Five Points – 25

GenuisScan  – 

Someone recently told me via their iPhone that they would get the a countersigned contract back to me next week because they were on the road.  Then I made a frown face.

It would seem to reason that in the business of getting contracts signed, countersigned, and returned such that a deal is memorialized…that one would go to the end of the earth to do just that.  That collecting all the signatures…signing on the line that is dotted…is the thing!  That is the hard part.

If you do any work that involves the signing of contracts or the need to scan something, you may consider Genius Scan.  The app allows for the taking of a photo of some thing (paper) with your phone, turns it into a PDF, and formats it all to quickly zap it off in an email.  And it costs exactly nothing.  Its free.

Too clever by half – 

I found this article incredibly enlightening.

It personifies two characters present during change – the coyote and the raccoon.  One is too smart for its own good and will ultimately die.  The other is a bandit, has no shame, and unfortunately, will persevere.  It also highlights the meta-game…the game about the game…that is crucial to understand, if one wants to win.  The topic of the article is the blockchain and cryptocurrency, however I extrapolated the lesson to be more about life in general.  There are a lot of moving parts here and I think it’s well worth a look.  15 min read.

World Record Badminton Volley – 108 hits in the 2013 World Championship – 

Holy &*#$ the poise of these guys.  And the fact it was match point as well –

What I’m Watching –

Dear Basketball by Kobe Bryant –

This animated short (5 mins) by Kobe Bryant was captivating.  I believe the sentiment is shared by anyone saying goodbye to something they truly love after having given it their all.  I know I felt some of these things when I finally hung up my rugby boots.  It won an Oscar this year for good reason.

Intercourse by Jonatan Etzler (NSFW) –

This is a short film about a pretty strange twist in the sexual relationship of a couple.  It was a Vimeo staff pick last week and has been featured on a few different outlets.  It pushes a few buttons and made a few people I discussed it with uncomfortable and others’ turned on, so they reported. Swedish with English subtitles. Mature content.

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey –

Do you need to watch a documentary that’ll make you feel good?  Love 80’s rock – Journey!!!  Watch this.  It’s really pretty awesome.  The film follows the real life rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the front man for iconic American rock band Journey.

1,000 True Fans – 

I found myself heading back to this iconic article this past week.  Penned by Kevin Kelly, the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review.  It’s become famous in its own right, as it’s dang good advice.

To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans. …

Five Points – 24

I am speaking at Music Biz 2018 in Nashville next week – 

This conference may be considered one of the most important music business conferences of the year, this particular stanza being the 60th.

Successfully Managing Your Releases: Best Practices and Obligations for the Independent Label or Artist

Successfully releasing your music as an independent label or artist is often times coupled with a unique set of challenges and obligations. This presentation’s aim is to highlight and discuss these obligations, while focusing on the implementation of “best practices” to ensure your music is released legally, and your projects run smoothly.

Items include choosing the right distributor, registering your original compositions with the PRO’s and Streaming Services, registering your master recordings with Sound Exchange, getting a publishing administrator, YouTube Registration and Collections, and acquiring an accounting team assembled to handle the distribution of your earnings, to name a few of the topics.

Please come say hi after this panel or drop me a line if you’ll be at the conference to connect at another time.  A sneaky, adult beverage may be in order.

Selling Your House For More Than It’s Worth – 

I found an interesting article recently that was a bit of a “Buyer’s Beware” message, explaining that features often listed in homes for sale may not be worth it, if purchased a la carte.

And then a neighbor began to ask for advice from me, a younger person, on what they might do to bring their home up to snuff to maximize value, as they prepare to sell.  So, here!  Consider these ideas.

Here’s a sampling of ideas that may pronounce the value of real estate you’re selling.  Of course, if you’re in the market to buy, you may push back when negotiating price, relative to items you know you can (and will probably enjoy) find at the flea market.

Design Feature Sold For (Percentage More Than Home Value)
1. Solar panels 40 percent
2. Craftsman 34 percent
3. Coffered ceiling 29 percent
4. Claw-foot tub 29 percent
5. Mid-century 28 percent
6. In-law 28 percent
7. Landscape/path/outdoor/deck lighting 26 percent
8. Exposed beam or ceiling 26 percent
9. Farmhouse sink 26 percent
10. Wainscot 26 percent

Larry Harvey – 1948 – 2018 –

What the man built changed the course of my life.  The friends I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned as a result of that gathering in the dust has forever enriched how I view and move through my days.

