Category: Essays

Data Adjacent Decision Making

I’ve been talking a fair amount recently about the dangers of “data adjacent decision making.” This happens when you have a lot of numbers, and probably a graph, and you put them next to a decision, and then believe that your decision is based on solid scientific reasoning. I’ve seen...

Controlling Time

Last month I gave a hybrid talk at the Rhymes with Opera summer training program for singers and composers. Part of it was based on the same material as my talk for Fresh Inc., and the other part concerned my approach to putting music in theater. For the last few...

YouTube launches Crowdfunding as a feature

It was only a matter of time. It used to be that social networking was a specialized feature that was only done by specialized websites. Then social became a must-have feature for everyone. That’s what’s happening now to crowdfunding. YouTube is adding a tip feature to its channel, announced in...

Fresh Inc 2014

Last week I returned to the Fresh Inc Festival to speak about arts entrepreneurship (and specifically crowdfunding) to a group of young composers and performers. I was a little worried about doing the same talk over again, but as I began preparing my notes for the talk, I realized that...

Recent blogging at NewMusicBox

At New Music USA, where I work, we publish NewMusicBox. Coincidentally, NewMusicBox is turning 15 years old this month, and there’s a great series of posts examining the site’s history (in related news, you should make a donation to keep the site going for another 15 years). Occasionally I’ll contribute...

Stock Tips

Rachel Fershleiser once said “If I die, tell the New York Times I liked soup.” Then she made this soup zine with her friend Ami Greko. I think the Times will be able to figure it out on their own. Most of the zine (which you should buy at Housingworks)...

That damnable pick up artist Kickstarter.

That damnable pick up artist Kickstarter.

I had a chastising blog post all set to go. I was going to criticize Kickstarter’s decision, their slow response, and poor handling of the whole mess. Given how much I write about, talk about, and think about Kickstarter, I had to say something. Especially given how much I push...

Fresh Inc. Talk on Crowdfunding

In a lot of ways this is the fourth post in my oft-referred-to Kickstarter planning series from back in the day, and from over in the sidebar. This is the as-prepared text of my talk for The Fresh Inc Festival, which is happening right now in and around Chicago and...

Medieval Guild, Anyone?

So this is hypothetical-business-model-for-modern-artists-type-post. On the latest episode of Actually Happening, we were discussing a secret society called The Supreme Tribe of Ben Hur. They got started after a secret society promoter (actual job!) asked the author for secret society rights (really). The members were quite silly, like the Freemasons,...

Fresh Inc

I love helping artists be better at the career side of things, so I’m ecstatic to be speaking next month at the Fresh Inc Festival. Fifth House have put together an awesome program for emerging musicians, mixing awesome new music and career skills. I’m going to be talking about crowdfunding...

Laser-etched Victory Stele

My brother, Dennis, was about to turn thirty. My partner, Victoria, and I, wanted to give him something monumental… like a monument. So we decided to list all his accomplishments on a victory stele. I love this thing so much. Now, this is an old-fashioned thing to do. Very old-fashioned....

The Brat Whisperer

Much like The Responsibility Scallop, The Brat Whisperer* is another neologism of mine for organizational theory. One of the first things I learned building ensembles at conservatory was this: the first thing you do, fire the brat. If you can’t turn up on time, communicate clearly and quickly, be sensitive...