Today’s Playbook


We want to know you’re alive, that you’ve got feelings, that you believe in your message. Rational is passe. Jeb is rational, Trump is emotional. Who’s got a grip on the public consciousness? Who is mired in the morass? In an internet world where words inflame and everybody is pissed off to put on a smile and act like everything’s copacetic and if we all just got calm things would work out is to be marginalized. The internet has allowed the feelings of the public to enter the public eye. One does not want to be “other.” One wants to be just like the people playing the home game, which they’re doing, on their devices, constantly. To ignore this change is to be left behind.


An analogue of emotion. If you don’t believe it, we won’t either. Raise your voice, even yell and scream. Not so loudly you drown everybody else out, but to the point where we know you’re feeling something.


Something the Republican candidates cannot get a grip on. Yes, there are all kinds of internet rumors, but in the new world truth always outs, a visit to Snopes will deliver this. You don’t want to lie. This is the conundrum of Trump, he delivers his message passionately, but then he makes up whoppers that the rest of the Republicans don’t attack because they’re lying too. But when it gets to a general election, your past comes back to haunt you. Everybody’s hungry for straight talk. They’re sick of duplicity. It’s why TV is burgeoning and music is faltering. Come on, can you believe in some nitwit performer who’s taking money from a corporation that few believe in? Used to be life was an inside game, who you knew was most important. Now there’s a giant window instead of a steel curtain and everyone can see your behavior so unless you specialize in being dishonest, or are completely off the radar screen, you’d better hew to the truth.


Legacy is for the antiquated, left behind in the rearview mirror. Apple abandons ports seemingly willy-nilly, imploring its customers to either get on the bus or be left behind. Microsoft was so busy making their software backwards compatible that they got lost in the dust. Not only must you innovate, you must shed old paradigms that no longer apply in the new world. It is no longer business as usual. We are not only going to self-driving cars, but a near lack of car ownership completely. Adele selling tracks and CDs is akin to selling flip-phones to the aged. That’s right, adult women are the drivers of the Adele phenomenon, and this strategy has hurt the performer, because she’s absent from the playing field, the one where everybody else is, streaming. You never want to take yourself out of the game, you never want to reduce eyeballs. Putting money first is a shortsighted strategy that will come back to haunt you.


Hillary refused to attack Bernie and now it may be too late. Say what you’ve got to say. If you’re honest, truthful, display emotion and demonstrate passion people will be with you. In tech there’s a first-mover advantage. It applies in all walks of life today, where it’s so hard to get your message heard at all and you’re defined by your opening remarks.


It’s everything today. If you’re not willing to go into uncharted territory, you’re moribund, kind of like the music business. Top Forty is endless repetition of safe work to the point where most people have tuned out. Music will not be healthy again until those with the purse strings enable those with vision and convince gatekeepers that doing it the old way is death. Record stores were killed by iTunes and iTunes was killed by YouTube and Spotify. The bleeding edge is everything. And once you gain adherents you must constantly change and continue to explore and adjust. Uber just lowered rates in L.A. As if UberX wasn’t cheap enough, they now have a carpooling option. And what broke Uber was word of mouth. You build it and then they decide to come. If you think publicity is the way to break a new product, you believe early adopters pay attention to hype, but they don’t.


The Democrats scheduled debates on the weekend so few would view and they would be out of the public eye and Hillary could sustain her front runner status. Now that Bernie is neck and neck Hillary can’t get her message out, because no one is watching!


Life is long, the road goes on forever, and if you’re looking to win instantly I hope you’re also planning to get out of the game just as fast.


If you’ve got none, abandon. Marginal Republican candidates didn’t go up in the polls, they stayed low and then their money ran out and they gave up. Imagine you have a limited amount of money to fund your enterprise. Would you give up with the little headway you’ve made? Would you beg, borrow and steal for more with the little success you’ve had? Professionals cut their losses, amateurs keep persisting, believing their passion and personal stamina will make a difference. No. Not everything is a good idea, not everything generates cash. Techies are famous for the pivot. Take what’s good about what you’re doing and turn it into something else. Or take what’s good about your personality and pour it into a new endeavor.


The NFL keeps fighting the concussion backlash. If you don’t own your flaws, they will come back to haunt you. Society is riddled with that which is huge today and over tomorrow. The truth is a growing number of citizens are disillusioned with football because of the injury rate. If owners were smart, they’d diversify. Kroenke would buy a soccer team and install it in Inglewood. But too often the rich and famous believe their own hype, that they’re better than others and smarter than the marketplace, which then craters, making the way for new players. The Silicon Valley ethos is that change happens. You’d better believe it.


Oil prices crash, real estate goes up and down, if you’re an investor you diversify, if you’re a creator you know that your time may come, or it may not. This is what keeps the game interesting. We’re moving towards a great consolidation, life is too overwhelming, there’s a cacophony of messages. Only a few tech companies triumph and only a few artists/artistic enterprises will gain all of the mindshare. Everybody can play, but few can win, because people are overwhelmed with choice. The future is about a great unification of our country. With fewer outlets and fewer winners. Everybody can’t have a podcast, every streaming music service can’t survive… We want to be where our friends are, having a conversation about what we all know about. And we want our leaders to play to us, with truth, passion and honesty, that is the American Way. Risk-takers in touch with their audience leading us to the promised land. Either adopt the new plays or get out of the way, for the times they are a-changin’.

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