Individually, I can thank Doug Campbell ( for inviting me along to my first Burn.  We met in the Mexico City airport in 2010, I on my way home to LA from Buenos Aires after a round of footie and he on the opposite route on a vision quest.  We made fast friends and said goodbye, as you do.  But we stayed in touch, which is a bit more rare in the transient nature of back packers sharing a laugh at a lay-over airport.  Doug returned home several months later and invited me, as promised, to Mind Share LA, a monthly TED-esk event that he curated.  I began to volunteer on my second visit and he generously invited me to the rest of his crew, mostly whom were burners – a group of people that I admire and rely on and have become my family and that I miss dearly at present.  That next burn he invited me to join him to camp with the Phage (our camp name).  And the rest is history, as they say.  I still call Doug one of my best friends and we always laugh so big at the hijinx and realizations and acts of muppethood we’ve committed since we last made time to hang out.  One ritual he’s been awesome at is scheduling at least a FaceTime session in the future during the current hang, to give us something to look forward to.

While Burning Man is most certainly the biggest party on earth, it is so much more. For the uninitiated:

The 10 Principles of Burning Man

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey wrote the Ten Principles in 2004 as guidelines for the newly-formed Regional Network. They were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event’s inception.

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Join the conversation in the 10 Principles blog series.
Join the conversation in the 10 Principles blog series.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

Thank you, Larry.

Make your web surfing faster and more private – just launched an important option to default settings you may employ to browse the web.

From their site:

DNS: Internet’s Directory

Nearly everything on the Internet starts with a DNS (Domain Name Service) request. DNS is the Internet’s directory. Click on a link, open an app, send an email and the first thing your device does is ask the directory: Where can I find this?

Unfortunately, by default, DNS is usually slow and insecure. Your ISP, and anyone else listening in on the Internet, can see every site you visit and every app you use — even if their content is encrypted. Creepily, some DNS providers sell data about your Internet activity or use it target you with ads.

We think that’s gross. If you do too, now there’s an alternative:

Privacy First: Guaranteed.We will never sell your data or use it to target ads. Period.

We will never log your IP address (the way other companies identify you). And we’re not just saying that. We’ve retained KPMG to audit our systems annually to ensure that we’re doing what we say.

Frankly, we don’t want to know what you do on the Internet—it’s none of our business—and we’ve taken the technical steps to ensure we can’t.

Faster than anything else. 28% faster, in fact.

We’ve built to be the Internet’s fastest DNS directory. Don’t take our word for it. The independent DNS monitor DNSPerf ranks the fastest DNS service in the world.

Since nearly everything you do on the Internet starts with a DNS request, choosing the fastest DNS directory across all your devices will accelerate almost everything you do online.

Go here ( to learn how to change the settings on your computer of phone to have a faster, more private experience.

What’s on the radio – 

Band of Horses – No One’s Gonna Love You –

Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek –

These two songs are special to me, lately.  Ask me in person.

Five Points – 23

Scratch – 

I do not have children, but if I did, I think I would want them to learn certain things.  I would want them to be kind and empathetic and tolerant.  And I would make sure they ample opportunity to read and write and understand maths.  Among many other other things.

I would definitely expose them to coding computers.  And Scratch is hands down the best way to do that today.  200,000,000 kids interacted with Scratch last year.  If you haven’t shared it with kids you know, you may consider it. 

Scratch launched in May of 2007 as a downloadable desktop application. Kids could create their own interactive stories, games, and animations on their computer and share them with the online community by uploading them to the Scratch website. The release of Scratch 2.0 brought Scratch to the web in 2013, resulting in exponential growth in the Scratch community. Scratch is now the world’s largest coding platform for kids; it’s available worldwide, for free. 

Friends doing awesome stuff alert – 

Calli Beck just launched her online store.  She uses a laser cutter to make beautiful lamps and wall art and more.  She is also available for commissions and can build amazing spaces for stages, festivals, gatherings.  Her eye for perspective, flow, and feel is remarkable.


Ezra Woods /  is hiring part time staff in Los Angeles at Regime des Fleurs – A Very Special Fragrance Studio For A Most Discerning Clientele.

