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Samuel Duckett, Author at The Sampler - Page 5 of 7The Sampler
20 Inspiring Quotes From Musicians

One of our favorite blogs out there, Pigeons and Planes just published an article that speaks to the soul of The Sampler.  20 Inspiring Quotes By Musicians pays homage to the people behind the mic.  Seem like an unlikely match to you? Inspiration from musicians?  Allow me to explain why I feel it’s a match made in Sampler-heaven.  Musicians, in my opinion, have many reasons why they’re expert authorities in the art of inspiration. Such as:

 

1. They work hard when no one is paying attention.

  • Most people only know musicians at their height, after they’ve made it. But you don’t see the years of hard work and doors being slammed in their faces before someone actually sat down, listened and wrote them a check.

 

2. They put their heart on the line with their work.

  • Songwriting has become so diluted and mainstream these days that people often forget how beautiful of a process it is.  Great songwriting requires someone to listen to themselves, understand themselves, and articulately jot down these feelings in an effective way that can speak to the audience before the audience even knows how to describe what they’re feeling. Make no mistake, it is an art.

 

3. They create beautiful art at the cost of exposure to the world.

  • The vulnerability that it takes to create art is something to praise and thank the artist for. And songwriting, above almost all other arts, is one of the most exposed and exploited forms of true art in modern times.  To expose that vulnerability to greedy people who have never met you is not something to be taken lightly.  The tragic consequences of when it goes bad happen all too often… not to mention there’s an entire club devoted to the worst-case scenario…

 

4. All of this while needing it to pay the bills.

  • Making art is hard enough. It requires insight, discipline and devotion.  But to make art also requires your time, which means you can’t easily work a paying job and also do art on the side.  If you try, inevitably both will suffer.  This couldn’t speak more to what we’re trying to do here at The Sampler.  We want people to not have to choose between needing to be fulfilled and needing to pay the bills because in all honesty, you do need both.

 

5. At the end of everything though, I believe all humans have something to say… (Musicians just happen to have the mic)

  • Everybody has their story, everybody has their wisdom.  Musicians have it too but I believe life is profound enough to cause anyone to feel profound emotions.

 

If you liked this article, feel free to share it on social media with the buttons below!  And to read the 20 inspiring quotes, check out the full article at Pigeons and Planes!

How To: Start Up a Startup

After we posted our most recent quote image about the three basic questions you should ask yourself before starting a business, I got inspired and felt like I needed to elaborate on the topic.  Starting a startup will be much more difficult if you aren’t taking the proper steps so I wanted to list exactly what you need to nail down first when starting a business before anything else.

 

Step 1: What do you serve and who do you serve?

Ask yourself this right away.  This is the heart of your business. It is the cornerstone.  Think about what value-added contribution you are going to be making to society.  Is it Uber For Babies in San Francisco? (Don’t do that…..) Or is it a bike-sharing app in an emerging city or sprawling university (Do that!).  What you serve and who you serve are two separate but equally important questions because you can’t start a successful business with one and not the other.  Other important questions are:

  1. Is anyone else doing it? (Competition)
  2. Is the physical infrastructure in place for it? (Timing)
  3. Is society ready for my product/service? (Timing)

 

Step 2: What’s your mission as an employee?

It’s funny to ask what your mission as an employee is because the wording sounds like you’re one of the 302,000 Hewlett Packard employees serving your generic uninteresting mission.  What I really mean is what is your personal mission as the employee of your company (probably the first employee at that!).  In a startup, you’re going to want to do a million things.  It will start out broad at first with you scraping together all things across the board but slowly, your mission will refine as you start getting help and getting things done.

When this happens, know where you lie. What is YOUR role? What part do you play or satisfy within the business?  This will be crucial to the company moving forward because chances are that you won’t be good at everything and guess what, even if you are you shouldn’t do it all.  A good book to check out regarding this topic is The E-Myth. It talks about how the three roles in a startup are the visionary, the people person, and the business strategist and if you try to do all three yourself, the business will fail. The next step relates perfectly to this one…

 

Step 3: What’s your team and what do they do?

