Fine Points – 35

Do you know about business credit?  –

Exploration, of which I am the CEO, is healthy and growing.  Entering our sixth year, we have always been in the black and funded our own expansion.  And I am curious to learn about business credit to potentially further fuel our growth.

Perhaps you or someone you know has a command about how small businesses can utilize a credit facility or business line of credit?  The uses of the funds would be used for the acquisition of complimentary businesses and fulfillment of obligations to new customers that operate at a much larger scale (2-10x) than we currently service.  We have been fortunate to be able to rely on cash stores to execute on both scenarios this past year, but I believe there is merit I am ignoring in how credit may help us more effectively and profitably achieve our goals.

If you know anything on this topic, I’d love to chat.  I’m happy to pay your hourly fee or make a donation in your name to the charity of your choice to get the low down.

USPS Informed Delivery Daily Digest – 

USPS – Informed Delivery Daily Digest – I am stoked to have just learned that the US Post Office will scan and send me a photo via email the exterior of envelopes physically arriving in the mail each day.  This is a great way to remain informed to a critical communication channel when on the road.

Hat tip to Josh Henkin for the idea and link!  Are you a scientist looking for a J-O-B?

After years of successfully mentoring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job seekers, Josh founded STEM Career Services, a career coaching company aimed at helping STEM graduates launch and sustain careers outside of academia, in 2014.

What I’m Listing To – 

The Snatch sound track is fantastic –, but my favorite will always be Golden Brown by The Stranglers –

I also listened to low slow jam – Spottieottiedopaliscious from Outkast – ..the horn beat has a catchy rhythm that I really like.

The Shipping Forecast – 

I found this 30 minute podcast on the global shipping forecast to be fascinating.

Four times every day, on radios all across United Kingdom, a BBC announcer begins reading from a seemingly indecipherable script. “And now the Shipping Forecast issued by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency,” says the voice over the wire. “Viking, North Utsire; southwesterly five to seven; occasionally gale eight; rain or showers; moderate or good, occasionally poor.” Cryptic and mesmerizing, this is the UK’s nautical weather report.

The story of this radio program starts (well before the BBC itself) in the 1850s with a man named Admiral Robert FitzRoy. He was the captain of the Beagle, the ship that brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – MMA Endangered by Blackstone Intervention / Spotify Announces 83M Subscribers / Global Music Copyright Worth $26B in 2016

Five Points – 34

Opportunity Zones  –

I’ve mentioned my enjoyment and gained knowledge from Fred Wilson‘s blog multiple times here on Five Points and he has yet again shared a kernel that you may find valuable.

As part of the December 2017 Trump tax cut, an unlikely group of billionaires and politicians quietly inserted a generous and complicated new tax break designed to lure big dollars into struggling areas known as Opportunity Zones, or O-zones.  About 8,700 O-zones nationwide, ranging from run-down inner cities to dusty rural hamlets,  have already been designated. But investors who want to take advantage of the new O-zone tax scheme can’t plow money into these areas directly. Instead, they must do so through qualified opportunity funds, or O-funds. These funds will have remarkable freedom to invest in just about anything—from real estate to tech start-ups—so long as it’s located in an O-zone and isn’t a business Congress considers a vice. (No casinos, liquor stores or massage parlors.)

Here’s how it works. Investors who sell assets have 180 days to plow their taxable capital gains into an approved opportunity fund, which must hold 90% of its assets in Opportunity Zone projects. To put money to work fast, the law requires that the funds invest all of their cash within some specified time frame. (The Treasury Department is still deciding on that and other crucial details.) Tax on the original reinvested gain isn’t due until 2026, and the taxable gain is cut by 15%. Meanwhile the new opportunity investment grows tax-free, like a Roth IRA, provided it’s held for at least ten years. (If it’s sold earlier, it can be rolled into another opportunity fund and remain tax-free.

For a census tract to qualify as an O-zone, it must have a poverty rate of 20% or higher or a median household income that is less than 80% of the surrounding area. Governors are allowed to designate 25% of their states’ eligible tracts as O-zones. In all, about 8,700 areas, ranging from rusty industrial towns to dusty rural hamlets, have been approved.

Unlike previous development incentives such as Enterprise Zones and New Market Tax credits, which capped tax benefits and placed restrictions on the industries and regions you could invest in, the O-zone law is broad and scalable. Vice businesses (liquor stores, casinos, massage parlors) are barred. And while venture capitalists, private-equity shops and banks will be essential for launching opportunity funds, those firms can’t simply locate in an O-zone and grow tax-free. Other than that, the investment options and those who can invest are broad.

