Tools for MGMT: Episode 115

blood sugar, selling prints, equity for creators, OPEX subscriptions

My name is Ethan. I manage a screenwriter and a comedian. I started this newsletter to regularly send out a few links that I think other managers will find interesting. Thanks for reading this fifteenth edition!

Deranged Experiment
On Monday, I’m going to start wearing a continuous glucose monitor for 28 days from Levels. I’ve wagered $25 per day that I can keep my blood sugar below 120mg/dL (no idea what this means in practice, tbh)… so there is $700 on the line here.

Will this benefit my clients by unlocking the best version of Ethan – elevating the more nimble, deft, and clear-thinking manager that lies within? Or will I angrily yearn for sustenance beyond vegetables and chicken thighs… and spend the next four weeks in a haze? Stay tuned to find out.

BTS Footage: Physical Print Drop
We partnered with Skink in Brooklyn for Zack’s debut physical print drop.

Paper and print quality are really important to Zack – and Skink has been incredible to work with on that front, shipping him a bunch of samples and proofs from their selection of 80+ papers over the summer.

A few key contrasts from the icon drop a few weeks ago that I’ve been thinking about:

  • unit economics: digital icons have a margin of 100%… tough to beat!

  • delivery: since the icons were delivered immediately, many posted them to Twitter or their IG story which Zack could then signal boost, increasing sales – whereas the prints have to be shipped and won’t arrive until next week at the earliest (and by then, the drop will be sold out)

  • customer service: a surprising number of customers have emailed 👋 asking for their shipping address to be switched

  • automation: Shopify + the Digital Downloads plugin made delivery of the icons automatic and instantaneous, while the steps for print fulfillment are more complicated:

    fan places order ➝ manual .CSV export of Shopify orders ➝ manual transformation of columns to match .CSV template that Skink needs submission to Skink via email/upload ➝ Skink prints ➝ Skink ships ➝ Skink sends back the tracking numbers ➝ tracking numbers manually added into Shopify ➝ orders manually marked fulfilled within Shopify ➝ fan receives print (whew)

We’re going to keep expanding Zack’s art repertoire with more experiments and partnerships in the coming weeks. Please let me know if you have any ideas. So far, Mike Power is the real MVP sending me this Pomp article, Nifty Gateway, and SuperRare.

Podcast episode on creators taking equity in companies
Worth a listen: this podcast from Blake Robbins and Reed Duschscher (MrBeast’s manager) on deciding between equity or cash in partnerships and brand deals. Key points that stood out to me:

  • most creators and their teams aren’t cap table experts: equity needs to be framed and communicated in terms that make sense

  • a creator taking 0.5% or 1% of a company’s equity is a big deal with significant expectations – many early employees are going to be working long hours for years for (often) less equity than that

  • the best case scenario for a creator: creator takes equity in a company at the seed round, the company produces a product that the creator loves and would use for free, the product is a great match for the creator’s fanbase, and the creator can then meaningfully impact the trajectory of the business through their usage and promotion – increasing the value of the equity for the creator and all involved 💰

Business Subscriptions:

This month, I’ve had multiple conversations with managers regarding operating expenses for their businesses… particularly those that are recurring subscriptions. I’ve enjoyed reading YourStack, but I haven’t seen any managers on there and actual costs aren’t discussed that much. Here are Elixr’s current subscriptions:

  • Earth Class Mail: $150-$250/mo (registered agent + receives/scans mail and checks for Elixr + clients)

  • Patreon: $220/mo

  • Guideline: $47/mo

  • Gusto: $45/mo

  • Quickbooks Plus: $35/mo

  • Superhuman: $30/mo

  • IMDbPro: $19.99/mo (that’s showbiz, baby)

  • Google Suite: $12/mo

  • Calendly: $10/mo (by all means – choose a time, let’s hang)

  • Apple Music: $9.99/mo

  • Spotify: $8.10/mo

  • Zack’s burner Twitter account: $5/mo

  • Amazon Web Services: $2.18/mo

  • AMEX Biz Platinum: $550/year (I really took a big L on this one having not set foot in an airport or WeWork since March)

  • $99/year

  • Mailman: $81.60/year

  • The Tracking Board: $79/year

  • Dashlane: $59.99/year

  • Carrd: $49/year

  • Todoist: $36/year

  • Apple TV+: FREE… let’s go Dickinson, The Morning Show, Tehran, Charlie Brown Christmas

And my personal subscriptions, Refinery29 Money Diaries style:

  • NYC Rent: ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓

  • Health Insurance: $159.38/mo

  • Everything Bundle: $15/mo

  • Patreon: $10/mo

  • iCloud: $2.99/mo

  • Copilot: $3.26/mo

  • Dithering: $50/year

Ok, I’m off – but here are a few more reads for your weekend ahead: