Selling Time

Day 320 Week 44 Q4 Thursday, November 16, 2023

Have you ever finally completed a work, which could be a product that represents who you are in the world and what you want to be, and that you are proud enough of the result to go out and really sell it? And to also have the understanding that you are also selling yourself with this product.

It is a glorious feeling. All creative outliers have to earn a living along with everyone else unless they have inherited wealth or have a patron. I prefer the stakeholder path, where a group of people helps you, and you also try to make sure they get something in return for helping you. Just as I do not want to receive money without turning it in, which is why I am no longer interested in running a nonprofit. I am not comfortable asking for money, but I am comfortable earning money.

This is not so simple. I am not comfortable earning money doing something that I either do not want to do or do not think is producing any value in the world. I had no problem going out and selling the acoustic wave piano because I knew that it would positively change people’s lives, and it did. It also created a brand new mark for the self-contained electro-acoustical piano, which to this day sells at least in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, if not billions internationally.

That product came into being almost 40 years ago, and it was the last product. I was really excited about selling. I was also excited about bringing audio to the computer world and selling it while working at Apple.  But this is a different feeling. This time, I am not working for a large company. I am working for myself. I own all of the intellectual property, rights, and credit; although I had a lot of help, it is indisputably my work, and I can finally say that to the world, and this will not be the last one. This is the first of many.

This is clearly the path for me. I do want to have a me-sized company with a single person; although there could be contractors, there will not be people with equity. There is a single person in charge, and it is me. I very much like this feeling, and I am very much up to accepting the responsibility to make it succeed or fail.

The democratization of technology has reduced the barriers to entry to commence new enterprises. You do not necessarily need to have a manufacturing plant or a laboratory, or even a studio. You can have an idea and some skills and judgment and some capital and a lot of hours of work, and you can make something happen.

And as my father-in-law says, Go Forth Mightily!

Chaperoning and Championing

Day 310 Week 44 Q4 Tuesday, November 7, 2023

When we have new ideas or create new inventions, processes, music, art, or literature, we have to champion whatever it is, we created to get it out in the world until the world begins to ask us for our input, which usually doesn’t last very long, unless you become very famous and even that doesn’t have a long have Life usually.

Entrepreneurs have become so used to having to champion their ideas that we get locked into transmit mode and sometimes stop listening. This is not a good way to convince anybody of anything but when I am speaking of here is a different although related issue. Many people know they have to champion as well as to listen, but there is another function that we get to play because after all, these outputs are in someway our children, and they require parenting in the form of being a chaperone once in a while.

For example, you have written some thing which is getting into print and can assume that what we see on our screen will also be what we see printed on physical media like paper. This is never the case. Things look different on the surface, which is reflecting, light as compared to a screen, which is emitting light. Colors change, contrast, changes, darkness, and hue change. And if you really want to have some fun, try to get gradients to come out on paper the way they do on the screen.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

This is why you have to do to press checks. Will you look at a printed out proof of something before you begin to replicate it and make many copies. It sounds so simple to send a file to a printer and expect what comes out to look like that file. But all experienced graphic designers and artists know this is not the case.

Authors, on the other hand, may be surprised if they are more in tune to the actual words, then the colors and shading and spacing of what they have written, all of which can be subject to change in ways that you did not expect. In general, the result is worse than you expected not better.

This is why, before mess producing anything printed at all, you must get a press proof, which is actually printed on the materials that you would like to be printing upon. The same holds true for prototyping and pilot runs before attempting to mess produce anything.

I called this to your attention, because even if you have convinced everybody that they want you’re out, but your job is not done you still have to chaperone it to defend the integrity of your creation, or it will be altered in ways that may not please you. Don’t leave this to chance. Try it out.

Do you have to be both a champion and a chaperone, especially in this difficult age.

Idea Depot

Day 168 Week 25 Q2 Sunday, June 18, 2023

Creative Outliers can be fountains of ideas. These ideas can inspire, distract, guide and sometimes dominate lives. Depending upon the domains within which they occur, they can emerge fully formed or, more often, simply hint at a direction or even multiple directions. Historically they could be captured in notebooks which came in many sizes having many types of paper. Artists and writers had, and still have, a tremendous variety of capture mechanisms.  Stone tablets, digital tablets, and everything in between have been used to store and present expression. Word and math equations, sketches, diagrams and photographs, and audio and video recordings are all actively being used. They can fill warehouses and cabinets or, in this century now fit in your pockets. 

They generally require revisiting to iterate and evolve to manifestation and completion.  Categorization can be difficult as they may have very many associations, headings, titles and tags, especially in the mind of people whose minds seem to be on overdrive. A place for these partial expressions to reside during the phases from insights to completion can often be critical and time-varying. Society has even evolved more than one group of professionals to keep track. Librarians, curators and chief information officers come to mind, and they mostly deal with finished articles and works, but what about the in-process pre-finished versions? The ephemeral ones who are just passing through and which are just barely capturable but not yet shareable. The ones floating in the ether but able to be tuned in to, sometimes in snippets and other times almost complete.

Sometimes I feel like I am scuba diving in a sea of brightly colored moving concepts. There are far too many enticing swimmers to consider capture. In fact, there are too many even to notice, never mind comprehend. Unfortunately, this dimensionally vast stream, or at times sea of consciousness, can be so appealing to be immersed within that the act of breaking mid-stroke to stop and capture feels as crazy as dipping a ladle into an ocean while swimming in it. Where did you get the ladle from, and then what do you do with its contents when you are in the middle of the ocean?

At first, it was multiple physical index cards and pads, and then notebooks and file cabinets of all sizes, and now multiple hard drives, SSD’s and cloud accounts. In fact, there are far too many containers to keep track of, and these each contain tens to millions of files, pages or folders, both analog and digital. At first, I consoled myself with the thought that any idea worth something would certainly reappear enough times to grab hold of. Unfortunately, even multiple reappearances do not in any way guarantee the ability to grab hold of it or them.

My current thought is an idea depot which is not only a kind of multidimensional journal and media-rich repository but also, as the name depot implies, a dynamic way station where ideas can show up and be stored before they undergo a value-added departure.

It is like a swarm of media-rich ladles, each brimming with infinite possible manifestations. The phrase herding cats does not even begin to cover what is happening here. But as humans have graduated to extremely random access, tagged and linked, pocketable and cloud drift-able storage systems, we creative outliers now have a fighting chance to get our arms around the problem. This is a good thing as having recently transcended geographic proximity dominating who we hang out with and where we hang out with each other, we now have the technology to flexibly permit us to determine which ideas we get to hang out with and where we get to work with them.     

This is a very exciting time to be alive. Sunday, June 18, 2023, at 6:25:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Only 660 words in 48 minutes and not a moment of being stalled! And having missed all of the concrete measures of words per minute, screens filled, and total words, I still feel more than ready, centered and flowing, so much for one-dimensional numerical measures of dimensionally vast dynamically adaptive phenomena.

New Buckets

Day 165 Week 24 Q2 Thursday, June 15, 2023

Today’s topic is new buckets. There is not much point in making wine without a wine bottle or making a meal without a plate to put it in or booking yourself for a performance if you have nothing to play. We all have buckets, literally containers, to put things of value. Does the presence of buckets increase the likelihood of creating value? Do we commit to semesters of learning and then determine what courses to take? Does a musician book a performance and then determine what music to perform?

Sometimes, creating new buckets can be the key to creating new content to put into. As we take on and shed new and old roles, perhaps we are creating and disposing of buckets. I have created businesses and then determined what to do with them. I have had desires to perform musically, as a social exercise, and then use this as an excuse to write music and learn how to play it. I have felt the need to go out and give a speech and then determine the topic after this.

 I was told to create a new product, and then I had to figure out what that product would be. Many times in my life, I was presented with a new bucket or created one myself.

This is one of those times where I determined the new buckets could be a force of convergence within an otherwise overly creative life that needed focus.  At this point in time, it seemed reasonable to determine buckets that could be closely associated with specific roles. This prompted the question, what are your currently desired roles?

In my case, whether I admit it or not, I have always been a founder. I started my first business when I was 13, and I’ve never stopped. The second row home I fell into was that of a performing musician at the age of 15. I had never given any thought to performing when taking four guitar lessons at the age of six and a dozen piano lessons at the age of 10. But at the age of 15, when a bass player became available for a friend’s Sweet 16 Party, I was pressed into service as a bass player, having never touched a bass before. This is how I found myself at the age of 15 with two new roles, in addition to being a son, a student, and a big brother. Those two roles were as an entrepreneur and performing musician, and now 55 years later, I am still doing both.

So what are the two new buckets? Somewhere along the line of being an entrepreneur and inventor, I gave many talks to many audiences.  Initially, none of this was intentional either, but it did turn out to be a role that I liked playing, and this, too, has been continuing for most of my life. At some point, this public speaking became Keynote speaking, which also became very much like musical performing. It was and still is, very social and extremely gratifying, for it feels like I have something to offer audiences besides Notes being played.

So I guess the three buckets of founder, musician, and speaker all naturally evolved. The newest bucket has also come about mostly unintentionally. This bucket is the bucket of a writer.  Now, all of us in business end up having to write.  We may have to write copy, marketing, or scripts for presentations, but these are different than writing something you expect people to read. Around the age of 50, it became clear that I would have many more ideas than I could ever manifest. Eventually, I determined that at some point, I would have to begin writing about them if I wanted them to get out in the world.

This meant I would have to become a writer, and have been toying with the idea for 20 years. But now the time has come 

for this new fourth bucket to integrate with the other three. My four buckets are now founder, musician, KeyNoter, and writer, and they all are integrated or will soon be.  

And the means by which they can become more fully manifested, and integrated, is to consciously declare, create, and fill these four buckets simultaneously.

New Buckets:  Founder, Musician, Keynoter, Writer