Ezra would be incredible to work with – smart like crazy smart. driven like you don’t know how many hours are we still working? and funny.  Laughing hard with and at and because of people all over the park. funny.

Read more about the company here:


Joshua Goldbard / announced that Mobile Coin / is hiring senior developers on the heals of raising $30,000,000 /

From his post:

We are recruiting our core technical team to build digital cash. If you’d like to help us design a privacy focused, usable, and scalable cryptocurrency that complies with regulation, shoot me a message. We’re looking for engineers who have worked on big systems (>10M dau) and want to work on low-level code. Direct memory access is a critical part of our problem set.

Please reach out to his team directly if you or someone you know might be a fit.  I can say with a large degree of confidence that working with Josh on this project would be a life changer for most.  If you think you even have an inkling of skills to get on board, stop what you are doing and sign up.


A Trip Through New York City in 1911 – From the collection of The Museum of Modern Art

Slowed down footage to a natural rate and added in sound for ambiance. This film was taken by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a trip to America.

Look at the hats!!!  And look at everyone looking at the camera.  It must’ve have been such a foreign looking instrument.

Hat tip to Lonne Jaffe for the link /

Why Justin Timberlake sings ‘may’ vs ‘me’ – Linguistics and vocal styling converge in this late ’90s pop trend. –

Unpacking southern dialect dynamics.  Diphthongization (new word alert). 90’s pop. Justin Timberlake. …sign me right up.  I found this article to be fascinating.

Hat tip to Alex Kawas for the link /

What’s on the radio – 

Buddha Bar Radio –

It’s such an easy channel to listen to.  Super loungey.  Put on something comfy.  Chill for a while.

Five Points – 22

“Fact, non verba”


We publish a retrospective at the end of every year. This helps us plan, keeps us honest about how plans worked out, and allows us course correct quickly.

You can read the write ups for 20142015, and 2016.

Exploration Group is a media management and technology company headquartered in Los Angeles. Equally, wholly, and privately owned by Rene Merideth and Aaron Davis, we answer to our clients exclusively and provide them with maximum agency.

Exploration is proud to be the company of choice to compile and administer the metadata identifying much of the world’s most important media.  However, we keep who we are working with private. Our clients repeatedly report how much they appreciate this simple policy.

Our mission is to help our clients identify, organize, and distribute the data required to thoroughly protect and administer their audio and video works.  We rely on old relationships; new software; and a kind, smart, dedicated, and full-time staff of 30+ people to execute on behalf of our clients and partners.

Exploration currently represents and consults with music publishers, record labels, domestic and foreign performing rights organizations, and tv/film clients globally for digital rights at YouTube, Harry Fox (Spotify, Facebook, & others), and Music Reports Inc. (Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon, & others).

On each platform, we evaluate our client’s current efforts; augment and update their works; resolve any conflicts or problems that may arise; provide analytical analysis and reports on demand; and collect, process, and payout royalties as often as they are remitted from the platforms.   We remain flexible with our services and allow clients to pick and choose the services they need.

We charge a commission on earnings for our administration services and a flat fee for our consulting services. Our agreements are month-to-month and may be cancelled at any time.

Capsule Summary

Exploration progressed exceptionally well again in 2017.

We are very proud of the strides we made on behalf of our clients, seeing an overall gross increase of 139.57% in royalty collection.

Our business model has expanded to service several additional lines, channel management and marketing, and one-off, project oriented consulting.

We now have 30+ full time staff that are increasingly becoming more specialized in their tasks.  And we are very fortunate and proud to offer all them full premium health, dental and eye insurance, gym memberships, monthly book of their choice, monthly team dinners, and weekly awards that incentivize them helping one another.

Our business remains in the black and we continue to save a significant portion of our profits each month.

All of the above helps us put our interest squarely where it belongs – toward our clients.

Our Clients

You cannot rest on your laurels in this world. Folks will not tolerate it.

Our clients’ expectations are never static – they go up. It’s human nature. People have an insatiable appetite for a better way, and yesterday’s ‘wow’ quickly becomes today’s ‘ordinary’. And I see this increase in expectations, the demand for excellence, as a result of the expertise one needs to do business in 2018.  In any given month from a multitude of sources, clients are made aware of yet another settlement portal, a new platform needing to be collected from, an additional metadata point being reported as mandatory, and more. These examples are from our publishing vertical, but I assure you the same phenomenon is happening broadly across everything we do at Exploration.

