Five Points – 38

Disclosure –

Several times over the past week disclosure was a topic of focus.  It reminded me of an adage I learned as a real estate broker over 15 years ago, and one I still adhere to:

With regard to disclosure:  If there is any doubt, there is no doubt (that the information should be disclosed).

Staying true to this model has proven over and over to be a good idea.

Cheetah – 

The planet’s fastest land animal in all his glory…102km/h

Colorized History – 

I have long standing fascination with flying airplanes, and of course, North Carolina as well.  It is hard for me to imagine the wonder witnessing this event would have caused.  Circa ~ 1902

What I’m Listening To – 

A Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin @ The Kennedy Center

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 – Citi Report Posts Inaccuracies / IMPALA Worried Over Sony’s EMI Deals / Spotify Launches Music Credits on iOS

Five Points – 37

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen –

One of my favorite books, a tale of how a graduating vet student at the turn of the century runs away after tragedy by blindly jumping the next train rolling by.  It ends up being the Circus.  And it also turns out to be one heck of a story, narrated by that same man, only 60 years later…I won’t spoil the end of the story.

And this recent tidbit in the news reminded me of the above and evoked a smile…for removal of doubt, I fully intend on exhibiting this behavior when the time comes.

Purchase I’m Enjoying – 

I visited Japan for work at the end of last year and learned that a bidet toilet seat is standard issue in the country.  It was my first experience with a robotic booty cleanser, but it was a good one.  One that made me rethink things a bit.  I reckoned, if I were taking my dog for a walk to do his business and got a wee bit of poo on my arm whilst preparing a doggie baggie, I’d wash it off.  I probably would not only use dry paper.  Plus, my bum has been so reliable and nonjudgemental, it deserves a bit of special attention.

Also, in buying my house, inspections told me that my septic system was old and fragile…it wouldn’t be a good idea to put tons of toilet paper down it, lest I replace it soon to great expense.  And with virtually unlimited water (I have a spring that produces a surplus of water for the property), using water would be a much safer route than loads of TP.  It’s also noteworthy, that it takes 37 gallons of water to produce a roll of TP and about 1/8th of a gallon per use via a bidet (

Toto Washlet Bidet Toilet Seat 

Liquid in Space – 

I find it fascinating how liquids perform in zero gravity.  And to add chemicals that produce bubbles… Check out the video!

In Depth Read – 

Citi: Global Perspectives and Solutions has produced a rather in depth study of the music business.  It’s dense, but explains the business from a high level, with plenty of charts and graphs and stats.  You might enjoy it if you’re keen to learn more of the nuance of the mechanics embedded in your favorite track.

Remastering the World of Music

The music industry is in the midst of two profound changes. First, consumers are increasingly opting to rent — rather than buy — music. Second, the demise of physical music has prompted artists to tour more often, driving significant growth in concerts and festivals.

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.

Five Points – 36

Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall  –

I’ve just finished reading a most fascinating new book from the lauded writer of Born To Run, Christopher McDougall.  Natural Born Heros ties the tales of how Crete became a critical component to the evolution of WWII across Eurasia for both the Axis and the Allies.  But Churchill wouldn’t send to The Sliver young men suitable for the front lines.  No, it would only be misfits and poets and well traveled gipsies and academics and women…all of whom were better with their wits and ability to shape shift and finesse and endurance than pure brute strength.  For, battling these particular Nazi’s, whom just discovered a precursor to crystal meth, head to head had proven to not be so wise.  An interesting facet to the story, again, is its setting, as Crete is quite literally the home of one of the most famous hero stories ever – the Odyssey by Homer.  And this heritage spelt bad news for Hitler.  Not only would the residents and their adopted mainly British resistance prove most difficult to kill, they delighted in sculduggery, mischief, sneak attacks in the middle of the night, and most proponderously, kidnapping one of two Nazi generals on the island to use for propaganda against the tweaking infantry.

The story is woven with reference to modern physiology, endurance, and strength with regard to parkour – a way of moving through the crags fo the Cretan landscape, paleo diet – the only available food to eat was most basic, and finally, how anyone can be a hero, in fact, it is the average person, not the one groomed since birth to be Emperor, that is capable of being a true hero.

Purchase I’m Enjoying – 

In an ongoing journey to be a bit more healthy, I’ve realized drinking water, or the lack thereof, is a critical component I can easily change.

I have spring water at my home that is as good as any I’ve ever had, so it’s easy for me to fill up several of these to easily consume over the course of the day.  Apart from the simple cardboard packaging they come in, I am not forced to add to my home’s waste footprint either.

Bormioli Rocco Giara Clear Glass Bottle With Stopper [Set of 4] $21.99 –

Two Bit Circus – 

Hector Alvarez and Dan Busby, along with awesome band of mad scientists, roboticists, artists, and storytellers are opening a micro amusement park in Los Angeles!  This group of folks are some the smartest, most creative and industrious, fun loving I’ve ever known.

