Dear Summer, welcome back!
It’s wonderful and very rare to spend a chill holiday weekend at home. I was supposed to head out east but after plans changed I got the chance to have a little staycation here in New York. I forgot how much I love The City on a holiday weekend.
Amongst other things, I finished the book “Hit Makers, The Science of Popularity In An Age of Distraction” By Derek Thompson. I saw the David Bowie Exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum and I got a chance to enjoy magic hour at the New Soho House in Dumbo. All of these experiences worthy of their own separate post, but I’m going to give you some of the highlights relevant to our Beats And Bytes community.
“Hit Makers, The Science of Popularity In An Age of Distraction” breaks down so many interesting elements of what it takes to create a hit. This is a present day“Tipping Point” without making the same argument over and over again as Malcolm Gladwell tends to do in his revolutionary books. “Hit Makers” is a must-read for modern marketers especially ones in the music industry. Chapter 3’s “Music of Sound” breaks down what it takes to make “ear worms”, that catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing. Right after that chapter, it goes into an interlude about goose bumps or what I like to call the “good art chill”, something a culture fiend like myself is chasing almost every night of the week. Another point the book makes is predicting the most valuable hits is essentially about finding people, reports, and insights that are most predictive and ignored. Predicting the future is most valuable when everybody thinks you’re wrong. Unique and unrivaled access to perfect information about the future is the holy grail of profitable forecasting. There are some other great insights throughout it but the final conclusion is that the socially correct posture in this day and age is to not like any one thing too much but to be deeply aware of it all. Cultural cognizance is a global awareness of the news and opinions that make up the cultural landscape. Super awareness is the new cultural capital, which brings to why I wanted to see the David Bowie Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.
This exhibit was a like a multi-sensory history book and one of the most buzzed about art shows in town. It not only chronicles David Bowie’s life from a wet-behind-the-ears advertising executive to teaching himself music and over time by again and again capitalizing on what was happening in the zeitgeist becoming one of the most iconic pop stars ever with a career spanning over 40 years. I wasn’t a huge Bowie fan going into this exhibit but after walking out I’m obsessed. His creativity & talents are undeniable. But his magic was in his ability to reinterpret pockets of culture he found fascinating as well as capitalizing on relevant in that moment events and consistently reinventing himself by incorporating those elements. This exhibit is a must-see for artists looking to have a long career. Just know, it takes a long time to soak in the full show. It’s more like reading and immersing oneself in a history book on Bowie than going to a cool art exhibit. Artist friends, fans, and creatives, go see it before it closes on July 15th!
I was also granted the privilege of having dinner at the new Dumbo Soho House. Props to the good people at Soho House for staying hot and relevant while continuing to expand their brand. This is quickly going to be one of the places to be this Summer and beyond. Its views are stunning (3 bridges). Its pool is beautiful. Its food is delicious…no place is doing cauliflower like it and most importantly the vibe is eclectic, artistic and sexy. Dumbo has never felt so cool to me. We stayed for hours exchanging ideas, greeting friends and toasting the start of summer.
Back to the grind, but time to pull back out the white pants, a fresh pair of white kicks and maybe even your seersucker suit because the summer wind is officially blowing in.
Also published on Medium.