Ever watch “How’s Its Made” and there’s this complicated ass machine literally piecing together and building some kind of complicated product. There are arms grabbing, and lasers cutting, belts moving things, and just miracle after miracle of modern automation. Then there’s this dude who moves the finished product into a box and slaps a label on. And the viewer wonders why the fuck did they need a person to do that lousy step? That job doesn’t stand a chance.
First, a little context. The point of this wasn’t to create a consumer experience, so don’t go to the link and expect one. It’s a download tool, no more and no less. But it didn’t exist before and now it does. What you will get if you click the link is the ability to store local copies of your genotype and health results.
Today for the very first time, you can go to Spotify and stream Led Zeppelin…
We’ll let that sink in for a moment… LED. ZEPPELIN.
In case you missed the news, this morning Spotify announced an exclusive deal to become as the only place fans can stream the band’s catalog. And if that wasn’t…
The fact that we (Topspin) has even a small part of this is like a dream come true. I mean this is LED ZEPPELIN! Holy. Shit. Someone threatened to include my Led Zeppelin tattoo in the post. Really glad that didn’t happen.
We must completely rethink school. We put kids in classrooms for hours each day and put an amazing amount of boring stuff into their heads. And the worst part is: they don’t even need this stuff! Forcing your children into knowledge is not the solution. We must have a behavioral approach to school.
And in order to do this, we can go much further than MOOCs. We must teach the young generation how to think not what to learn. And rather than constraining kids, why not making them enjoy their learning time? I’m pretty sure today that playing Legos taught me much more and much better than 20 years of school every day.
I mean, the government can collect everybody’s e-mails and calls, but they don’t have the resources to monitor them all. But what’s important about a surveillance state is that it creates the recognition that your behavior is susceptible to being watched at any time. What that does is radically alter your behavior, because if we can act without other people watching us, we can test all kinds of boundaries, we can explore all kinds of creativity, we can transgress pretty much every limit that we want because nobody’s going to know that we’re doing it. That’s why privacy is so vital to human freedom.
For over two years, alongside a small group of awesome, passionate, brilliant music fans, I’ve been deeply involved in the creation of Beats Music, a new curated music streaming service. We’ve had so many ups and downs as the project has evolved, so many setbacks and frustrations, there were times I wasn’t sure it would ever see the light of day.
But our scrappy room of enthusiastic creators back in 2011 (Trent Reznor, Fredric Vinna, Brian Frank, Jens Jonason, Scott Plagenhoef, and myself, with the corporate guidance of Jimmy Iovine and Luke Wood) eventually gained the power of MOG's team, the masterful design input of R/GA, followed by many new recruits and the leadership of CEO Ian Rogers, and we were finally able to start executing and expanding some of the many ideas we were once merely scribbling on a whiteboard.
Now, Beats Music is finally launching in January. It’s only the beginning of what we have in store, but I’m beyond excited to finally get it in peoples’ hands and show the world what we think a music subscription service can be. Claim your username now and stay tuned.
Here’s a quote from me about Trent’s role in the product, from today’s FADER post about the January launch:
Trent’s experience with creating Nine Inch Nails, not just as a band but also as a brand, as an experience, as a culture, and his business savvy, makes him very adaptable into other situations that require creativity with an understanding of branding and perception and user experience. Jimmy [Iovine] has a tremendous amount of respect for Trent. But when Jimmy initially brought Trent on board at Beats, he was looking at him just as a producer and an audio guy. Saying, “Trent why don’t you come in and check out what we’re doing in here and take a look at some headphones and see how you would improve the sound.” It was by chance then that Jimmy mentioned this other Beats project, this streaming music service. That was something Trent was really interested in, problem solving as it pertains to the music industry and business models. Trent and I have spent a lot of time talking about that previously, so he brought me along and we ended up going in there and turning the whole project upside down with our ideas. Since then, Trent has continued to hold this very high creative role in Beats Music. It’s been interesting to take everything we’ve learned from our experience bringing Nine Inch Nails out into the world, our thinking about what fans want, and apply that to this new situation.