How do you stay ahead of ever-rising customer expectations? There’s no single way to do it – it’s a combination of many things. But prioritization, high standards, and working together are certainly a big part of it.

Prioritize and Execute

First, prioritization comes as a result of learning from our stakeholders – our clients – what is most important to them.  Be it maximum royalty collection, cleanliness of data, or speed in handling the inevitable ownership conflict…or all three and more – we use this knowledge as directive for what to get busy working on.

Secondly, before starting any work day, our staff connect with each other to identify what has transpired since they last logged out, to make sure that the tasks ahead are exactly the ones that will bring us closer meeting the expectations of clients.

This constant reflection on what to work on first, then settling in to really get after it, has proven to be a materially valuable effort.  We will continue to refine and hone this skill.

High Standards

The room for error when handling others’ privacy, property, and money is profoundly low.  So is the tolerance by platforms for making mistakes, as they too are held accountable by interested parties that are affected.

For this reason, we commit to several practices that allow us to embody and retain relentlessly high standards.

  • We hire only those people that have proven themselves to have the utmost integrity, intelligence, and drive.
  • We promote from within.
  • We specialize.
  • We train.  And we train.  And we train some more. (i.e. all staff are YouTube certified in multiple areas)
  • We deliver the raw platform data to our clients when remitting royalties and invoices.
  • We teach via publicly published guides that are domain specific.

Cover and Move

Rene and I learned this concept from the rugby field – as an aside, that is where we originally met – she was a photographer for one of the teams I was playing on.  Over a cold, adult beverage one evening she began to share with me the challenges of administering publishing rights in the digital world. I was keen to make a career change.  And as they say, the rest is history.

Rugby is the epitome of a team sport.  You can not go at it alone. The rules and fundementals of the game do not allow it.  You must take someone with you.  Support, as it were, means that you hunt in packs on defense and you have mates behind and adjacent to you on attack (offense).  This foundational principle is repeatedly practiced at even the highest levels and for good reason – it works.

Old habits die hard.  We brought the idea over from the pitch and have woven it into our company’s DNA.  And it works.

First, we closely work together with our clients and partners, at a scope that they mandate.  For some, just knowing we are available on demand to handle anything they need is sufficient. While for others we meet weekly or monthly, provide proactive reports of all completed work, and visit their offices to work in concert with their staff.

Secondly, we collaborate via shared databases with works co-owners, competitors, and platform partners.  This allows us collectively to mitigate double work, which results in more efficient resolution and ultimately, royalty distribution.

Finally, we work extremely hard to make sure we, as individuals, are working with each other within our organization. We have very high expectations of ourselves, much higher than those imposed upon us from outside forces, which contributes to considerable pressure.  We learned the hard way last year that, if not paid attention to and actively addressed, this can cause unhealthy competition amongst teammates.  We have a variety of systems in place now that make working together easier, but the one that has been most fruitful is to incentivize actually helping each other.  Staff members are given an opportunity to share with the larger team how a co-worker really went out of their way to help with the greater effort…it’s quite remarkable what happens when folks get competitive about helping each other.

Benefits of Prioritization, High Standards, and Working Together

Building a culture that puts task prioritization, extremely high standards, and collaborative effort as paramount is well worth it.   Most noticeably, we are able to accomplish what is expected of us from a most discerning clientele. It also helps with recruiting and retention, as talented and highly skilled people are drawn to this culture. More subtly, a culture of this calibre protects all the “invisible” but critical work that gets done when no one is watching. It’s part of what it means to be a professional and it helps to insure that we will continue to be able to execute on this level for a long time.

Recent Milestones

The culture we have demanded of ourselves and strive for has served us well.  We’re extremely proud to share some of the milestones we hit last year. We take none of them for granted

Ingest and Claims

Asset ingests, manual claims, and potential claims resulted in a total of approximately 3 million assets having ownership asserted, which have claimed in excess of 44 million videos, resulting in over 45 billion views.

Conflicts Resolutions

We resolved 13,246 conflicts, unlocking royalty distribution for our clients, co-owners, and our competitors on approximately 219 million daily views.


We increased the Year over Year Ad Performance Revenue by 139.57%.

