I recently came across this article – The Man Who’s Spending $1 Billion to Own Every Pop Song – and found it to be fascinating. It’s about a former music manager turned “crazy” (bold?) music investor, who’s buying up the rights to thousands of hit songs from artists like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars at what most industry experts consider to be irrational valuations. It’s a bit long, but the whole thing is worth a read if you enjoy following the music industry. As a preview, here are a few highlights: In less than three years, Hipgnosis has purchased nearly 7,500 songs, more than 1,000 of which have been number one hits. Mercuriadis has done eight-figure catalog deals
Here’s my list from last year, roughly grouped by how much I enjoyed them (as I did in 2016, 2017, and 2018). With two kids under two, it was tough to find as much time as I’d like to read. But I had the opportunity to re-read a few of my favorites, and I found some great new ones. Special thanks to Danielle P. for a couple spot on recommendations. Recommend 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Harari: I loved Sapiens and was excited to jump into a new Harari book. I found this one to be fun, relevant, and thought provoking. He covers a range of technological, political, and social topics, all with a helpful macro perspective on (1)
I discovered this version of the Band’s song via a post on Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True” blog. It’s outstanding musically, and I’d never previously come across this “Playing for Change” song cover format where musicians all over the world perform a part, and the elements are thoughtfully stitched together in a way that keeps adding something new without ever letting the arrangement get too crowded. Interestingly, Jerry posted about it two weeks after it was published on YouTube and it only had 830 views. A month later it has almost 2.9 million. Here’s the video: If you enjoy this, it’s worth checking out some of the other “Playing for Change” songs that are recommended on YouTube.
Here’s my list from last year, roughly grouped by how much I enjoyed them (as I did in 2016 and 2017). I found some great ones, and compared to 2017, I read fewer baby books, despite having a new baby (none!). Highly Recommend Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss: This was unlike any negotiation book I’ve read. Written by a former FBI hostage negotiator, it takes a practical real-world approach to successful negotiation, rather than the more common academic frameworks I experienced again and again across a range of classes in undergrad and business school. Not that those frameworks aren’t useful, they just aren’t always useful. This book fills the gaps, and then adds quite a bit. It was
Happy new year! Here’s some of my favorite music from last year. Most of them were new, but a few were just new to me.
My latest brew. I the tweaked my previous Sorachi Magnum recipe by scaling back the Sorachi Ace and finishing it with Citra. Delicious. Will make this one again. Here’s the recipe:
Quick update on my latest Sorachi hops homebrew (previous recipes for Soarchi Hokkaido and Soarachi El Dorado here and here). This time I went with a simpler recipe with just light malt, caramel 15 grain, half an ounce of Magnum hops for bittering, and the rest Soarchi Ace hops for aroma. I also switched from a lager yeast back to California Ale yeast. After aging in the keg for a few weeks, this is by far one of my favorite recipes. Previous iterations didn’t have quite the right bitterness profile. The Magnum hops solves this, but doesn’t get in the way of the Sorachi flavor. Also, I probably hadn’t been aging the lager versions as long as I should have
Except for the perfect droneship landing, and the Mars part.
After reading my previous post on crypto, a former colleague, Eric Holzhauer, sent me a picture of this ad on my site, to the right of my post about ICOs: A few immediate reactions: They have a marketing budget to advertise via Google Adwords to encourage people to “Join ICO” (i.e., buy the new crypto coin they are creating in the hope of using it to facilitate rental transactions)? That’s legal? Wait, really, that’s legal? I guess just because they’re doing it, doesn’t mean it’s legal. But they are a legitimate company, with $4M in VC funding previously raised, and over 200k properties on their site. And yet it all feels very deceiving. They can’t say invest in ICO, because