David Bowie – Bond Genius

Before I get to the “bond genius” part of the title, a personal moment, to share my 3 Bowie favorites:

Diamond_dogsAlbum: Diamond Dogs – nothing like it. On first listen, it’s nearly repelling, in its unconventional musicianship and song-writing. But, listen closely and play it again, and the whole thing starts to become absolutely mesmerizing – an other-worldly lyrical vision and sound.

Song: Rebel, Rebel – ironically, the “hit” from Diamond Dogs. The irony is from the fact that the song sounds nothing like the rest of the album. Being over 40 years old, the track is far lesser-known to the Gen X and Y kids. It gets lost because it’s sandwiched in between the original Ziggy tracks and the latter-day, far better known Let’s Dance tracks. But, for my money, Rebel, Rebel is one of the most hard-charging rock-and-roll riffs of all time.

Video: Heroes – just watch…

bowie - backyardLive: The Backyard, Austin TX, April 27, 2004 – An amazing night. The Austin Chronicle’s review is on target, but of course comes up short with being able to capture the magic of the night.

Bowie was “on” and the crowd ate it up, me included. He and the band delivered the perfect set list. A night and a concert performance I’ll never forget.

* * *

Ok, now for the “bond genius” part. For this, I have to give full credit to one of my new favorite, morning newsletters, Quartz. I recommend that you check it out. It’s become part of my morning routine, with multiple round-the-clock issues available to be sent to your email. I get the early morning edition that hits my inbox around 5am.

This past weekend, they editors did a marvelous intro to the daily edition, talking about Bowie’s forward-thinking, on multiple levels. I really can’t improve on what they wrote, so I’m citing it here, in full – all credit (copyright) goes to Quartz. (Keep up the good work, Team Quartz!)

“If you ever doubted that David Bowie was from the future, consider how Ziggy Stardust clairvoyantly shorted the music industry.bowie - new yorker

The late musician was always internet savvy—he started his own ISP way back in the AOL days, and was among the first artists to offer a downloadable album, just when Napster was starting to scare the bejesus out of the record labels.

His insight into digital music led him to predict the internet’s disruption of the music industry and cash out early. Back in 1997, he created an entirely new financial instrument: “Bowie bonds” were essentially a bet against the recorded-music business, providing the musician a $55 million payout, secured by future royalties from his enormous back catalog.

”Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity,” he told the New York Times in 2002. “The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. So it’s like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again.”

In 1999, global music industry revenues were $14.6 billion; by 2009, they were only $6.3 billion. The entire offering of Bowie bonds was sold to Prudential Securities, which didn’t turn out to be very prudent: The 10-year bonds were eventually downgraded to junk status as music sales, including Bowie’s back catalog, evaporated.

Not all of Bowie’s predictions came true: He also told the Times that copyright itself was doomed. Due to the lobbying prowess of major media companies, copyright protection is stronger than ever—not that it has helped musicians much.

Streaming music services like Spotify pay out tiny fractions of a penny for every song played, making most professional musicians dependent on touring and other revenue streams. (Bowie predicted that too.)

Incidentally, the banker who helped to create Bowie bonds is now securitizing the royalty streams of one-hit wonders like Right Said Fred, the luminaries behind “I’m Too Sexy.”

RIP, Starman.”

RIP, indeed. Carpe diem, my friends.

Are You Naturally Caffeinated? Get the Book!

Hey – the new book is here! Actually: the new booksthere are 3 of them!!

1 – Naturally Caffeinated: Addicted to EntrepreneurshipEbook (free download)

2 – Naturally Caffeinated: The Community EditionAbridged edition

3 – Naturally Caffeinated: The Community EditionDirector’s Cut edition

nc-book-abridged

More than 70 contributors from Austin and around the world! Lessons learned and stories of inspiration! By experienced entrepreneurs, for first-time founders and students of entrepreneurship!