Catalog Data

Most of our clients report that the data we have compiled on their behalf is now the authoritative record of their intellectual property.

Path Ahead

This year marks the 4th anniversary of our first annual report, and the principles and fundamentals that drive us remain unchanged.  We continue to aspire to be the very best at what we do, expect more from ourselves them anyone else ever could, and recognize with acute clarity that the work has only begun.  The magnitude of the challenges ahead are not lost on us. In fact, it is what drives us.

A huge thank you to all of our clients for the trust to be the guardian of your intellectual property, to the platforms that allow us to work within their systems, and to our kind, smart, and dedicated staff.

We look forward to the future.

Facta, non verba.

Kind regards,

Rene Merideth and Aaron Davis

Who is Exploration?

Exploration is proud to be the company of choice to administer much of the world’s most important media. We rely on old relationships; new software; and a kind, smart, dedicated, and full-time staff of 30+ people to execute on behalf of our clients and partners.

We’re writing a free book on how the music business works. Learn more here.

The catalog metadata template offers the minimum viable data needed to collect digital royalties.  Download the .csv file here.

Please feel free to reach out anytime if you have any questions or ideas!

Hope you have a great weekend!

[email protected]

Google +


171 Pier Ave., #251
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Five Points – 21

Marijuana Legalization – 

The legalization of marijuana seems to be speeding into the national consciousness and onto ballots in the United States.

One of the last people I expected to embrace this sea change is Mitch McConnell – Senate Majority Leader (Republican – Kentucky).  Last week he introduced a bill to remove hemp from the controlled substances list.

Also last week, former Speaker of the House, John Boehner (Republican – Ohio), joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a company that cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis in 11 U.S. states.

And finally, today, 4/20/2018, Chuck Schumer – Senate Minority Leader (Democrat – New York), plans to introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level.

More food for thought:


There is an interesting facet to this movement that I can’t seem to find data on though…

Proponents of marijuana legalization often say “Why don’t they just tax it?”…and on the surface, that seems to be a legitimate rhetorical question; there is much tax revenue to be collected, as Colorado can attest.

But I posit that it already is, in favor of illegality, predominantly at the expense, of young black men.

I think of all the jobs and budgets and systems that are predicated on the fact marijuana is illegal.  The lawyers and judges and prisons and police…omg the police department budgets…that all go bye bye the moment marijuana is legalized.  Which is, in large part, why it was deemed illegal in the 1930’s: TL;DR: at the end of prohibition, the huge government agency tasked with keeping the bottle out of people’s hands needed a new crusade.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair


For those following the movement, one may also notice the lack of use of the word ‘Marijuana’, being replaced by ‘Cannabis’, which is pure marketing.  The former has a negative connotation and the latter has been associated with medicine.  Makes enough sense.

The thought leaders here may also consider the appearance of the advocates, often being dreadlock wielding, reggae listening, bare foot dancing hippies.  This doesn’t bode well for the Bible belt, Wall Street, and generally, the Right.

A lesson from the civil rights movement in the United States suggests how you look is everything:


Time will tell how our culture embraces the shift in jobs, as a result of the move from illegal to legal, but it is a good thing the shift is taking place.  The medical benefits, the opiate pandemic, the tax revenue, the stigma, …let’s not mince words: the fact more people smoke than do not.

It should be legal.

Enjoy your 4/20!

Momento Mori –

I believe it to be good practice to reflect on the fact we all will die.  It helps to prioritize things.

This interesting article breaks down a lifetime of 90 years into different segments…days…winters…

and this famous speech segment from Steve Jobs

Two other Pulitzer Prize finalists on losing to Kendrick Lamar –

Humility is a virtue.

The search for the next billion $ color – Red –

I’m very color blind, so I found this article fascinating and obscure:

What’s on the radio – 

I find the hang aka hand pan to be so relaxing and meditative.

Hang Massive – Once Again – 2011 –

Five Points – 20

The Jupiter poles – 

What sort of hellish madness has the Juno space craft photographed on the poles of Jupiter? is Hiring  – 

Friends doing awesome stuff alert!

Celeste LeCompte is the Vice President of Business Development at ProPublica.  She’s also a thoughtful, kind, and profoundly bright.  And working with her would be awesome.