If you’re in town, I highly suggest giving it a looksy.

Check out a few of their recent news articles! 

Quote I’m Pondering – 

Despite my best efforts and quite a fuss, my girlfriend has moved in with me.  After enjoying a meal and some time together, a good friend rightly said to to me in front of both of us, “Wow.  You’re definitely getting the better end of this deal.”  I have to agree.  She’s wonderful.  And smart and funny and beautiful and kind and interesting…I could go on.  Suffice to say, there isn’t anything so magical as throwing oneself with blind abandon into love.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to find all the barriers you have built up against it” ~ Rumi

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 – SESAC Reaches Compromise Over MMA / Sony Acquires All Of EMI / Vivendi To Sell 50% Of UMG

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

Five Points – 30

Where The Wild Things Are Secret Forest Camp – 

I had only two contingencies in purchasing my house outside Nashville 1) ability to get internet 2) proven demand for airbnb guests to stay

The first one was easy..I just ordered internet to be connected.

The second one was satisfied by my creating a fake ad on, using photos I found on Pinterest, and writing up a clever description of what I envisioned – while using my actual address.  I used airbnb’s dynamic pricing, which will change as per demand on the site, allowing me to understand what rent it may command.

Within 3 days I had several solid inquiries…a couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary and wanting to get out of town for the weekend…a couple traveling from Chicago to Atlanta to visit their son at college and needing to break up the trip…and a couple moving from St. Louis to Nashville and needing a spot to crash for the 6 week gap between their previous house closing and the the new place (and my day rate $100 was ok with them)…regretfully, I had to decline them all, as I had no airbnb setup, but I certainly proved my theory.  I then removed the ad..or rather, “snoozed” it.

Next I had to go out and get an Airstream.  Get power and water to it.  Establish a sewer.  Repair all of the systems.  Build a deck.  Decorate it. And buy some of those little soaps.

Happy to report she’s now available for guests.  Tonight, the first strangers will stay.

​If friends and family are keen to stay in the camper, as opposed to the house, just let me know the dates and I’ll block out it for you.  I would only ask for $20 to pay for it to be cleaned and turned over on your departure.

Spoons –

I started carving spoons a couple months ago and I’m really enjoying the process.  One thing I really like about making this particular art is that a piece can be finished in a couple hours.​

A Matter Of Perspective – 

My dear friend Calli Beck just launched a kickstarter – Matter Of Perspective: Modern Views of Mountains // She wants to use robots to create visually stunning backlit wall hangings from steel, acrylic, and wood.

She’s already over half way to funding her project.  Please consider supporting her effort.

Quote I’m Thinking About –

In your day-to-day negotiations with clients and colleagues fight for the kings and queens and bishops but throw away the pawns. A habit of graceful surrender on trivial issues will make you difficult to resist on those rare occasions when you must stand and fight on a major issue.

David Ogilvy​

What I’m Reading – 

RAND – Autonomous Vehicle Technology – A Guide For Policy Makers

For the past hundred years, innovation within the automotive sector has created safer, cleaner, and more affordable vehicles, but progress has been incremental. The industry now appears close to substantial change, engendered by autonomous, or “self-driving,” vehicle technologies. This technology offers the possibility of significant benefits to social welfare — saving lives; reducing crashes, congestion, fuel consumption, and pollution; increasing mobility for the disabled; and ultimately improving land use. This report is intended as a guide for state and federal policymakers on the many issues that this technology raises.

After surveying the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, RAND researchers determined that the benefits of the technology likely outweigh the disadvantages. However, many of the benefits will accrue to parties other than the technology’s purchasers. These positive externalities may justify some form of subsidy. The report also explores policy issues, communications, regulation and standards, and liability issues raised by the technology; and concludes with some tentative guidance for policymakers, guided largely by the principle that the technology should be allowed and perhaps encouraged when it is superior to an average human driver.

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.

I wrote the YouTube Guide For The Music Business (20 min read) over a year ago.  It is the authoritative resource on the subject that exists, gets read about 50+ times a day from all over the world, and was used at two universities for curriculum in the United States this past year.  I’m proud of this.  I went on to write about 60 more chapters covering nearly every facet of the music business.  I had trouble finding the large blocks of time needed to edit them..and I’m not such a good editor anyhow…so I hired 3 brilliant Belmont students, 2 of whom have recently graduated and 1 that is still attending, to help me compile and polish the remainder of work.  So far, these are published for free on our website and a new one is published each week:

All the credit to Mamie Davis, Jacob Wunderlich, Luke Evans, and my business partner, Rene Merideth, for writing, editing, and helping me publish these guides.