Learn everything about the history, contributors, publisher, special features and more on the “NCtheBook” website.

Entrepreneurship Haiku

bbv-haiku-copyright-say-hello-yellowI’ve been having some evening fun with poetry lately, using a very basic form of the Japanese Haiku. The basic form I’ve used is a series of words totaling 5 syllables, then 7, then 5, with each set of words on a different line.

It’s the kind of thing you may remember doing in grade or middle school, as a way for your English teacher to get you interested in trying your hand at poetry. For the subject matter, I’ve been using “startups” and “entrepreneurship,” rather than nature or everyday objects.

I like it, because it forces you – in the same way twitter’s 140 characters limit forces you – to reduce a thought or idea down to its essence. Here are three examples, which by the way, all fit as tweets!

“The unbeatable quality of persistence”

Grinding it out now.
Grinding it out yesterday.
Tomorrow? More please!

“How do you recognize a real MVP?”

Your valuation
matters not; nor does your app.
Only: Will they buy?

“Hiring versus contracting”
When do you outsource?
When cheaper, faster, non-core.
If not, forget it!
I hope to read some examples of your entrepreneurship or startup Haiku in the future!

Might As Well Face It…

BAILEYS FINAL DECK 0201.pptxI’ve just completed my eleventh book, Naturally Caffeinated: Addicted to Entrepreneurship. You can download it by clicking on this link.

It’s the eighth book that I’ve authored in whole or part. For the other three, I served as the producer and/or editor.

This book is different than the earlier ones in my career in two ways:

  1. It’s the first one made available as an Ebook first, with a print edition planned second (more on that later…), and
  2. It’s only the second book I’ve self-published.

The last time I self-published was five years ago, when I produced a book on Strategic Community Investment. Now, as then, I went with a small-format book for the express purpose of getting a core kernel of thought in distribution, to be later followed by an expanded, enhanced version.

NCtheCommunityIn fact, the plan this time was to do something a bit more collaborative.

So, I worked with an Austin-based publishing platform called Weeva to produce The Community Edition of the book.

For the next 60 days, until mid-August, we plan to solicit lessons learned, advice, and personal reflections to be contributed to The Community Edition from experienced entrepreneurs, as well as first-time founders, from Austin and around the world.

Then, in mid-September, Weeva will produce a beautiful, print version of the book, available for purchase…not unlike the one in the picture above.

What is the book about, with a title like Naturally Caffeinated: Addicted to Entrepreneurship, you may ask? For the answer to that question, I invite you to read “More About the Ebook” on its website.

In the meantime, suffice it to say, the title reflects a sentiment akin to that of Robert Palmer’s infamous GQ-rock hit, with alteration: “Might As Well Face It, I’m Addicted to Entrepreneurship.”

twitter-addicted-to

Pick a Title for My Entrepreneurship Ebook

coffe-stain-typographyI’m working on the draft of a new Ebook.

It’s a quick, easy read of lessons learned from my years as an entrepreneur…the reading length will likely be less than 100 pages.

Most people that know me a bit, know I enjoy coffee.

So, with that as a personal thematic backdrop, I’m narrowing in on titles that link back to coffee. Here are the top three candidates for the Ebook’s title:

  1. “Naturally Caffeinated: When You’re Addicted to Entrepreneurship”
  2. “I Like My Startup Like My Coffee: in the Black”
  3. “5 AM Clarity: Reflections from the Day’s 1st Cup of Coffee”

Consider this request to be a lot like the SXSW panelpicker, if you’ve ever participated in that polling.

Your choice will comprise about 1/3 of the decision making process, with another 1/3 being close advisors/sponsors, and a final 1/3 being my own judgment call. So, your vote definitely matters!

Just drop it into the comments below, tweet it to me, or email me using the Contact page form. Clever themes and variations, as well as wholly new suggestions, are welcome.

Thanks! And, I’ll let you know when it’s available…should be sometime in June.