From her solicitation:

Would you like to work with me at ProPublica? Because now is your chance. We’re hiring a bunch of reporters, editors, technologists, HR, legal, and more. PLEASE APPLY and SEND ME YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS.

You should be excited about the mission of this place: My colleagues in the newsroom tell stories with *moral force* which is an incredibly badass thing to align yourself with. On the business side, we make sure they have the resources and tools to do that work, and I want all of our new hires to LOVE it.

Bring your special self to the job: We need people with hard skills for the job, and we also need you to bring your insights and judgement. We want diverse candidates from all backgrounds because hiring you – yes, you – makes us better, smarter, more resilient as an organization.

Be quick on the draw: We have big plans and big dreams for 2018 and beyond, and we want to meet you IMMEDIATELY. Apply NOW. If you have questions, EMAIL us. We always give you a contact email for a job, so don’t be afraid to use it. I rarely check messenger, but you can email me at my work address if you have questions: [email protected]

Google I/O – Exploring Augmented Reality Interaction – 
Wed. May 9, 3:30PM – 4:30PM – Stage 7 – Beginner

Friends doing awesome stuff alert!

Chris Kelley is a design lead in AR/VR prototyping at Google and is speaking on this panel.

CK and a couple other good boys first put me up when I arrived in LA 15 years ago.  We have been through so much together over the years… we scrummed down together on the footie pitch to pocket a couple national titles, roomed in a crummy flat in Venice Beach, noodled a fair number of good and bad business ideas, and lit out across the earth in search of adventure more than once. He’s since married a lovely gal, has beautiful new daughter, moved to SF, and landed at Google.  And for my friends in the Bay curious about AR @ Google, feel free to ping me to connect with him.  He truly is a wonderful and brilliant person and is an expert in the field.  I consider him one of my very best friends and most trusted advisors.

And if you find yourself at Google I/O this year, do go listen to him speak and heckle him.  It’s fine if you blame me.

Nomad List – 

I’m fortunate that I’m able to travel quite a bit, sometimes for longer stints, for work.  This site is so easy and valuable if you’re planning on staying more than a week or two some where and need to keep working.

Nomad List is the biggest crowdsourced database of cities in the world analyzing 250,000+ data points to help you choose where to go next — and when you arrive, it connects you with 49,738+ 🌍 nomads there.

What’s on the radio – 

A couple popular newish tracks that I’ve had on repeat thee past days..

Again – Fetty Wap –

Congratulations – Post Malone – 

Five Points – 19

J-O-B – 

I get asked about jobs pretty often…editing a resume, who’s hiring, what one might want to consider in order to put their best foot forward, what industry to pursue, how to negotiate a salary or what to charge as a freelancer…pretty much the gamut of getting a solid gig.

I find this relatively amusing, as I believe myself to be quite unemployable, as many will confirm and is part of why I have always worked for myself.  But I digress…

I have a few resources I always point folks toward and the universe recently conspired to drop a few more, diverse tools and tricks on me all at once.

So, that’s what today’s 5 Points is all about.  Getting a J-O-B.

Linkedin Career Advice – 

My good friend and ever fabulous, Bonnie Muffington*, works at Linkedin and she turned me on a not-so-publicized resource for asking folks in a particular field for free advice.  This really is worth so much…these people…no, experts…have proactively made themselves available for someone just like you to ask for guidance and mentorship on how to win at getting a J-O-B in their industry.  

Resume Cheat Sheet – 

How to answer the most common interview questions – 

Looking, sounding, and being more confident – 

Salary and Fee Negotiation – 

It’s been reported that many millions of additional $$$ has been commanded as a direct result of this guide.  It’s value can not be understated.

Sprezzatura – 

There’s an Italian word for making everything you do seem effortless – sprezzatura.

Cultivate it.  Embody it.  Be it.

You deserve that job and more.  You know it to be true.  Should those folks that have the power decide to pass on your expertise, it’s their loss – water off a duck’s back – on to the next.

Good luck!

Five Points – 18

Tough Mothers by Jason Porath – 

Friends doing awesome stuff alert!!!

I mentioned last year when Jason‘s first book, Rejected Princesses, was published and bought a copy for my own collection and my nieces.  It is a timeless tome of women generally being badass.  Check it out here:

On the heals of that release is his second stanza and it looks to be just as amazing!  The research, the writing, the illustrations…the fact a single human did all this is down right remarkable.

