Posts

The Gold List - A journal written by David Sherry

Manchester Orchestra on Comedy Bang Bang

Why is comedy in its heyday?

Because the news is depressing as hell!

We need a laugh and the ramp for comedy spins up again. It seems to go in waves.

Just like music. In fact studies show the happier the songs, the more depressing the economics are for the public, and vis versus.

So Manchester Orchestra appears on Comedy Bang Bang. A favorite podcast of mine which is an improv show.

Comedy Bang Bang came out in 2009 hosted by Scott Aukerman, it used to be named Comedy Death-Ray-Radio, and is 500 episodes in. What interests me about both the comedy show and the band is that they live without major hits.  

Name a Manchester Orchestra main stream hit? You can't.
What they both have in common is a fan base that loves them. That knows the deep cuts. That can quote the lyrics and quote the quips.

Andy Hull and Robert McDowell are technically brothers in law (and band mates). They are so real on this show, so down to earth. You can tell they are fans of the podcast, giddy with excitement.

And I think it goes both ways. One thing they do on the show which is rare is let them play a few tunes. Manchester Orchestra is known for their lyrics and consistency. 

They've done it their own way. And they've been at it awhile. Manchester Orchestra essentially started when they were 15 and they dropped out of high school. They don't see themselves as a big band.

Sometimes you know how big you can get and you okay within that...

And it seems that they are ok as long as they are excited about their work. So they take on side projects and they experiment. And they function as their own toughest critics. 

One such enjoyable side project/expiriment was writing the score for Swiss Army Man, which is a totally off-beat movie that I enjoyed ever moment of. For the film they teamed up with popular music video producers, The Daniels . These are same guys who did the music video for Lil John's Turn Down for What.

Hit their website and check out Interesting Ball if you want another weird short. 

And so the lesson to me is that you don't need to be huge to be meaningful. 

And you can follow what excites you, but you've got to keep working at it. 500 episodes, or a band since 15.

You might build a business plan, full of stats and growth with a plan. But you leave out all of the magic that happens when you make art that's meaningful. All of the random moments that occur in the process.

It's the serendipity that makes life fun. Never knowing who you might work with next. Going with the flow and making art that touches people, enough people.

Stretching into new territories, movies and projects, and following where the road takes you...


 

*GOLD*


Manchester Orchestra on Comedy Bang Bang


The Daniels


A Black Mile to the Surface
Manchester Orchestra will (on Spotify)


#0024

MusicDavid Sherrydaily
Digital Packaging


Our digital bits are slowly gaining ground on the physical world. 

And slowly we realize where in a new age wherein what matters is what’s happening online more than off of it.

I mean sure, stuff happens off-line but... a lot of that is transferred into the digital world, where it really matters. 

The last generation was about the big house and the fancy car. 
The new generation is about the big youtube following and the fancy new website. 

If it’s travel, it’s about posting the story from your travel. 

If it’s fashion, it’s about sharing photos for your latest find and discussing with others in the forum.  

So, ok physical still matters but only because it assists us living our digital life. 


Product packaging. 

You know, the Apple packaging that made you feel like you were unboxing the future?

The magazine on the shelf that stood out.

The book cover. The exterior of a car.

This is being brought online.  (Duh!)
We're creating packaging for everything online and putting on the infinite shelf of the web.
And design on the web is hitting it’s stride. Whether it's brutalist websites or pop up websites, the shelf is limitless. 

Therefore in cyberspace we’re looking even harder for something to catch our eye. 

What if you thought about your website like a physical product on a shelf?

The first step is to realize whether your in the physical world or the digital, you're still selling a product in a package.

It needs to catch the idea of the browsing customer perusing the isles of the internet. 

Then, when they take a chance and select your package, you have the ability to provide the "unboxing" experience. 

Now that we're on the web, your product isn't static, and your unboxing can last quite awhile. This is your advantage.

Digital product packaging is an art that's in it's infancy.  

Well funded companies with big digital budgets are creating beautiful packages that stand out and make us want to buy. And companies of the future will continue to push the boundaries.

But what we haven't figured out yet is what that new interface is turning into.

Your website may be rather static. But we have a new opportunity to turn the process of pulling someone into the work (and it is a process) to a journey that can last quite awhile.

