Archives For robertc

Work on your art, work on your craft
Whatever it is, practice it
‘Cos when you practice it you honor it
When you treat it good, it treats you good
Don’t say “I’m an artist,” or, “I wanna be an artist”.
Be an artist.
And to be an artist you have to create.
— Blackalicious

Work on your art

As I mentioned previously Spotify needed to implement a “family plan”, which they’ve now done and announced yesterday.

But if subscription services are to gain the mass they need to be viable into the long-term, I believe optimal pricing is somewhere around $3 per month per user for a family-type plan, perhaps $5-8 for individuals.

As it stands, Spotify’s Family Plan offers a 50% discount off each extra account. For my family of four, that’s $25 per month; $300 per year. Pass!

According to Re/code:

Apple has been pushing the labels for more extensive price cuts. It wants to relaunch the Beats Music subscription service it bought last spring next year, and industry scuttlebutt is that it’s trying to get the price cut in half, to $5 a month.

Anyhow, why I call their Family Plan a fail is that they’ve gone half way. Why not simply cut the price to $5 for everyone on the plan. Simple.

Portishead’s Dummy was a revelation when I first heard it and like all great records has retained its vitality while revealing something new on each listen. Hope you like it too.

As an aside, I drove the band around Brisbane, Australia on their last tour. They really are fantastic people.

Short and fascinating Google production on the science of talking with computers. Well worth your time to help understand where we’re going. Here’s Google’s page on speech processing for more.

Some biz related books I’ve really enjoyed this year:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz taught lessons about how not to fail. A must read for startup founders.

Since I’m contrarian to a fault, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future was hugely enjoyable. Interesting how folks seemed to have zoomed in on his view of monopolies.

Which brings me to Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, which had U.S. economists up in arms and their Euro counterparts swooning.

According to the sheeple I ought to buy a copy of Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks. It was brought back to life by Open Road Media after Bill Gates mentioned it was his favorite biz book in a WSJ piece.

Last and most certainly not least is Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys. If Lewis’ prior works The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and Liar’s Poker, hadn’t made it abundantly clear how rigged Wall Street and financial markets are this sealed the deal. I read Flash Boys in one sitting and promptly bought Liar’s Poker and Big Short: they’re that good!