From his site:

What’s in it?

50 thoroughly-researched stories of history’s most badass moms from all around the world, most of whom you’ve never heard of. Each entry has a page of illustration and a page or three of text.

What age group is this good for?

Short answer: 12 and up. Younger readers could enjoy most of it, but you’d probably want to read it with them.

Long answer: There’s harsh material at the very end, but every entry has content warnings and a maturity level. In terms of US movie ratings, it’s probably 35% PG, 60% PG-13, 5% R. This isn’t a book to censor history or try to put a pretty spin on things, but it also doesn’t get explicit regularly or without reason. Some of the most harrowing entries are online, to help you gauge how bad it gets: check out Tamar of GeorgiaKate Leigh and Tilly Devine, and Ranavalona I.

Who’s in the book?

The full table of contents is available below – click here to jump to it. Many chapters are available for you to preview!

How Can I Get a Copy?

Option 1: Get a signed copy with dust jacket!

You can get a signed copy by preordering from Book Soup! By doing this, you get a signed book and a special alternate cover foil-stamped dust jacket!

Option 2: Get the Premium Bundle!

You can get all of the above, plus a personalized sketchenamel pinset of stickers, and bookmark for just a few dollars more by preordering the Premium Bundle from Book Soup!

Option 3: Preorder wherever!

First off, it’ll be available at bookstores everywhere, so support your local bookstore!

Failing that, it’s also totally available for order online. Click any of the icons below:

Harper-CollinsBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionIndieBound

Why train wheels have conical geometry – 

I found this quick gif pretty interesting

Fortune favors the bold ~ Latin proverb – 

Ain’t that the truth…


When Charles Best, founder of the nonprofit, emailed Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen with a big ask, he was worried the crypto company exec would “be offended by the ridiculousness” of it, Best tells the San Francisco Chronicle.

He sent the pitch anyway: “I kind of dared myself to send an email pitching an idea 10 times bigger than I’ve ever pitched before.”

Larsen and Ripple responded with a $29 million donation to, the crowdfunding platform Best founded in 2000 that lets teachers post classroom project requests and donors choose which projects they want to support.

On Tuesday night, Ripple pledged to fully fund the site’s more than 35,000 classroom requests.

Read the full monty here:

Burning Man art is coming to the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian –

What’s on the radio –

Ain’t No Sunshine – Matt Andersen

I find it awesome to listen/watch someone get caught up in their music..

Five Points – 17

Spacebook and Instaham –

Yeah…so social media…

I don’t think it is very good for us.  I do not believe our brains’ have evolved to fully cope with the volume of stimulation these platforms supply.  I do not believe that our (my and your vs the platform’s) interests are aligned.

I purge ‘likes’ and ‘group affiliations’ and ‘links’ with regular frequency.  And I follow no one on Instagram, so as to not fall to deeply into the scrolling trap.  And I direct folks out of the platform to email or phone for communication.  And I have them all locked down to the very best of my ability.

But the data….

Whew, Cambridge Analytica really blew the lid off of the idea that all of the data we freely share with social media could be weaponized.

And Cambridge Analytica is the most famous one, given it’s proximity to Trump.  How many hundreds or thousands of apps out there had/have the ability to glean this data and other types?

Here’s a few ways to level the playing field:

Share as little as possible with Facebook without deleting it –

How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing –

And perhaps most importantly, log out of Facebook/Google and clear your cache when you leave the sites.  Facebook and Google control nearly ALL online advertising.  In as much, a cookie gets placed on your browser so that as you surf around the web, relevant ads can be displayed to you.  And in fairness, I’d much rather see an ad for camping equipment than hair brushes, but that’s not the point.  In addition to the login/cookie allowing Facebook/Google to serve you ads, those digital breadcrumbs (all of the pages you’ve visited, never mind, liked) can very easily identify you…which I find on the near side of creepy.

And in related news:

Change Your Screen To Grayscale To Combat Phone Addiction –

I have also found a lot of value in putting my phone on “Airplane Mode” before dinner until after breakfast and not charging my phone in the bedroom (to discourage viewing in bed).

Water Quality Testing – 

I have spring water feeding my house.  It’s tasty, but I was curious to learn more about it’s make up.  This tool and kit were inexpensive and super helpful.

HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Quality TDS Tester ($14.87) –
Health Metric Water Test Kit For Municipal Tap and Well Water – Simple Testing Strips For Heavy Metals, Bacteria, Nitrates, Chlorine ($19.97 now out of stock)  –

Snails in the creek at my house – 

As soon as the freeze broke, these little creatures have turned out droves.  It’s cool, as they are generally a proxy for pure water.

Poem for thought – 

Maximus, to himself – Charles Olsen

Read by the author, 1963 –

I have had to learn the simplest things 
last. Which made for difficulties. 
Even at sea I was slow, to get the hand out, or to cross   
a wet deck. 
               The sea was not, finally, my trade. 
But even my trade, at it, I stood estranged 
from that which was most familiar. Was delayed, 
and not content with the man’s argument 
that such postponement   
is now the nature of 
               that we are all late 
               in a slow time, 
               that we grow up many 
               And the single   
               is not easily 

It could be, though the sharpness (the achiote)   
I note in others, 
makes more sense 
than my own distances. The agilities 

               they show daily 
               who do the world’s   
               And who do nature’s   
               as I have no sense   
               I have done either 

I have made dialogues, 
have discussed ancient texts, 
have thrown what light I could, offered   
what pleasures 
doceat allows 
               But the known? 
This, I have had to be given, 
a life, love, and from one man   
the world. 
               But sitting here 
               I look out as a wind   
               and water man, testing   
               And missing 
               some proof 

I know the quarters 
of the weather, where it comes from,   
where it goes. But the stem of me,   
this I took from their welcome, 
or their rejection, of me 

               And my arrogance 
               was neither diminished   
               nor increased, 
               by the communication 


It is undone business 
I speak of, this morning,   
with the sea 
stretching out 
from my feet

What’s on the radio – 

Barnt:  Mayan Warrior and Robot Heart Tie Up @ Burning Man 2017 – Sunrise Set

Five Points – 16

What I’m reading – 

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress – Steven Pinker

Data proves we are living better today than ever before.

And that is what this book is about.  My friend Matt asked a few folks if they were keen to read this book and then discuss, and I’m glad he did, as it is so refreshing to be reminded that the world we live is actually doing quite well.

If you suffer from the blues and anxiety after clicking on a news site (like I do) or catching a glimpse on the telly, I highly recommend this book.  But don’t take my word for it.  Bill Gates reports “My new favorite book of all time.”

An Amazon Best Book of March 2018: Given the 24-hour news cycle to which we have grown accustomed, it’s difficult to navigate life and think that everything is peachy. But Steven Pinker has set out, first in The Better Angels of Our Nature, and now in Enlightenment Now, to illustrate that there has never been a better time to be a human being. In his new book, Pinker points out that the slow creep of progress is not as newsworthy as, say, an earthquake or an explosion. So it’s clear why we don’t always have the sense that things are getting better. But the Enlightenment—with its dedication to science, reason, humanism, and progress—has led people to live longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives. And Pinker uses charts, data, history, and a firm dedication to his cause to empirically prove that we are living in better times. It makes sense to be skeptical of a scientist arguing that that science is the answer. And his optimism won’t always jibe with your personal experience or judgement. But there’s lots to chew on here—and it’s so easy to obsess on the intrusions and negatives of technology and “advancement” that this book can serve as a kind of antidote. —Chris Schluep, the Amazon Book Review

Stack Overflow 2018 Developer Survey –

I really enjoy looking over stats and survey results such as these.

Stack Overflow is the preeminent destination online for software developers to discuss code.  If you can’t figure out how to squash a pesky bug, go there.  They will help.

This year they surveyed over 100,000 developers across the world to learn more about them…where do they live, how long have they been building software, what are the preferred languages, what platforms are dreaded the most…and a lot more.

Friends doing awesome stuff alert – 

Camille Childs, better half to my good friend Bryan Jones, wrote a book!

Feelings and Dealings – An empathy game for young kids

What’s on the radio – 

Mr. Bojangles – Sammy Davis Jr. –

Steven Hawking 1942 – 2018 –

He inspired so many with his intelligence and humor and determination.

This week especially, I’ve been pondering some of his quotes..

Dying – “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”
Humor – “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”
Women – “Women. They are a complete mystery.”
Depression – “Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up — there’s a way out.”
The meaning of life – “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”