Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Monument To A Rare Burst Of Enthusiasm

"Each website became a monument to a rare burst of enthusiasm." Perfect description of the entrepreneur's struggle from Users, Not Customers. We have these big, bold ideas that thoroughly consume us for two weeks. And then one morning we wake up and realize we've completely lost interest. I'm just not that into you, we say, as we hopscotch onto the next creative fling. 

"Being good at both art and entrepreneurship is a rare combination." For a hundred years, artists didn't have to be shrewd businessmen. They just locked themselves in a cabin, drank a lot, did their work and somehow made a living while inspiring a generation. What a gig. But, now that we've entered the indie economy, all bets are off. Doing the art gets you through the door, but building a business keeps you in the room.

"I haven’t written enough to know what kind of writer I am." Love the humility of this statement from Working. Like George Carlin used to say, unless we get up in front of people every day, we'll never know who we are. Unless we crank out piles of work, we'll never find our voice. Identity is a function of volume. 

"Songs are a cheap substitute for what I have lost." Adam talks about dating girls just for the material. Sure, the songs are great. But the constant cannibalization of personal, private experiences is an exhausting enterprise. The key is to find someone whose lightning you don't take for granted. Someone with enough charge to last a lifetime. 

"You can read the life you’re living, but you cannot change a word." That's how Leonard Cohen described Kurt Cobain. Too close to himself to see what he needed to see. So tragic. But also a good reminder that we can't control people, we can only lovingly expose them to reality. And sometimes even that's not enough.

"Chemical barrier that shields me from the sharp edges of reality." Although I don't have an addictive personality, I quite enjoy reading about the mindset of addicts. It's helpful in understanding human behavior and a cautionary tale about what happens when you're unwilling to accept what is. 

"I want to bring my fans the truest representation of what I have in my brain." Yes, yes, yes. I wish every filmmaker had the generosity, honesty and vulnerability to do what Zack Braff is doing. Movies would be worth watching again. Man, I remember when Garden State first came out. Made me sob like a baby. Perfect mirror of what I was going through in my mid-twenties. I can't wait to see what he makes next.