As your business idea stars to gain a little traction between you and your network of friends or colleagues, you’ll have some enthusiastic people wanting to join in.  You can’t take everybody with you so choose the most enthusiastic and trustworthy people and make sure there’s a solid role for them.  It might take some time to figure out how best they serve the mission but nail it down as soon as possible so as to efficiently streamlining the work that needs to get done.

….

And there you have it, the first-things-firsts of a startup. After this is established, then you can go on to finding investors, compiling financial costs, and further studying your market and competitors.  One step at a time and remember what Mark Cuban says: “Small businesses do not fail because of the lack of capital, they fail because of the lack of effort.”

Discover: Leon Bridges – “Better Man”

Have you been hungry for something other than the usual radio noise? Leon Bridges brings us a refreshing sound to quench your thirst. It’s easy to draw parallels to Amy Winehouse or Sam Cooke but hey, none of us are complaining. Press play for a little Sunday salvation.

Press Play: Ca$hio x Maybe – Omw! feat Sweet Sound

Never heard of these guys? Well, now you have. Omw! (On My Way in text language for all those non-millennials) is a collaborative effort of these three artists.  To give you a little background, Ca$hio was associated with the development and production of Dallas rapper/singer phenom Post Malone.  Soon after, he found and began developing Sweet Sound.  The birth of this banger came when Ca$hio teamed up with production partner Maybe? and enlisted the talents of Sweet Sound.  It doesn’t stop there though as Rex Kudos came in to add his skills to the production as well. Listen for the heavy bass, trap drums and abstract samples that roll through the progressive tempo on this track.  To give you an idea of Omw! ‘s sound, it’s somewhere between Travi$ Scott and G-Eazy but it definitely stands on its own right. Check it out:

How To: Sail Around the World While Operating Your 10 Businesses

Have you ever wondered about the type of people who ended up getting to a place in life where sailing around the world with their family is their main priority, and overseeing their business operations is what they do in their downtime?

Medium writer Dave Schools recently wrote an excellent article after he sat down with an unnamed millionaire who does just that. As Dave ate lunch, he took notes while the interviewee divulged what it takes to run 10 businesses all while kicking your feet up on one of your sailboats with your family. Surprisingly, the path to this lifestyle is easier than you’d think. Read on as this mystery-millionaire lays out how easy it is to live this kind of life:

I sat down with a millionaire who operates 10 businesses while sailing around the world with his…

Kanye Releases Yeezy Season 2 Theater List

Kanye has just released a list of the theaters that will be showing his Yeezy Season 2 collection runway show.  Times will be 9am pacific time and 12am eastern time, Wednesday September 16th.  Some of the theaters are listed below but head to Kanye’s website, Yeezy Supply, for all of the details regarding times and locations.

 

AUSTRALIA
Please register interest with email for a pair of tickets to competitions@sharmillfilms.com.au
Include “Yeezy SYDNEY” or “Yeezy MELBOURNE” in the subject of your email, as well as your full name.
Confirmed attendees will be notified via email and asked to present photo identification at the theater for admission.
Live cinema broadcast starts at 2AM, Thursday, September 17

MELBOURNE: Hoyts Melbourne Central,
Corner Swanston & La Trobe Streets, VIC 3000 SYDNEY: Hoyts Broadway, Broadway Shopping Centre,
Corner Bay & Broadway Streets, Broadway, NSW 2007

DENMARK
Live cinema broadcast starts at 6PM, Wednesday, September 16
Passes will be distributed at 9:30 AM local time on Tuesday, September 15 to guests on a first come, first served basis.
COPENHAGEN: Palads, Alextorv 9, 1609

FRANCE
Live cinema broadcast starts at 6PM, Wednesday, September 16
Guests will be admitted on a first come, first served basis on the evening of the event. No advance passes will be distributed.
PARIS: Gaumont Opera Capucines,
2 Boulevard des Capucines, 75009

GERMANY
Live cinema broadcast starts at 6PM, Wednesday, September 16
Passes will be distributed at the respective theater box office from 3 PM the day of the broadcast, on a first come, first served basis.
BERLIN: CineStar Berlin Kulturbrauerei,
Schonhauser Allee 36, 10435 FRANKFURT: Frankfurt am Main CineStar Metropolis,
Eschenheimer Anlage 40, 60318

