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My name is Ethan. I manage a screenwriter and a comedian. I started this newsletter to regularly send out a few links and musings that I hope other managers will find interesting. Thanks for reading this eighteenth edition.
And so we’re all on the same page, allow me to crystallize the vision for this newsletter as we approach the season 1 finale:
Hit a critical mass of loyal subscribers (hopefully you)
Get vaccinated 2x and start getting reps in at various NYC open mics
Flip the Substack paywall on, and grandfather y’all in as “Founding Members”
do a Human IPO (see below) for the present value of my time and invest the proceeds in crypto art and $ABNB calls
Really start spilling the mgmt tea behind the paywall… flying closer and closer to the sun with each subsequent dispatch
put this newsletter on hiatus while opening for Zack’s opener on his 43 city 2023 world tour following his [REDACTED] special
become the US Ambassador to Denmark 🇩🇰
Glad to have you along for the ride.
Instagram is Dead
I had to print this one out and grab the highlighter. Too many quotables, like:
The surface-level problem for Instagram is no one knows how to post in a crisis. The consequences for fucking up are high. (Cancellation) While the upside for sticking the landing is low. (Everyone should Get Out the Vote, but should everyone post about it?) The dynamic creates content thats flat. It all has a tin copy-paste tonality reminiscent of how a politician speaks. People complain that Instagram is no longer fun for the same reasons people complain ‘all politicians are the same.’
On securitizing clout + cancellation insurance
Short and sweet and one of the most interesting things that I've read in a while. I’m familiar with RAC and his tokenization exploits, but hadn’t yet heard of Roll, Rally, Fyooz, or Human IPO. Human IPO is the most interesting to me because I’ve tracked my time pretty obsessively for the last few years using Tyme 2 + Timeular. If my time is currently worth, say, $50 per hour, will it someday be worth $250 an hour? $500 an hour? Maybe. But could I convince any of you of that right now? If so, I could do a (Human) IPO and sell shares pegged at $50/hr which you could then buy now and wait for the value of my time to appreciate, and then cash out for money… or redeem in the future for my time (disregard for a moment that slots on my Calendly are currently $0.00).
There are interesting implications for creators being able to tokenize aspects of their businesses, and having these tokens trade interchangeably across exchanges. It’s very early days, but I want to understand how to pronounce “Fyooz”, and why they partnered with Lil Yachty before his tokens are available to trade within the United States.
Nisha also mentions three ideas – one of which especially caught my eye:
index funds for creator tokens — a basket of all small-cap twitch streamers
derivatives for creator tokens — can you “short” a problematic creator
bonds/debt instruments — direct-to-creator lending
If this caught on at a large enough scale, risqué creators (or their managers!) could then hold derivatives of their own tokens as an insurance policy against cancellation…
When your music distributor offers health insurance
Thanks to my guy Lawrence who sent me this article on the plays that artist services company Platoon are running in Africa – offering both half-year advances and health insurance to their growing network of artists. We met with the Platoon team in Cape Town two summer’s ago (you can read more here about our trip) and it was obvious then that despite the Apple money, they were still operating with a scrappy, artist-first mentality like many of you.
I don’t know who called the bakery to place the the Xanax cake order for Lil Pump years ago and why that mental image has vividly stuck with me – but I do hope that labels, management, and artist services companies are taking a page from Platoon’s playbook and taking real steps to secure the health and well-being of the artists that they are fortunate to be in business with.
Speaking of insurance for those of you stateside: the open enrollment deadline for healthcare.gov is December 15th. And if you or your clients don’t yet have health insurance locked in for 2021, I highly recommend doing so and would love to help you navigate enrollment if that would be helpful.
Monthly Planning Redux
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be thinking out loud (via this newsletter) about my planning for 2021. In previous years, I’ve set a lot of goals for myself and my clients. Some of them have been achieved. But most of them have not! I’d like to get better at longer term planning, and perhaps there’s a better approach I can take as I ponder the heightened uncertainty of 2021…
This weekend I’m doing the same monthly review + planning session for December that I outlined in Episode 112, starting with this Google Sheet template. A few things that I know that I can control this upcoming month:
I am going to publish this newsletter three more times: 119, 120, 121 (season finale)
I’m going to have a clear financial picture for 2020 by the middle of the month for my biz and my clients so we can all close the books and make final contributions to savings and investment accounts
I’m working with a few new clients on a trial basis right now, and will have clarity on if we’re going to be working together in 2021 or not
With this in mind – wishing you all a productive and enjoyable start to this holiday season!
Ok, I’m off – but here are a few more reads for your weekend ahead: