Benjy’s Late

Nobody plans to fail.

But they fail to plan.

That’s what the dental hygienist told me today. After telling me she moved to a new duplex in South Central L.A., an hour away. One day she decided to take the freeway, despite Waze’s incantations, but then it took an hour and a half. But she was still fifteen minutes early, she doesn’t want to be late.

On the drive into Beverly Hills Howard was chastising Benjy for being late, again. Told him he could lose this paying job and end up nowhere, like so many Stern alumni.

And this got me thinking, that half of the job is just showing up.

Forget the entrepreneurs, they’re a separate breed. But if you get there on time and do the assigned job you’ll climb the ranks, because so few others do!

Kinda like Daniel Glass telling me he only hires college graduates, not because you learn anything special in school, but because it shows you can complete something.

And this hygienist was a fountain of wisdom. She got married to a fifty year old and he had no retirement plan.

I have no retirement plan. I put some money in the bank, but not enough to get me to the end. And that’s where you want to go, the end.

She’s buying property, she’s learning along the way. It makes me wonder, what are my values, am I just a dreamer?

Last night I went to this “Influencers Dinner.” Utterly fascinating. Eight youngsters all on the make. People my age? They’re either running the business or they’re out. And it’s fascinating to hang with those in charge, who have power, but one forgets they’re making new people every day and that there are others who grew up with a passion for music.

One is starting a management company, Faction. It’s based on data and shared services.

You pay cost for an office and then you cough up 20-30% of your earnings, but you get shared services, social media experts, publicity, they’re built-in, available in the office, equity, and you get to use the app.

The app blew my mind.

Most of these things are half-baked. This one…

There was a whole approval system, a timeline, to make sure everybody had seen and signed off on something.

And you could allow people to talk to each other or not, you could end the conversation so you could move on with your project, or…

Andy Gould is in. Marc Friedenberg too. In six months they’ve exceeded expectations. There is still disruption to be had in the music business.

But I stressed it’s still run by duplicitous renegades, who march to the beat of their own drummer.

The majordomo said he was doing it for the artists, to claw back a bunch of the revenue leaking to others. Good mission, but artists tend to be ungrateful, it’s in their DNA. You’ve got to be screwed up to make it, and it’s your only chance, so…you make decisions others won’t and whine about it.

The organizer of the dinner started a publishing and record company. He used to work at Kobalt, now he’s on his own. He’s got a website where you suggest acts, the suggester gets a percentage of future revenue. This guy has signed four acts already. Spotify took a liking to one and in a matter of months its track has gotten 1.7 million streams and the majors are nibbling.

But the game is getting harder.

And it’s more sophisticated.

Tech is integrated into music. Which is why education will pay dividends in the future. The old gofer becomes President paradigm? Guy from the street makes it to the top? That’s probably going by the wayside, all the winners have skills and are much more intelligent.

And on the way home from the dentist, where I thought I had a broken tooth, having eaten two bowls of those hot nuts they serve you on American Airlines…

I heard Matt Nathanson’s “Come On Get Higher.” Howard was in commercial so I pushed the button for No Shoes Radio and after a John Mayer song, this came on.

I’d never heard it before, but I just checked on Spotify and it has 34,511,335 streams. Turns out I’m the last one to get the message. But I immediately knew I liked it, because music is first and foremost emotional, when it comes from the gut it resonates. And I wondered if it was the situation, driving on Olympic towards the beach after dodging a dental bullet. But I’m listening right now and it still sounds good.

Life is an adventure. Your job is to leave the house every day. Interact. You’ll learn lessons where you least expect to. Every person has wisdom, some are trying to get ahead, some are falling behind and…

I want to hear all of their stories.

“Come On Get Higher”

P.S. Faction is run by Robb McDaniels, who started INgrooves. Benjamin Groff is the guy who used to work at Kobalt…

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