their constituents.

Everybody in Hollywood wants in. Universal’s got an incubator. WME invests in tech. And Ashton Kutcher is revered not for his acting ability, but his investment prowess.

There are too many playlists, and when you find the one appealing to you, you find a dreck to hit ratio that’s horrifying. Grazing is the new pastime, it’s about filling out the list, not true curation, where every cut counts, like the deejay used to do.

But deejays don’t get paid enough, the radio ones, not the club ones.

So where’s the antidote?

Everybody under sixty believes selling out is a badge of honor. We’re inundated with statements that kids don’t care. But that’s untrue. That’s just businessmen pontificating, looking for their cut.

So a bunch of nerds bought the music app of a bunch of faceless New Yorkers.

We don’t need more tech, we need more artists!

Who know from whom I stole these……

Just because something makes money, that does not mean it does not suck.

tumblr_catWithout relationships you cannot succeed.

Just because you get press for your celebrity cook/lifestyle book, don’t think we care, you’re just another loser like us. In other words, just because you promote it, that does not mean it will sell.

Bitcoin may not be forever, but digital currency is.

Apple is not going to revolutionize television. Content owners won’t let them.

Millennials are not mad that technologists are crowding them out of San Francisco as much as they are that they too are not rich.

Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. They control the world, consolidation has taken hold, it’s the next hot topic and you don’t know it yet.

People give up when no one’s paying attention, whether it be music, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter… Like hula-hoops, they’re fads, interesting for a while, then abandoned

Ignorance reigns. Education comes through word of mouth, which also spreads falsehoods. He who knows the most truth wins. We live in an information society, what’s in your brain is paramount.

 

Social Media is for……

Facebook is for the wannabe famous.

Instagram is for those who are too lazy to write.

social-media-marketingTexting is social currency. It doesn’t matter how many likes or friends or followers you’ve got, but how many people text you and how regularly, that’s how popularity is judged today.

Pinterest is inexplicable to guys.

Samsung is for those who hate Apple and those too cheap to buy an iPhone (not necessarily the same thing, Apple-haters will buy the most expensive Galaxy).

iPhone 4s means you’re almost at the end of your contract or you’re too cheap to upgrade.

Tesla means you’re more interested in status than utility, or you never drive far from home.

iPhone 5c means you think iPhones really cost a hundred bucks, not north of five hundred.

Windows means you got your computer from work or you’re too cheap to buy a Mac. Argue all you want, perception is everything, and perception is reality.

Hip-hop is the rock and roll of the Millennials. With a dollop of Gen-X’ers thrown in.

Rock and roll is the music of the baby boomers, who believe everything they’re into should last forever, but it doesn’t, just like them.

Books get a lot of publicity, but barely sell. Sure, there are exceptions, but very few.

Sales are irrelevant, streams are everything, but newspapers are only trumpeting Spotify plays when all the action’s on YouTube.

Albums are for the creators, no one else cares, except for a cadre of extremely vocal fans.

Terrestrial radio is an advertiser-laden medium for poor people. Anybody with an income is listening to satellite or streaming from their mobile device.

Baby boomers buy Japanese automobiles because they remember how bad their parents’ Detroit iron was. In other words, despite all the press that GM, Ford and Chrysler are improving, boomers are sticking to Toyota and Honda, at least in California, and trends still start in California, don’t ever forget it.

Binge viewing is a badge of honor. Telling everybody you stayed home to watch all the episodes of _______ garners more status than saying you went to the show, and there’s more to talk about!

Responding to eMail…..

Responding to eMail…..no-email

You can’t, because everybody believes they’re right.

I used to answer my e-mail, until I realized that it had little to do with me, other than to tear me down and make me feel inadequate. I do my best to make sure I don’t commit any faux pas, write down any inaccuracies.

And I do make mistakes. And I wince when e-mail comes in denoting that. I’m admitting I’m wrong all day long, I live in fear of it. But not these people.

What is wrong with people?

What I like most is those asking for information, as if Google were never invented. Ever think of searching first? Or those who want me to answer their questions, as if I’m a free college professor and my only goal is to make them rich and famous.

And that’s an e-mail I get all the time, people who want to get together or hop on the phone to inform me of their product that’s going to change the world. And if you respond that there’s nothing in it for you, me in this case, that they’re getting paid and I’m not, they never shy away, they double down! They’re doing me a favor, hipping me to their incredible offering that’s going to change the world. Don’t I want my life to be better?

No.

I mean yes, but never ever have I gotten one of these e-mails from somebody looking to waste my time has it ever panned out. Not only do I not benefit, the product never breaks through.

So I’m sitting here wondering how these people get through life. Every day people e-mail me incorrect facts. Multiple times. But when I do, no matter how soft my tone, they get defensive, tell me I know nothing and either defend their initial inaccuracy or explain why I still don’t get it.

And I point this out because craziness infiltrates so much of our society. Blowhards convinced they’re right when they’re wrong. Especially politicians, spewing inaccuracies and not admitting their mistakes. It’s like the whole world is full of bullies who just believe if they rant frequently and loud enough, they’ll win.

As for me, if you think this is the pot calling the kettle black……..

There’s this inane concept in America that the customer is always right.

Yup, the customer who returns their iPod to Costco after using it for 11 months, that’s why they had to change their exchange policy. So the small group ruins it for the big group, isn’t that how it always is?

Your move.