IRELAND
Live cinema broadcast starts at 5PM, Wednesday, September 16
Passes will be distributed at the theater from 10 am local time on Tuesday, September 15
DUBLIN: Movies@Dundrum
Unit 9, Level 1 Dundrum Town Centre
Sandyford Road

UNITED KINGDOM
Live cinema broadcast starts at 5PM, Wednesday, September 16
Passes will be distributed at each theater from local time noted
BELFAST: Passes available from 4 PM on Tuesday, September 15
Omniplex, Old Dundonald Road
Castlereagh, BT16 BIRMINGHAM: Passes available from noon local time on Tuesday, September 15
Odeon Birmingham Broadway Plaza,
220 Ladywood Middleway, B16 8LP LONDON: Passes available from noon local time on Tuesday, September 15
Odeon Covent Garden,
135 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8AH MANCHESTER: Passes available from noon local time on Tuesday, September 15
Odeon Manchester,
The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, M4 2BS

Making Moves: Kanye Hints at Fandango Partnership

While more information has been trickling out about the Yeezy Season 1 collection (originally shown on February 12th, 2015) including what looks to be a pretty spot-on price list from Japanese magazine SENSE, we are still yet to see anything other than the shoes to hit stores. However, Kanye hinted at an interesting business move to seemingly capitalize off of the hype. Rumors have been circulating from mysterious postings on the Fandango website alluding to an exclusive distribution deal.  Kanye’s mentality?:

Give The People What They Want

The original posting on Fandango was simply titled “Kanye West Yeezy Season 2 Premiere,” with a planned theatrical release of Sept. 10…or 11. Other than that, the page remained very minimal, only including the supposed release date, an allotted runtime (an hour and fifteen minutes) and rating (“R”).  It’s worth noting that Kanye has gotten creative with his distribution tactics before (New Slaves projected on 66 walls) so this is nothing new for the business savvy mogul.

How It’s Going Down

When enthusiasm didn’t mount from the promoters, it was no surprise that the date came and went without a premier.  But we weren’t left empty handed.  In place of a premier was a postponed date for the Yeezy Season 2 fashion show during New York Fashion Week and just this morning, we’ve received the official date and time.  The show is now set for noon eastern time on Wednesday September 16, 2015 and it’s already causing waves… At this point it’s unclear what part Fandango will play in the premier with the original date passed, however we’ll keep you posted on how this event unfolds.

Perfect for the Sunday vibes.  This song came to us through a friend who would not stop talking about Snarky Puppy… he described it as AMAZING jazz orchestra. For someone like myself who isn’t really into jazz, I was skeptical but this live groove blew me away. Since we’re already fans of Erykah Badu, The Roots, and D’Angelo, we love this and you will too.

 

Turns out they’re on tour as well, check out the dates below!

http://www.songkick.com/artists/29793-snarky-puppy

Elon Musk Releases Model X and Model 3 Details

With Elon Musk’s well-publicized strategy to save the Earth (not to be confused with his strategy to save mankind… see: SpaceX) we have sat back and watched one man lay out the steps for how he plans to nudge humans off of fossil-fuels. First step was a sports car called the Tesla Roadster, next was a sedan called the Model S, each increasing in usability and in turn units sold. At long last, the date (and prices) have been released for the long-awaited third child, the Tesla Model X. Thanks to Elon Musk’s twitter, September 29th is the day:

The Model X is the third iteration of Tesla’s electric car dream, and one step closer to achieving it’s more specific goal of waning the general public off of carbon-burning fuels. This vehicle will be Tesla’s first SUV. As you may have noticed, Elon is taking a deliberate trend with each release. The cars are becoming more utilitarian, more refined and therefore more value for less money. Reducing the world’s addiction to fossil fuels is about as lofty as goals get (except of course for ensuring the eternal existence of mankind, Elon Musk’s other goal), but creating an attractive car that seems to be beating the pack whenever it gets reviewed is definitely the way to do it. The next step in the Tesla line-up progression that will hopefully seal the deal on curing America’s discomfort with electric cars is the Tesla Model 3, which Elon also hinted at on the same day. We now have a general production date and folks, this one will truly be the people’s electric car.