That’s done through updates, something that physical goods don’t currently have (until IOT hits).

The updatable nature of products mean that they are ever changing. And, through push notifications they can break more like a process than a product. 

And if your product becomes a process...

Your customers are students and you are their teacher.

I think Apple is a perfect example for what I'm talking about here.
What are they keynotes if not drawn out public Onboarding events?

They are taking us all into the future with every keynote. They wish to do this, hypothetically forever, so the onboarding must never stop. If we as consumers catch up with Apple, where they're not one step ahead leading us, they're dead. Which is sort of why it's started to feel that way. With the limited future innovation potential with their biggest product, the iPhone, it feels like we're catching up with Apple instead of them being at a distance pulling us along. 

So a key of onboarding is to remain in the lead of your customers. You must lead them through the experience so that they delight and grow over time. This is reinforcing the ongoing nature of your experience for onboarding.

You can do this but online, and for your product. Hence Webinars. Although we can get much more creative than that and with a lot more technology. 

So what's next?

Recognize that you’re selling a good. And that good sits in a package that catches the eye or is skipped.

But on the internet, there's infinite shelf space. 

So once someone takes a chance on you… you can let them peel back the layers for a long time. You're always onboarding. You're always remaining in the future for your customer and you pull them with you (although they remain slightly behind). 

If you lose your lead, you'll lose their interest. 

And what's next for websites (the package?)

Like every invention, we always begin by mimicking what came in the past. The first TV show's were essentially radio-style broadcasts.

So the first websites look like paper, put online. 

Then we got the browser and linked web pages.

Then we got apps. 

Stage 3 is the feed.

Stage 4.. is about breaking these standards all together. Because the truth is the web brings infinite opportunity and space to expand beyond the containers and packages we've built to date. 

I applaud Squarespace for it's democratization of our online world. But I feel they have built a robust system for building for the web of 2017 but not the web of the future. Sure, simple interfaces will always win, but we’re stuck on one paradigm. That of the browser. That of the scroll and the click. This will be obliterated once we change how we interact with the web.

Before that happens, we’ll see many experiments. These are already popping up. I don’t see them succeeding, because we’re still beholden to the mouse and key. But once the paradigm changes I believe that pages will lose their structure and open up into entirely different possibilities. 

"As the screen constantly sheds the limitations of its previous technologies, the capabilities of the space behind the glass accelerate forward at light speed."

So far it's been static, but in the future our digital packaging will flow and shift and become dynamic interact with. Feeds, non-linear journey's, webs, collages.

The internet is really just information, organized.

In the future we will continue to dream up new ways to organize this information in a way that better suits our style of consumption.

And in the future we will get physical with the web. 

"As inhabitants of the web, we are bound to using the click of the mouse and the scroll of the wheel as essential method of communicating with the ether. Yet despite the power afforded to our web presence, our relationship with these actions remains constrained to a purely utilitarian approach. The infinite space of the screen is hindered by our inability to use these peripherals as more than just a functional means to an end. With user interface technology becoming more and more frictionless, more and more engrained in the paradigms of Kinectian motion sensors and Leapesque gesture based navigation, the mouse and the keyboard are faced with the possibility of obsolesance."


I can imagine a scenario where we will use our hands in the air like with our Wii remotes to unbox a website. To explore the boundaries. To connect physically with our digital items. 

And VR will utterly destroy the browser and the web page view. It will seem laughably static. Like a comic book vs. a movie. 

And, maybe, eventually, the experience returns full circle to where we can physically feel the selection and exploration of a new product we buy online. 

Gold

 

The Space Beyond the Screen Has Exceeded
Our Wildest Imaginations.



 


#23

Self Storage

This email reminded me a bit of my post about apartment complexes in the future.

This post below was sent out to artists around New York City who needed space to show in a gallery with the idea of signing up for a free month at a storage space and utilizing it for their show instead of paying for space.

Brilliant. But also a good opportunity for storage centers. What a better way to get dozens if not hundreds of people into your rental units by utilizing the space when not used.

Most notably, though, is the DIY attitude to utilize what resources you're given.

 


Proposals for exhibitions / performance / events in self-storage units

This open call is specifically addressed to NYC art spaces / collectives and activist / community centers that have lost their physical locations

Taking full advantage of the "First Month Free" promotional offers used by the storage facilities in Long Island City, Queens, Self-storage NYC will help venueless spaces ‘legally occupy’ storage units to create a context driven exhibition addressing topics of gentrification, consumption, community, resilience, displacement – and storage.

Applicants are invited to send proposals of how they would curate/utilize a storage space for a one month period as if it were a meeting space / gallery. Each show will have its own (sub)title and will freely apply its own desired thematic angle to the overall concept and the surroundings. 

The presentation of the Self-storage NYC show will be a fully automated experience, granting the individual audience access through the Self Storage show's website. During the route to the storage units the audience choose from a selection of accompanying audio walks / soundscapes accessed via the phone line.

Important Logistics:

  • Open call Deadline: August 11th 2017
  • Show Opening: Friday October 6th 
  • Install: October 1 - 5, 2017
  • Deinstall: October 29 - October 31,2017
  • Storage Rental Period: October 1st, 2017 – November 1st, 2017
  • The ‘first month free’ offer must be taken on by 1 person from the group in order to register, i.e. you cannot sign up for a storage unit as a group. The required insurance and padlock will be payed by the Self-storage NYC show, but will remain under the group representative's name.
  • There is one significant uncertainty to be incorporated in the proposal: since market terms dictate the type of space available for the ‘appealing offer’ the participants can’t be totally certain of the size of the space they will be working with until they get the keys.
    The most common size spaces in the offer are 5” x 5” x 4(height) but they range from that to 10” x 15” x 8”(height).
  • The spaces have unrestricted audience access through the website and no insurance against theft.
CultureDavid Sherrydaily
If I Owned an Apartment Complex

I would work with the tenants to Airbnb their places, facilitating key transfers, door codes and availability. Airbnb as a service for my tenants, and we revenue share.

I would... build a room full of appliances for rent. The cheap ones, like scissors or a toaster oven would be free. The expensive ones like a bike, snowboard or power washer are for rent. 

It's electronic, so they don't have to interact with them to pull from the appliance room. They charge it to their unit, which is added to rent. 

I would strike a deal with the local farmers market so tenants can add $15 a week to their rent for fresh vegetables to show up every Monday. We'd keep $3 of each buyer each week.

I would include basics for outfitting your apartment purchased from Costco and sold in the rental room. Paper towels, toilet paper, detergent. These also can be charged to their unit, and are cheaper and closer than any store since they are bought in bulk and stored on location.

I would look into methods for group buying power. Gathering votes on which companies to seek discounts from. 

I would be talking to a VR company about how we could do full room immersion tours so that anyone can schedule them at any time. I'd have to write up a document so we could do a customer voice over.  

I would skip building any type of gym, as I know I can't compete. I would however consider an apartment community garden, which facilitates neighbors getting to know each other and extra greenery for the complex. I may even see if the tenants can do all the upkeep on the lawn and bushes, as It's their apartment so I know they want to keep it nice...


--

P.S.

I was actually the one of the first people to move into a Common Co-living home in New York City (Crown Heights) for part of a year and I had a blast. (the people they interviewed in the article were friends from the same location).

Co-living was a great experience, and I would for sure do it again. Seems like these types of units are moving towards access and ease + community. Brad, their founder also did a great job of fostering community. 
 

*GOLD*


The Rise of Co-Living


#0021

Loneliness

"I am so lonely will anyone speak to me.”
 


Today you can just type that into the magic box and get help.

Which is exactly what happened in a famous thread from the forum moviecodec that "went viral" through being ranked #1 on google search results for the topic.

We can say online what we're afraid to say in public.
Which is why we don't want people to see our Google Search histories.

The Trump Taxes?? SHOW THE TRUMP GOOGLE HISTORY.

I once heard someone say that Google is essentially God. That we've created our own God. 

It's omnipresent.
Omniscient.

And we pray to it. 

And that's what that post to a forum was. A prayer into the ether. And then the thread got picked up and people chimed in and 40,000 posts later...

We're less lonely and more connected. People are waking up. Just check out this program they're running in England. 

England’s Mental Health Experiment: No-Cost Talk Therapy

Meanwhile in the U.S. we're restricting access. Between Opoid addictions in Ohio to Chester Bennington taking his own life... we're going to need systems to combat this.

And thanks to the decentralization provided by the internet, we'll look outside of our government for help.

And this is the trend. Our politics that don't seem to work, but on the internet we will build our own structures to deliver on many of our other needs.  Just wait until we decouple our finances and trust each other for our currency exchange via Blockchain technology. It's only a matter of time.

This old forum thread helps shows us that we need to take matters into our own hands to help those around us. 

 It's up to us.



Thread from the original Lonely forum:

"I am so lonely will anyone speak to me.”
--
“Ok so how are you,” 
“Are you a piece of pig's bollok?” 
--
“Dude”

--
“I typed in 'I am lonely' in Google, and your post was the very first response. Does that make you the most popular loneliest person on the planet?”
--
"Just when you think 'it's just me' you find other people feeling the same way"

 

 

I am lonely will anyone speak to me.

England’s Mental Health Experiment: No-Cost Talk Therapy

Google Trend Report: Lonely

CultureDavid Sherrydaily
Jake Paul and the News


He's the person that you want to hate but can't stop watching.

Sound familiar?

A big part of the ideas behind the products that I share via the
Gold List is that they are created by individuals everywhere. Not by the large corporate structures and institutions that owned the past century.  

Today everyone's got the tools. And the leverage that they provide, often for free is incredible.

 The very idea that even a 12 year old, can reach 6 Million people or more on a daily basis has rocked the foundation of our culture in larger ways than we can imagine. 

Not only can anyone grab a microphone and reach millions of people, they do so FOR FREE, and with any rules they choose to play by. 

I don’t think anyone finds this surprising in 2017.

But I don’t believe it has fully sunk in yet, as the major toppling of our previous institutions has yet to happen. Ie. Cable television, news and radio. 

But let these creators that we shake our heads at serve as notice. I don't think they will be the media of the future, but I do think they are showing us more of what it will look like.

Like all major technology shifts, the general public isn't aware of the true implications until further down the road.  

We've never been accurate at guessing the true changes that will happen in a society that's adapting a transformative technology. 

The free microphone we've all been handed is a transformative technology. 

Now, you might look at this video of Jake Paul (starts around the 1 minute mark) and think he’s a total douche.  But behind that feeling, you're bothered by something more subtle that itches underneath.

The question, who is really in power here? 
And this is what feels so unsettling. 

That feeling is the shifting dynamic of power due to technology.  

Who do you feel is in power in this video?

The news channel covering him?
The neighbors wanting to file a law suit?
Youtube?

Of course, Jake Paul is an entertainer, not a reporter. 

And of course, the media is doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing.  They laugh at those and try to make them look bad but don't they realize that's exactly what feeds into their success!
This was one of the best things that could have happened to Jake Paul. 

So their strategy is to berate the competition, but they don’t realize he's playing by different rules! His business model is simply working better than theirs. It’s low cost, high engagement.  The networks are built with major operational costs. The Jake network brings in a $1million + a month and is built with a brain and a cheap camera that needs charged. 

And on Youtube you can interact! You can ask questions, with comments and responses.

Not on TV, which is always behind, repetitive, and...

And so the lesson for the news is that we follow individuals, and these individuals need to be let shine, whereas the networks themselves rely on a factor of brand trust that simply will not last, save for a few hold-outs who do in depth work and begin charging more for it.

I just bought a subscription to the New York Times, and I'm debating subscribing to more. Because knowledge is still power, but many will flock to entertainment instead of insight, and that's where the news needs to stop competing on entertainment and get into investing in high quality journalists that people rally around.

Jake Paul will come and go like many celebrities of today. Mostly because there isn't substance.  But Remember K$sha?  Britney? The fame game has a brutal way of crushing those that reach the top. 
 
So the story I'm linking to is covered by Phillip Defranco, an individual starting his own news network at age 31. It's on Youtube and has over 5million subscribers. He's been putting in time building a following, joining a network then now he's exiting to go out on his own.

Why??

Because the network wouldn't support him and give him the ability to shine!

This video he posted got over 1 Million views and Phillip brings in, in my estimation at least $75,000 per month making videos. mot to mention sponsors and other deals.

We're uneasy because the power is shifting.

And Jake Paul is one of the many cracks that are starting to show... 


Why people are pissed at Jake Paul - Phillip Defranco

17776 Follow Up Q&A


You may have enjoyed or been confused by the Gold from my last email,  What Football Looks like in the Year 17776 – if you want to learn more about the project by Jon Bois, he's released a Q&A answering some common questions about his longform piece.

Great work begs for more questions and understanding. Great work makes you think about it days or weeks after you read it. You also realize this type of work takes years to produce.
Great work, we're reminded, takes years to produce. 

From the article:

"I thought about some of the most popular long-winding stories our culture had produced in recent years — 24, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc. — and how miserable their worlds tended to be. Everything was going disastrously wrong, everyone was dying in horrible fashion. It was death worship. I really like some of those shows! But they are dread-porn.

I wanted a world to escape to once in a while, and it couldn’t be one of those. I didn’t want a utopia, by any means, but I wanted a world where I could dwell on things that were bizarre, fascinating, and maybe even funny. If I wanted that world, I thought, maybe some other folks out there want that too, and maybe it would make them happier by a fraction of a percent."
 

---


"I see a really clear parallel between America and football: both are beautiful, and both destroy people. This is a recent development in neither case: they are designed to create misery. They are both institutions that I want to love unconditionally, but can’t possibly.

I can only appreciate either if I retreat into fantasy, filter out what I hate about them, and present a distillation of what i love about them. If you distill American into the land itself, and if you distill football into the game itself, and you populate them with the people who make them both beautiful, you end up with a world I find pretty amazing."

---
 

Happy Monday,

Xo David
 

17776: Questions and Answers from the Creator 


Bonus Gold: Atlas Obscura

CultureDavid Sherrydaily
Browns Job

Hey All,

I'm sharing an article that Artie Issac, a college professor of mine shared on his blog.

I love finding amazing examples copywriting that is just Gold. 

Like all great copy, this advertising piece below by BBDO make you pause and most importantly, it moves the invisible boundaries you have in your own head about what copy is "supposed" to sound like.

Full credit to Artie for finding and sharing this piece.
(This was originally shared in the New York Times.)

XO David
 


Brown’s Job
 

Brown is gone, and many men in the trade are wondering who is going to get Brown’s job.
 

There has been considerable speculation about this. Brown’s job was reputed to be a good job. Brown’s former employers, wise gray-eyed men, have had to sit still and repress amazement, as they listened to bright, ambitious young men and dignified old ones seriously apply for Brown’s job.

Brown had a big chair and wide, flat-topped desk covered with a sheet of glass. Under the glass was a map of the United States. Brown had a salary of thirty thousand dollars a year. And twice a year Brown made a “trip to the coast” and called on every one of the firm’s distributors.

He never tried to sell anything. Brown wasn’t exactly in the sales department. He visited with the distributors, called on a few dealers, once in a while made a little talk to a bunch of salesmen. Back at the office he answered most of the important complaints, although Brown’s job wasn’t to handle complaints.

Brown wasn’t in the credit department either, but vital questions of credit usually got to Brown, somehow or other, and Brown would smoke and talk and tell a joke, and untwist his telephone cord and tell the credit manager what to do.

Whenever Mr. Wythe, the impulsive little president, working like a beaver, wouldpick up a bunch of papers and peer into a particularly troublesome and messy subject, he had a way of saying, “What does Brown say? What does Brown say? What the hell does Brown say? — Well, why don’t you do it, then?”

And that was disposed.

Or when there was a difficulty that required quick action and lots of it, together with tact and lots of that, Mr. Wythe would say, “Brown, you handle that.”

And then one day, the directors met unofficially and decided to fire the superintendent of the No. 2 Mill. Brown didn’t hear of this until the day after the letter had gone. “What do you think of it, Brown?” asked Mr. Wythe. Brown said, “That’s all right. The letter won’t be delivered until tomorrow morning, and I’ll get him on the wire and have him start East tonight. Then I’ll have his stenographer send the letter back here and I’ll destroy it before he sees it.”

The others agreed, “That’s the thing to do.”

