How Does Blockchain Work?

Blockchain could be the most important innovation since the Internet. We are reeling from the Equifax leak. There is a huge trust problem on the Internet. Blockchain solves these problems, however it will take time for each industry vertical to gain the full benefit.

These two videos provide a great crash course in understanding Blockchain and some real world use cases.

 

May The Fourth Be With You

I woke up thinking about how all water in the ocean is being held down by gravity and how it’s a true miracle we just don’t go shooting off the planet into space.

Life is good.  I appreciate everything and everyone around me.  The more positive I become, the more positive situations occur. The more gratitude and generosity I show, the more goodness comes back to me.

We all know this to be true, but yet act selfishly way too often.

The human condition is quite ironic at times.

Dunworth Designs

A good friend of mine, John Mayer has recently launched a new venture called Dunworth Designs. He has partnered with a long-time friend who lives in Wisconsin to create some very unique home decor.

They use reclaimed barn wood and create one-of-a-kind pieces like the one shown here.

Dunworth Designs - Tin Cornice Shelf
Dunworth Designs – Tin Cornice Shelf

This shelf is made using vintage tin ceiling cornice and original antique barn shiplap from southern Wisconsin.

They can also create custom pieces by request.

Best of luck John in your new venture!

New eBook: How To Host An Amazing House Concert

Very excited to announce a guide I’ve been planning/writing for some time is available today on Amazon!

There’s an insurgence of indie musicians taking to living rooms, backyards, decks, farms and winning new fans. House concerts are not a new concept but they are taking center stage as artists are using new tools such as crowdfunding to plan these unique gigs.

I’ve talked to many people about hosting these shows and some feel reluctant not knowing how much effort is involved.  House concerts can be public or private and I layout a full plan of attack in the ebook.

Grab a copy for free until midnight 4/8/15!  It would be awesome to leave a review on Amazon so more people can learn about this exciting trend!

How Many Times A Day Do You “Shift Gears?”

As I’ve been working with multiple clients/projects/startups, I’m constantly battling focus challenges. A common misconception about productivity is the ability to multi-task. There’s good and bad multi-tasking.

I believe good multi-tasking comes in the form of activities that are complimentary to a big goal. I’m listening to Spotify while writing this post and not checking email. Many people watch the news on the treadmill. All good.

Bad multi-tasking is switching between tasks that are going after different goals. For example, writing a proposal and answering email about your kids’ sports team.

All afternoon, I’ve been working on Gigable and then tried to read a brief about another startup for which I’m advising.  It didn’t work.  Better to stay in the Gigable headspace as long as possible, then take a good break and reset.

I sometimes call this “spinning plates” and I think human nature forces us to pay attention to something new as it happens. Can someone drop mail on your desk and you don’t open until end of day?  Email is the same distraction.  Do you have your email open all day and anytime the drug-like “Inbox(2)” shows up, you are a pavlovian dog. I am.

However, as I bucket activities and goals into daily sprints, this is all changing. My newest routine is to plan and focus activities based on big goals. So, I’ll only work on Gigable activities on Wednesday until I’ve exhausted the to-do list.

This mindset became apparent to me while songwriting.  Songwriting is the type of activity that needs 100% focus. Any type of creative activity requires a “flow” state which takes a while to achieve (it does for me anyway).  Once you are in flow, you move through it until you reach a point.  This point can be 1 hour later or 4 hours later.

Blocking off full days for focused activity pertaining to a major goal seems like the optimal strategy. However, I think it’s possible to break the day into 2 parts.  3 parts if you are really energized.

Conversely, switching between every possible goal/project daily is sure death. That breeds burnout, stress and adult ADD. This may work for a while, but it will catch up to you.

What works for you (or doesn’t)?

Why Radio Is Still Relevant (Part I)

…And it will be for a long time to come.

Three reasons: 1)Free 2)Curated 3)Simple

I just read Macklemore’s post on his meteoritic rise to international superstar.  One year ago, he and his team were an underground rapper/band playing any venue possible to an audience of 10-100 people. After his first single, “Thrift Shop” going #1 on iTunes for 3 weeks, he received a few phone calls – to say the least.

LA Reid came out to see one of his shows in Minnesota and offered him a deal.  He politely refused, however, Macklemore’s manager got an idea. The idea was to approach their distributor (subsidiary of Warner Bros) to shop their single(s) to radio and pay a commission back to the distributor.  This is a story unto itself – possibly changing the music business forever. At first the distributor refused, but after some negotiation they struck a deal.  Thrift Shop was a monster hit on radio, which blew up worldwide.  Macklemore followed up with two more singles that were just as big, “Same Love” even bigger.

The internet provides access to billions of people, but there’s very little curation and focused attention. It’s an extremely long tail with millions of curators. There’s no such thing as passive listening – even Pandora requires self-curation.

Radio provides focused exposure that the Internet can’t.  The reason is the car radio.  It takes no effort to listen to the radio in the car. Even Pandora and Sirius have limited listenership due to the (underrated) digital divide. You need to pay a subscription and/or have high-speed Internet in your car. I’m all about innovation, but radio still provides higher quality sound (look it up).

Macklemore’s songs went to #1 on iTunes, but that was only 78,000 albums sold after a month.  iTunes was the ultimate test market for Macklemore and radio provided the multiplier. Sales went into the millions after radio.

Think about it, as big as Macklemore is now, why couldn’t he breakthrough his modest underground following?  I think it’s because his network of influencers can only reach so far. Having your (great) songs blasted on thousands of radio stations, tens of thousands of times per day is going to gain new influencers – thus dumping gas on the forest fire.  Everyone in Macklemore’s camp knew – there was a ceiling in the underground world.

YouTube probably has the same impact as radio, however it still requires someone to 1) find the video, 2) press play and 3) watch something on a device.  All of which is not free, curated or simple.

How To Create A Swag Bomb

ecko brands I had to be careful with the title as not to attract attention from the NSA…

I’m a huge Tim Ferris fan.  I’ve read most of his books and the articles on his blog seem to resonate more than anything else I can find.

The latest article was written by Marc Ecko (Ecko Brands Unlimited) and is pure genius. If you create anything unique; products, art, music, toys, etc… read this article on the swag bomb.

4th Annual Rock The Heart Benefit

Fox Valley Heart FundToday is the 4th annual Rock The Heart benefit, which is organized by the Fox Valley Heart Foundation. It’s an awesome event that has been held each year at Ballydoyle’s Aurora.

The Fund focuses on increasing awareness and education through community outreach programs and public workshops related to cardiovascular risk reduction topics.

It has been my privilege to perform each year with whatever band I’m in at the time.  This year, Lincoln Don’t Lie will be performing from 7-8:30pm and we plan on being extra rowdy tonight!!

One of my startup companies, MileFork has donated a boatload of decals (thanks Mark!).

Rock The Heart Decals