Here’s a map of O-zones in the United States.
Forbes has a long piece on how these rules came to be and how they work.

If this is interesting to you and are keen to discuss in more depth, please do contact me.  I have privately shared this with several capable investors and am considering organizing a fund for investment in O-zones surrounding Nashville, TN.

The Biographer’s Lover –

Friends doing awesome stuff alert!!!

Ruby Murray just let the world know her second book is available for pre-order.

Why has no one heard of Edna Cranmer?

When a young writer is hired to put together the life of an unknown artist from Geelong, of all places, she thinks it will be just another quick commission paid for by a rich, grieving family obsessed with their own past.

But Edna Cranmer was not a privileged housewife with a paintbrush. Edna’s work spans decades. Her soaring images of red dirt, close interiors and distant jungles have the potential to change the way the nation views itself.

Edna could have been an official war artist. Did she choose to hide herself away? Or were there people who didn’t want her to be famous? As the biographer is pulled into Edna’s life, she is confronted with the fact that how she tells Edna’s past will affect her own future.

This elegant and engrossing novel explores how we value and celebrate art and artists’ lives. The Biographer’s Lover reminds us that all memory is an act of curation.


Do yourself a favor…or treat someone you care about to a special gift…

It’s available for pre-order now:

Ruby is an incredible wordsmith and even better person.

7’s Rugby World Cup – San Francisco, CA

Friends doing awesome stuff alert!!!

Super proud of Dallen Stanford for being selected to announce the 7’s Rugby World Cup this weekend in San Francisco, CA.  He is prolific in rich commentary and educational information about the game and players, one-liners to have you big belly roll laughing, and access to the game’s brightest stars.

His role as commentator is second only to his career as player, having represented the United States for many years on the international stage.

Most importantly, he’s one of the best friends a guy could ask for.

Prefabricated Homes – 

My friend Isaac Roth sent along a link to what I find to be a simple, but beautiful prefabricated house.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

Exploration Weekly – Apple Music Touts US Subscribers / Spotify Reveals Pitching Feature / UnitedMasters Launches Data-Driven Distribution Service

Five Points – 33

Pull Ups  –

Exercise has to be convenient for me or it doesn’t happen.  So, before I grab a shower in the morning and before bed, I do some push ups and pull ups.  I also do air squats and a nice bit of stretching all over.  The only equipment I need is the bar and I put it up in the little hall way on the way to bathroom.

2 of these @ $13.20 = $26.40

8 of these @ $.46 = $3.68

1 one these @ $25.45

Total Cost = $55.53

It took about and hour to measure the width of the hall, visit home depot to grab the parts and have them cut and rethread the pipe.  It took about another hour to put it up.  It costs less than a month at the gym, will last forever, and gets loads more use.

Don’t Shave A Long Haired Dog – 

hat tip to Oren Schaedel for the post

What I’m listening to –

Neil Young – Old Man –   — I like this version as it was one of the the first times he’d played the song publicly.  In some ways, I feel I am living this song right now.

Darius Rucker – Wagon Wheel – — The references to NC make me smile.

John Denver – Take Me Home – — I grew up listening to this music.  The entirety of his voice, lyrics, and nostalgia make for a lovely trip down memory lane.

Please write me a letter <3

I just love to write letters and put them in the post.  Usually they are plain white cards in a white envelope.  I include a business card if its for work.  My purchase of choice when visiting a museum these days is note cards from their gift shop so that I might send art through the air to a friend far away.

I think it is pure magic that for $.50 you can put a letter in a box from anywhere and it will be arrive anywhere a remarkably short time later.  Everyone seems to really like getting real mail from someone they’ve met.

It would really be awesome to at some undetermined time in the future, have walked to the mailbox in the light rain a little outside Nashville, Tennessee to see your thoughts on paper.  William will be there and I’ll look up and smile.  Maybe it will be a tale of an adventure or an idea that brings you joy or just a sketch.  Maybe you passed it to a courrier in Berlin or Buenos Aires or just maybe Los Angeles.  Maybe it will have some art.

Keen to try it?  To a friend or family member colleague across town or across this Earth?  Maybe to send me one??

If it’s no trouble..

7389 Hunting Camp Rd.
Fairview, TN 37062

I know the recipient sure would be grateful.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Exploration Weekly – DOJ Terminates Outdated Consent Decrees / Apple Expected to Surpass Spotify / Streams Up 41.6% in First Half of 2018

Five Points – 32

Samantha & Hamburger – 

I’d caught a cold as the seasons changed.  With each change, new opportunities to learn present themselves.  This is where I learned about mice.