Brown knew the business he was in. He knew the men he worked with. He had a whole lot of sense, which he apparently used without consciously summoning his judgment to his assistance. He seemed to think good sense.

Brown is gone, and men are now applying for Brown’s job. Others are asking who is going to get Brown’s job—bright, ambitious young men, dignified older men.

Men who are not the son of Brown’s mother, nor the husband of Brown’s wife, nor the product of Brown’s childhood — men who never suffered Brown’s sorrows nor felt his joys, men who never loved the things that Brown loved nor feared the things he feared — are asking for Brown’s job.

Don’t they know that Brown’s chair and his desk, with the map under the glass top, and his pay envelope, are not Brown’s job? Don’t they know that they might as well apply to the Methodist Church for John Wesley’s job?

Brown’s former employers know it. Brown’s job is where Brown is.
 

Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn
Incorporated
ADVERTISING
383 Madison Avenue, New York

 

The Ben Horowitz Story

 

You think you know someone because of where they’re at.  

But you don’t really know the real story until you dig deeper.
You see the success and the philosophy, but you don’t see the underpinnings that puts everything in context. 

On a larger timeline, you realize we’re all built from a culture that’s ever-shifting.

And the Ben Horwitz story is fascinating.  Not just the success, but his family, the era he grew up in, the communities that built the man. 

He’s got a family life that is rich in twists and turns; His grandfather and grandmother, both communists. 

His father involved with the black panthers, vocal against the Vietnam war and then… eventually becomes a Trump supporter, with hate for universities and believes Black Lives Matter is racist and “riot forming."

All of this while Ben grows up… marries a black woman and starts a tech company that eventually sells for $1.6 Billion.

So now him and his father have a somewhat tenuous relationship. His dad is outspoken, and Ben, learning to tone it down a bit.

“Sometimes people try to connect us on Twitter, which is always scary,” said Ben. “Someone will say, ‘Hey, aren’t you related to @horowitz39?’” 

That’s David (his dad’s) handle on Twitter, where he says things like “Obama is an American traitor” and “Hillary killed four Americans in Benghazi.” “I never reply,” Ben said.


We see individuals but we forget families.

Even with the Trump’s it’s easy to forget about how they must have fought as kids. How Trump had a father who influenced his reasoning (and of course handed him a good amount of cash to get started). How no one has a clean family life. 

We can’t completely reject that which our upbringing has instilled, but we can redirect it.

And it seems that is what Ben has done. Although with family there is always some type of gravity trying to pull us toward the center.

So some follow in the family footsteps, some reject them, and some, like Ben, out-shine.
 

The Ben Horowitz Story

One Family, Many Revolutions: From Black Panthers, to Silicon Valley, to Trump

17776 Follow UP (Q&A)


You may have enjoyed or been confused by the Gold from my last email,  What Football Looks like in the Year 17776 – if you want to learn more about the project by Jon Bois, he's released a Q&A answering some common questions about his longform piece.

Great work begs for more questions and understanding. Great work makes you think about it days or weeks after you read it. You also realize this type of work takes years to produce.
Great work, we're reminded, takes years to produce. 

From the article:

"I thought about some of the most popular long-winding stories our culture had produced in recent years — 24, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc. — and how miserable their worlds tended to be. Everything was going disastrously wrong, everyone was dying in horrible fashion. It was death worship. I really like some of those shows! But they are dread-porn.

I wanted a world to escape to once in a while, and it couldn’t be one of those. I didn’t want a utopia, by any means, but I wanted a world where I could dwell on things that were bizarre, fascinating, and maybe even funny. If I wanted that world, I thought, maybe some other folks out there want that too, and maybe it would make them happier by a fraction of a percent."
 

---


"I see a really clear parallel between America and football: both are beautiful, and both destroy people. This is a recent development in neither case: they are designed to create misery. They are both institutions that I want to love unconditionally, but can’t possibly.

I can only appreciate either if I retreat into fantasy, filter out what I hate about them, and present a distillation of what i love about them. If you distill American into the land itself, and if you distill football into the game itself, and you populate them with the people who make them both beautiful, you end up with a world I find pretty amazing."

---
 

Happy Monday,

Xo David
 

17776: Questions and Answers from the Creator 


Bonus Gold: Atlas Obscura 

David SherryDaily