Keep an eye on Tesla with us as they are effectively succeeding at breaking the century-plus trend of using nothing but gasoline burning engines and taking one of the strongest stances yet to recognize the catastrophic negative effects that come with it.

…It’s a great time to be alive.

Breaking It Down: The Yeezy 350 dilemna, and how it broke it’s promise

“The Yeezy 350s came out!!! Oh wait, they just sold out…”

When Kanye broke free from Nike and decided to join Adidas, all we were hearing from him was “design for the masses! design for masses! democratic design!”. Now we are well into the collaboration and so far not one thing has been for the masses… What happened?

 

Kanye x Nike Feud
A little backstory for you: We all clicked through Yeezy Season 1 when Kanye’s extremely hyped fashion show was released onto the internet hype world.  It was basically the beginning of the fabled partnership with Adidas that was going to give Kanye his realm to create… nay, air to breath! Prior to that, we were privy to the drama between Kanye and Nike like a failing Hollywood marriage that seemed rosy on the exterior but was mired with infighting.  To fill you in on the drama, Kanye produced arguably one of the most hyped/sought after sneaker lines called the Nike Air Yeezys (second only to the holy grail Air Jordan line, also Nike). The problem came around the time of the final iteration, the Air Yeezy Red Octobers, when Nike gave Kanye the runaround on if and when they were being released… (seriously, Nike?!?).  So understandably, after breathing life back into mass sneaker culture and making Nike a talked about brand and not just a sponsor for olympic athletes and college teams, Kanye felt like he wasn’t being respected as a creative.  It was like Kanye was seeing “read” on his texts to Nike, and then the 3-dot bubble would come up for a second, and then nothing.  So he bounced, as one should.

 

The Nike/Adidas Epiphany
Fast forward to now, Kanye leaves the biggest shoe company in the world and goes to the other one, Adidas.  Kanye’s goal in this whole thing has evolved from originally wanting to create a cool sneaker, regardless of it feeling good, fitting well or being affordable, to creating something for the masses.  You see, hype is great but its a delicate thing because if you release a very limited number of shoes like the Red Octobers that were originally sold for around $350-$400, they sell out instantly and are resold, in this case between $5,000 and $10,000. That’s a lesson in what happens to the price of an item when demand exceeds supply, kids.  As a creative, this doesn’t get you anywhere because the ultimate goal of any creative is to effect as many people as possible. Adidas understood this, and understood Kanye, and signed him with a very big deal, supposedly allowing him full autonomy.

 

The First Attempt
First came the Yeezy 750 Boost hightop sneakers. Released at $350, instantly resold for over a thousand, these were not our mass-produced design.  Even at $350, the price is not economical for the general public. But to add insult to injury, they released only 9,000 units, which may sound like a lot, but the high resale value means it’s drastically under-supplied for the demand.  No democratic design yet.  Then his clothing line, Yeezy Season 1, launched. Speculation of $400 sweatshirts and outerwear between $2,000 and $4,000 came like a blow to the heart.  But fine, we figured we’d wait it out for the ‘peasant runner’ (Yeezy 350 Boost) shoes we’d seen in the fashion show.  Those ARE democratic everyday shoes! Surely they’d be priced as such!  As we came to find out, they were indeed $200 but the run was vastly under a democratic number as they resold on the market for $500… $700… $1,000…

Yeezy 350 and 750

(Yeezy 350 Boost white, black and Yeezy 750 Boost)

 

Don’t Lose Hope
Don’t turn away from Kanye’s vision now.  It may seem as if he’s pulling the wool over our eyes just to make an extra $50m by capitalizing off of hype (and the kids that missed the Yeezy 350s will tell you just that) but if you listen to his interviews about making good design a public right, he’s not lying about that intention.  The executive heads over at Adidas know exactly what they’re doing by creating demand and then restricting supply.  They’re intentionally increasing hype to increase profit. The first and only rule you’re taught in business is to maximize profit.  But Kanye is fighting for a different result.  He doesn’t want to win, he wants the people to win.  Ask anyone wearing the Yeezy 350s and they’ll tell you they’re the most comfortable shoes they own, and that’s exactly what they were meant to be. We’re getting closer to democratic design, and with time and people like Kanye fighting for it, we will get there.