The Kaizen Newsletter #8 (07/16/2019)
Dreamville is the Future of Work
Imagine being in a big house with a bunch of your friends just chilling, having fun and creating dope stuff.
Well that's what the Revenge of the Dreamers' documentary was all about. Dreamville, J. Cole's label invited all of their signed artists and friends to come together and create a crazy album.
That's when a lightbulb turned on 💡.
What if Dreamville was the key? What if Dreamville was the future of work? What if the future of work would work like music labels?
So first, let’s break down what is the future of work? Currently, it’s more often than not easier to hire someone to do work for you than contracting it out. However, with entrepreneurship flourishing and freelancing sites booming (such as Upwork and Fiverr), the cost to finding an external resource that is a good fit for the company is shrinking more and more. So in the future, we will all be a bunch of entrepreneurs with a variety of different skills (programming, sales, marketing, design, etc.) hopping on different contracted projects.
As an individual, we would be able to sign to a “label” or “agency” or “team”. Let’s go with the label analogy for now. As any other artist, you can work on your personal projects that you want, collab with the people with your label on their projects or vice-versa or just find other projects that you’re interested.
However, maybe once a year, the label would find a huge contract that would regroup the whole label to work together and produce something amazing.
You’d have the freedom of an entrepreneur, but you’d also have a collective of like-minded individuals all with different or complimentary skills that will also benefit you. Best of both worlds?
Would love to know your thoughts!
Now, on to the newsletter.
I was driving back from Boston all of Sunday, so I sadly missed out on this historical match between Djokovic and Federer. I find it crazy how these two and Nadal have dominated the Tennis scene for the last decade and will probably still dominate for the next few years. Since 2017, no one other than Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have won a grand slam. They have won ELEVEN straight grand slams. Now THAT'S domination.
We're in the middle of July, but the NBA is STILL throwing us some surprises. The Westbrook era in OKC is now over. Westbrook gets to join his former teammate, James Harden with the Rocket, while CP3 and two first round draft picks are sent back to OKC in exchange. Both Westbrook and Harden love hogging the ball, so it'll be interesting to see if they can have good chemistry together. Although it worked in the past, the big difference is that previously, Harden was coming off the bench, but now they will both be starting together.
Rappers are Walking Business Empires - I'm a bit biased to this one, since I saw Shanu build this article from the ground up while we were still doing Write of Passage together. His main point is how rappers (specifically Jay-Z, Kanye and Drake) run their business strategy similarly to how other big companies (such as Nike, Apple and Netflix) do it. I really love this article because it bridges two things I love which are music (hip-hop) and business. I'm thinking future here, but imagine instead of teaching kids how Nike, Apple and Netflix do business, you teach them how Jay-Z, Kanye and Drake do business? It's obviously a very different demography, but I'm sure that would make some kids in particular a lot more interested.
Take 100% Responsibility for the Words and Pictures in your Head - I truly believe that success comes at least 70% from within. 20% is probably luck and 10% skill. I'm just throwing up numbers here, but you get the gist of it. And the hardest is when something bad happens you decide to see the positive outcomes instead of bringing yourself down. Obviously, it's a lot easier to say than do, but that's why only few actually succeed. And the following quote represents exactly that. Also shoutout to my Dad for this amazing article.
You can’t control the external forces that influence your life, but you can choose the beliefs, words, and mindset that you respond to these factors with. - Marisa Peer
My brother talked about minimalism in his most recent newsletter. He always ends it with some action items. I tried the following one and it was surprisingly hard. I just find it crazy how addicted we all are to our cellphones. We don't even know how to act when we're alone with our thoughts, so we become jittery if we don't have our cellphone with us. Try this at least once this week and let me know how it goes.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt on 20VC - Yes. 500 Days of Summer and Inception Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His production company, HitRecord, got some investment and is turning into a tech company. The goal of the company is for everyone to collaborate together and create all kinds of arts together (movies, books, illustrations, music, etc.) What I really loved from this podcast is seeing how two worlds (acting and tech) collide together. For example, his pitching skills are already very good, since that's something he needed to do to get parts in movies.
Principal-Agent Problem: Act Like an Owner on Naval's podcast - This is a very short podcast (around 7 min long), but it packs really good information. Basically, if you're an employee and want to climb up the ranks, then you should as much as possible think as yourself as an owner and make decisions as if you were the owner. Not only does it signals that you are thinking about what's good for the company, it simultaneously prepares you to become an owner, if ever you want to become your own boss and run your company. Vice-versa, if you are an owner, then to be able to keep your employees, it forces you to put yourself in your employees shoes and give them what they want so they can continue working for you.
Trying something new for this section. Don't think people actually read my music comments. So I'll be reducing my opinions and just list the albums/songs I liked. If you DID read my comments, let me know so that I can bring them back!
Can You Feel the Love Tonight - Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogan - Actually gave me chills first time hearing it.
This is most likely fake, cause this is WAY too good to be true. If this is real, then I'm mind-blown. Also HORRIBLE music selection for this amazing video.
Love this passage that Keith Rabois highlighted on Twitter. Basically, take the time to invest in a crazy good team and you'll see up to 10x the results.
🙇♂️ Random Thoughts
Using this section to keep me accountable on my tweet game.
Sometimes I feel that I don't have enough content on my newsletter, so I just start reading articles and summarizing them. However, I feel that when I'm able to go through multiple articles during the week and really selecting the one's that I vibe with, my newsletters are A LOT better.
Shoutout to the internet homie Micah for getting to 380 subscribers for his newsletter. If you like my newsletter, I'm sure you'd love his. He's all about self-improvement, productivity, product design and anime 💪. Subscribe here. Some humble brag, but he's also the first (and only so far) to tweet about my newsletter on Twitter, so super thankful for that 🙏.
👋 End Note
If you want to know what I'm up to now, you can check it on my website here.
If you enjoyed the Kaizen Newsletter, then it'd be cool if you can share it with your friends. They can sign up here.
Feedback is always appreciated, so let me know what you liked and what I can improve on by replying to this email.
If you see any cool articles, links, tweets, stories or podcasts that you think are interesting, feel free to share as well at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you next Tuesday!