Imagination, Personal Growth, and Technology

23 11 2013

I’m pretty sure we got our first computer in 1991.  It was fairly limited in what it could do and I was often afraid I would make “it” mad causing it to break at a push of a key.

In 1993, my sister pulled out one of my last baby teeth, so that the “tooth fairy” could give us enough money needed to get the Sega Genesis, which we had saved up for over the past year from chores and such.

In 1994, I got a TV in my room.

As time passes, advanced technologies become cheaper and their perceived quality improves, so I guess it was the first time for my family where we could have a TV in living room, kitchen, basement, and all the bedrooms instead of having one in the living room where everyone would be forced to watch the same thing similar to the time that I never lived through where the whole family would crowd around the radio.

Between the computer upstairs, video games in the basement, and the TV in my room, why would I need to use any form of imagination when I could be overloaded with whatever media I wanted and not really have to think.

I considered myself to be creative growing up, but not in the same way as I was when there was no TV and no affordable personal computers.  Using my action figures I would create stories and worlds beyond the moment, place, and time I was in.  When I began to have someone else’s creation being fed to me through games, TV, and the internet, I started to consume instead of create, so my imagination began to deplete.

This depletion continued through most of high school.  I used to joke and say I never really read until I was 16 and it was never a book school told me to read.  When you read, you’re forced to use the guidance of the writer’s words to envision a story as if you’re the director by activating your imagination as a collaborator with writer.  However, this isn’t to say that movies or games aren’t beautiful, thoughtful, or imaginative.  I only blame myself for using those mediums in the wrong way and overusing them in general.  After allm imagination and curiosity has lead to every technological advancement we’ve made a society.

At a certain point, I said enough with the noise.  I started writing more, reading more, creating more, thinking differently, and being way more imaginative.  Technology has allowed me to both create and share what I create in an easy way.  It has allowed me to grow and take life into my own hands.

I’m curious to see how my friends’ children and cousins’ children will grow over the next couple years…how they’re able to juggle technology and imagination.

SoundCtrl’s 2010 Internet Week Event

14 06 2010

Thursday was a blast.  My full recap is on the SoundCtrl blog.  However, I gotta give a big thanks to my friends Gabe, Vanessa, Hannah, Alex, Justin, Lisa, Jon (who also wrote this awesome guest post), Scott, Natalia, Julian, Michael, and David for coming out.  And another shout out to my neighbors Karri and Brian for making it too…it was quite the surprise.  I truly appreciate the support from all of you!!!

avner and tommy

photo by: Erica Gannett

TechCrunch Disrupt Conference

25 05 2010

I’ve been there for the past two days and have seen some incredible things and met some truly amazing people.  However, nothing was as funny as Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz telling Michael Arrington, the Co-Editor of TechCrunch, to fuck off.

For more info, check out my recap on SoundCtrl.

A very suitable analogy

28 04 2010

I was talking to my friend Jon on gchat a little while ago.  He recently had a meeting with a larger record label to develop iPhone apps for them.  It dawned on me that that behemoth did some house cleaning at one of its labels, so they could save money and spend it on innovative music tech companies such as the one Jon works for.  That made this analogy for the music industry come to mind (note – I completely made this up and is not based on an older analogy):

In the shipping industry, it’s the companies who invest in planes that make it through the drought.

So now the question is:  what is the plane for the music industry?

I’m looking for some new clients..anyone interested?

19 04 2010

I just got back from a 50 mile bike ride and got thinking.  Now that SXSW and a few other things are behind me, I’m looking to take on more clients for consulting.  “Consulting for what?”  Well that’s a good question.  Consulting for social media, creating and developing a YouTube music series, street team development and tips on self-managing it, writing newsletters and building the list, touring strategy, business plan editing for music tech startups…and the list goes on.

I don’t have set fees and spend a lot of working with the client to determine what works for his or her budget.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me to say hello and include as much of the following as you can:

  • Links to your web presence
  • 2 sentences about your music/company/idea
  • What sort of service(s) you are seeking?
  • Whether you live in New York or are going to be there anytime soon (not a deal breaker if you’re outside, but I like to meet in person at least once)

Social Engineering applied to Music

6 02 2009

In college, I majored in Political Science with a concentration in political philosophy. Junior year, I took a class on the politics of technology. The teacher was so far left that I felt like a neo-con. This guy would ride his bike to class everyday when there were students on campus who would drive because they were too lazy to walk from their house (note: not me of course). However, he helped me to understand that when problems occur, they mainly result from technology (click to see the broader definition). Now when attempting to solve a problem, we can take two main paths: technological fix or social engineering.

For me, a technological fix is using technology as a means to temporarily fix instead of  terminating a problem. It’s the RIAA suing people for illegally downloading. It’s the majors having faith in ring tones or digital downloads. It’s the majors hounding YouTube for royalties. In the geo- political realm of things, it’s New Orleans building a levee where a city should never been in the first place.

Whereas social engineering demands drastic social changes on behalf of people instead of using other forms of technology to temporary fix a problem. It should tell the music industry that they need to make money while fulfilling the needs and services of their costumers. In the last ten years, the majors have been treating their consumers as enemies, which is no way to run a business.

Most people don’t want to pay for music, so why charge? This is where we’re at, so wanting the “glory days” to come back, using scare tactics, or the repackaging of music will never sustain steady levels of income.

A concept I have been considering (note:  not the one for which I am writing a business plan) is for the labels to distribute for no cost (ie give away the music for free), but get a small percentage (<5%) of the total income of the artists which includes touring, merchandising, sponsorships, and licensing. It’s not really a 360 deal because they wouldn’t be controlling the artist. They’d be distributing the music and being a liaison between the artist and the third party involved in a licensing opportunity.

This allows the labels to do their jobs as the filter for new music as well ensuring that they pick up change from diverse forms. The artist would be completely free to do what they want when they want. ALSO, consumer demands of free music would be met.

I’d have to go over the financial accounting of this proposal, but in theory it sounds a lot more like social engineer than a technological fix.


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