Thirty years ago tomorrow, I was sitting in a café smelling of chlorine and tequila having just left an all night pool party. Waiting for an opportunity to talk to the barista, a beautiful girl named Sheri, who I had crush on, I came across a newspaper article that would turn my life upside down and take me to the Soviet Union. The full story publishes tomorrow.
Tim Murphy at Mother Jones wrote a fascinating article about one of the most talked about product disasters in history. Interestingly it wasn't the product that failed.
The popular version goes like this: In the early 1980s, not content with producing the world’s most recognizable beverage, greedy executives tweaked the recipe for the first time in 94 years. They redesigned the can, launched a massive marketing blitz, and promised a better taste. But Americans wouldn’t stand for it. In the face of a nationwide backlash, the company brought back the old formula—now dubbed “Coke Classic”—after two months. The story of New Coke is eternal. It’s a parable of hubris.
It’s also a lie.
Cultural disillusionment, mob mentality, and opportunism all played a role in crushing New Coke. Everything except the taste which, as it turned out, was damn good.
It’s not hard to see in retrospect why people began to pile on. It’s fun to be cranky about stupid things. It’s almost the entire point of Twitter. But there was something else going on here. The critiques often weren’t really about soda at all.
Murphy is a helluva writer, he keeps the reader engaged at every syllable.
In this episode of Chaos and Creativity, Kimi and I discuss Taylor Swift's record deal debacle, and weigh in about the state of the music business, and creative industries in general.
Listen in to find out the difference between owning your master vs owning your publishing, and why we are in a prime time for a new state of normal.
Also, listen to me fail miserably as a country western singer.
I had no idea what to expect. Emily loved this documentary so much, she wanted to see it a second time with me.
It's really good. The story is compelling and enlightening, and the cinematography is worth a trip to the big screen. Here's the trailer.
The U.S. women's team beating the Netherlands on Sunday in the Women's World Cup was the cherry on top of America's birthday week. What a great team to watch. What a great source of pride for this country.
My favorite moment was Rose Lavelle's goal. It was as skillful as it was powerful as it was dramatic.
In recent months radio has been haunting me like a benevolent ghost. Nostalgia inspired my post Missing the Static. Radio was a central story element of my favorite book this year, “All the Light We Cannot See”. And today, I came across Maciej Ceglowski's wonderful “Legends of the Ancient Web”, a talk he gave in Poland in 2017.
This is the power that radio has to persuade through emotion, repetition, familiarity, and tone, rather than facts or argument. A good radio broadcast makes you feel like a part of something bigger, even as you listen alone.
It is incredibly well done, well worth your time.
Of all the photos I've shot over the last three decades, this one ranks among the unremarkable. Yet, there's something about it I really like.
In this episode of the Chaos and Creativity podcast, Kimi and I discuss the pitfalls of absolutism, Moby's Mishap, and other fabulous things.
I picked up an issue of Vanity Fair from the magazine stand over the weekend. It felt a little unusual to read.
I'm sad I didn't get to see this extraordinary film in the theaters. I stupidly put it off based on a wrong assumption about the story.
If you haven't seen Lady Bird, I can't recommend it enough. Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are just remarkable.