Category: Musings


Hasan Minaj – Homecoming King

So, I started with Seinfeld. A little coffee, a few laughs and a Ferrari. Good start to the day, and he’s talking to Hasan Minaj, who I know from the Daily Show. Sharp, fast, smart and damn funny. Talking about a special on Netflix, hmm, sounds fun, fire that up.

However, you really need a run up to this.

This is not not what you may be expecting, it’s so much better. Yes, sure it’s quick fire but the writing, emotion and honesty are breathtaking. Oh, and it’s really really funny.

The comedy touchstones of family, childhood trauma, the awkwardness and more are parsed through the life of an immigrant family in America but given current climate Hasan’s Muslim upbringing is doubly charged. However, his bridging of worlds serves to remind that we all tread parallel lines. There are some killer lines in the show but it works so well as a whole. Very well written, touching and I came away not only with a smile on my face but having learned, or rather been reminded of some home truths.

This show reminded me of one of my favorites, which is Robin Williams’ show in NYC ending with his son holding his hand. This is up there. Powerful, funny as heck, truthful, emotionally connective, and it’s exciting to see what Hasan will do next.

Streaming on Netflix now.

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The Defiant Ones

Ah, the story behind Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Been planning to watch this for a while, but busy busy with the chatbot world. Thankfully, Christmas brings break time and so I’m neck deep in books, film and tv, I want to catch up on.

I only really knew the headlines to their stories. Springsteen, music labels, East coast, West coast rap, headphones and billion dollar deals.

What this 4-part series does brilliantly is simple, get to the people behind the headlines and get those folks around the main protagonists to fill in the gaps. It helps when those folks are Gwen Stefani, Bono, Eminem and Snoop!

What emerges are the two main players could not be more different or more perfectly suited to each other. Iovine is clearly a business monster but blessed with an instinct like no other, while Dre is simply a genius who doesn’t take anything for granted and works so hard that at times it threatens his home life.

The music involved is peerless and every time you’re sitting back and saying wow, here comes another hit. Snoop? Bam, Tupac? Bam, Eminem.

Both are clearly forces of nature, but the way they click into gear with each other and reinforce each other is amazing to watch. All set against a backdrop of incredible money-making in the music industry (CDs), followed by the collapse (Napster) and then the shift into technology (headphones) and of course working with Apple.

Dre emerges as the easier one to know, who let’s folks in, who starts with emotion and people and learns business. While Iovine starts with business but is clearly still struggling with people.

A fascinating 4-hour watch that leaves you with the sensation that the story of these two is from over.

The Defiant Ones is available to stream on Netflix.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Starts so well

I’d heard about this book many times, with it often being cited as a great guide on creativity. For the first 2/3, I was in full absorb mode, fascinated, highlighting passages and nodding to myself but then god, angels, muses and mysticism. Sorry, lost me at that point. I’ve taken a good mental model of overcoming resistance and moving into action but for the rest, sorry not for me.

Check out The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Conversation as a UI

Really enjoyed Conversational Design by Erika Hall, it illustrated very clearly how digital design, in order to be truly personal, has to be relatable. It’s also the new frontier. If you’re still focused on optimizing keywords and navigation, it might pay to step back and look at the holisitic picture of the journey and how you’re having a conversation with your customer, and what you’re saying.

Here’s a good Google video talking through conversational design in 90 seconds.

Been too long

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For someone so embedded in the digital world, it’s a shame I’ve left this so long. As I’m embarking on a new journey into ai, thought it a good time to start a new chapter.

Been doing a lot of reading and would recommend

As you can see from the reading list, also changing gear and working in an agile way as well. Only 2 weeks in so only just getting started, very exciting and all new. That said, exhausting too.

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