Five Points – 29

Podcast Converter – 

Part of my job as the CEO of Exploration is to identify media to administer (e.g. manage the copyrights, resolve inevitable ownership conflicts, and account / pay royalties).  Until recently, our clients consisted exclusively of music publishers, record labels, and TV/Film companies.

But I’m always on the hunt for new verticals…

I got to thinking…there must be a gazillion hours of analog media on reels in the basement of Yankee Stadium…all of the world class commentary and banter, the chirps and one liners, the news that broke during the games of the greatest team…I wonder if there were any way I could digitize them to allow for distribution and ultimately monetization on YouTube or another platform.  Is there a large enough market for that stuff to make it worth while?  Is the licensing sorted out, I rhetorically asked myself.  I told myself to maybe think of another idea…seemed to be a bit too much gristle around it to really make money and a difference.

Then my mind skip traced to another idea..somewhat connected to finding bodies of work that are going un-monetized and have mass appeal – PODCASTS!!!

So, I built a free tool that turns an audio only podcast MP3 into an audio/video MP4 for distribution on YouTube and Facebook.  You just cut/paste the address of the audio from iTunes/Skitcher/SoundCloud and drag/drop an image to create a static video.  The rendering and distribution all takes place in the cloud, which is a good – it takes somewhere on the order of 4 to 10 times the length of time to render audio to video on a laptop, depending on the power of one’s machine then to upload it may double the time again…try doing this for your entire podcast library…better go get a sandwich.

I quietly made this available to a few professional podcasters about a year ago and word of mouth has powered the app’s growth ever since.  We’ve only just now added logging on the back end to be able to monitor the amount of video being produced…but I estimate the total to be in the multi-10k hours at this point.

If you or someone you know is producing podcasts, you may consider this tool for distribution on YouTube and Facebook.  It’s free.


Belt –

One hack that I recently learned is that a belt with a composite buckle doesn’t need to be removed at airport security.

A bit of experimenting led me to the Propper Tactical Duty Belt ($10).  It’s designed for Law Enforcement/Military, so its super strong and built to carry stuff on it.  It’s also pretty innocuous.  And perhaps most important, it’s infinitely adjustable…the buffet better watch out!

Battery Charger – 

This battery charger is a beast.  It’s a quite heavy, but it’ll charge my phone 8 times with one recharge.  It’ll also charge my MacBook.  I’ve travelled for a week and never plugged into the wall.

I found this charger via Matt Mullenweg’s (founder of WordPress and others) annual What’s In My Bag post last year.  Here’s this year’s –

In and Of Itself –

I had to work in New York City this past week and was lucky enough to see In and Off Itself at the Daryl Roth theatre.  It’s a small theatre, off broadway magic show.  And it is completely wonderful.  Definitely check it out if you find yourself in the City.  Many thanks, Miles Feinberg, for the ticket and good company!

What I’m Reading and Re-reading – 

Paul Graham’s Essay‘s are required reading for anyone building a startup.  He was built what became Yahoo Stores and then, more importantly, Y Combinator, the preeminent startup incubator in the world.  Learning and applying the guidance generously shared via these articles is like getting a solid head start in a hard race.  I reread a few of his essay’s this week while on the road.

Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule
Do Things That Don’t Scale
How To Make Wealth

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 – Investors Respond to Spotify’s Direct Licensing Deals / NMPA Discusses DOJ Consent Decrees / Net Neutrality Officially Ends

Five Points – 28

Tim Ferriss – 

There hasn’t been an author/creator to have a larger impact on my life than Tim Ferriss.

I first found him via his first book – The Four Hour Work Week – . — where I learned how to use outsourcing and systems to free me up for more work or other things I enjoyed.

I then was afforded the opportunity to review both The Four Hour Body ( and The Four Hour Chef ( prior to their public release.

I’ve maintained my weight and lost some when I felt it to be important via The Slow Carb Diet (

  • Don’t eat things that are white or can be white…and replace them with a legume
  • eat the same thing over and over again
  • Don’t drink calories
  • Go crazy and eat what ever I want once a week
I’ve really enjoyed the multitude of characters interviewed on his podcast –  A few that stick out:

I just appreciate his approach to living and designing his life.  And I’m grateful for his generosity in sharing the methods and tricks that have made it possible.

What I’m Reading –

Mary Meeker – Kleiner Perkins – Internet Trends Report 2018 –

For folks working on and around the internetz, much of this information might not be surprising…I’m still amazed

What I’m Watching – 

Watch a Mesmerizing Flyover of New York in 12K –

Quote I’m Pondering –

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. ~ Hanlon’s Razor (

I would add “…and ignorance and incompetence” to the end.  Most folks just don’t know…they aren’t trying to hurt me…and as such, my reaction to them should have this simple fact in mind.

What I’m Watching – 

Game 4 of the NBA Finals in a few minutes!!!  Go Golden State!!!