My neighbor noticed I’d left in several days and came round to check on me.  I answered the door with a smile and half a hairdo, grateful to see another. I explained that I’d caught ill and was just managing to work a bit and sleep.  The air outside was crisp.

I didn’t tell her that with it finally beginning to warm up, that mice had made themselves known.  Tons of them.  Scurrying about.  Brazenly hopping to and fro.  Seeing me and then continuing on with their affairs.  My traps worked once, capturing but one lone scout while the rest of the brood would forever steer clear.  Poison achieved the same result, but I had the constant fear William might find the peanut butter flavor toxic treats as easily as the mice.  I quickly removed it all after a few days.  So how…this is beginning to be a real problem.

The door knocked.

My neighbor extends her hand, “Here’s some nice bread.  You’ll feel better if you eat it.  And you call me.  You call me if you’re down ill.  I’ll bring you some food.” and walked back to her truck.  “Hope you get to feeling better!” and drove out of sight.

It made me feel good.  She’s an older lady.. real nice and knows all the things around Hunting Camp Rd.  That’s how she knew I hadn’t left in a few days.  One way in and one way out.  She’s lived there since she was a girl…maybe 70 some years I’ll say.

House as kind dark in the late afternoon and I put the bread on the counter.  Pleased with the thought of a sandwich when I conjured the energy.  And I went to sleep.

I woke up around dawn.  I felt ok.  Maybe starting to feel better for the first day in many.  Did my normal routine and standing in a daze as the coffee pot began to brew, noticed the sheer destruction of my good bread.  A complete pillaging of my leavened loaf.

How dare they!?

I got right in the car and drove straight to the animal shelter.  I’ll have those two female cats.  One was tortoise shell and thin and curious and incredibly athletic – Samantha.  One was black and fat and sullen and judgy – Hamburger.

Home they went.  Samantha was clawing her way out of the cardboard car carrier before we got out of the parking lot.  Hamburger just screamed.

I wondered what William might think of our new house guests.

Once in the house, the cats scattered.  They hid for 3 days.  William didn’t care.  I wondered if I was further losing my mind.

Then I could hear the occasional sprint, jump, silence.  Then it turned out that Samantha and Hamburger were murderous savages.  Then everyone was really on edge.  Then there weren’t any more mice.  Then everything calmed down and the cats began exploring everything in and around the house and they try to say Hi to William and he still doesn’t care.  And now everyone lives in harmony.

Samantha runs like a maniac constantly and sleeps in a location yet to be determined.

Hamburger sits in and around the same chair all day and judges and generally hates everything.

Then there were 4.

Shockwave –

Rhumb Line – 

A friend and I were plotting an exciting but treacherous voyage where the topic of a rhumb line came up.  tl;dr a rhumb line is not the path the blockade runners used to smuggle rum into miami.

A rhumb line can be contrasted with a great circle, which is the path of shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere. On a great circle, the bearing to the destination point does not remain constant. If one were to drive a car along a great circle one would hold the steering wheel fixed, but to follow a rhumb line one would have to turn the wheel, turning it more sharply as the poles are approached. In other words, a great circle is locally “straight” with zero geodesic curvature, whereas a rhumb line has non-zero geodesic curvature.

Meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude provide special cases of the rhumb line, where their angles of intersection are respectively 0° and 90°. On a north–south passage the rhumb line course coincides with a great circle, as it does on an east–west passage along the equator.

On a Mercator projection map, any rhumb line is a straight line; a rhumb line can be drawn on such a map between any two points on Earth without going off the edge of the map. But theoretically a loxodrome can extend beyond the right edge of the map, where it then continues at the left edge with the same slope (assuming that the map covers exactly 360 degrees of longitude).

What I’m listening to –

Ray LaMontagne – Trouble

What I’m Reading – 

Ask HN: What are the biggest challenges preventing startups from hiring remote?

Book:  Remote – Office Not Required

Basecamp founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson explore the “work from home” phenomenon and show precisely how a remote work setup can be accomplished in Remote.

The Industrial Revolution’s “under one roof” model of conducting work is steadily declining as technology creates virtual workspaces that allow employees to provide their vital contribution without physically clustering together. Today, the new paradigm is “move work to the workers, rather than workers to the workplace.”

Remote work increases the talent pool, reduces turnover, lessens the real estate footprint, and improves the ability to conduct business across multiple time zones, to name just a few advantages. As Fried and Hansson explain the challenges and unexpected benefits of this phenomenon, they show why–with a few controversial exceptions such as Yahoo–more businesses will want to promote this model of getting things done.

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Exploration Weekly – Senate Judiciary Committee Passes MMA / EU Copyright Directive Rejected Thursday / Tencent Filing IPO This Week