Tools for MGMT: Episode 206

Free Zack Fox Edition

My name is Ethan. I manage Alex Russell, Zack Fox, and Cam Hicks. 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 special weekend edition of season two.

Activity Log:

  • Met multiple colleagues and two online friends (Dru Riley, Taylor Pearson) this week IRL for the first time 🥰

  • New biz idea: Stripe Atlas but for writers who need loan-out companies 💡

  • Booked three artists for a show in July (see you in LA 7/24 - 7/28 if not sooner?)

  • Planned out Q3 via this template

Free Zack Fox
On Thursday morning, Zack sent me a screenshot from the IG app showing that his account had been disabled. The night before, he had posted a joke on his story about the Colin Kaepernick x Ben & Jerry’s “Change The Whirled” non-dairy collaboration. 🙃 🙃 🙃

Zack is in a lane of his own where he can both crack the Kaep jokes and speculate about putting O.J. Simpson in his music video, but then also signal boost a new ride sharing co-op in NYC that is collectively owned by the drivers.

So what happened here? Maybe the algorithm was trained on a data set that disproportionately bans Black users. It’s possible that he was mass reported in some sort of coordinated attack. Perhaps multiple posts were flagged in a short amount of time (although we’ve received zero reports of this being the case).

Zack has a provocative voice… but he’s also a comedian. He’s not the ringleader of an insurrection.

Nevertheless, my sense is that for Zack to get unbanned, someone senior at Instagram is going to have to take a moment to size up the nuance of the situation, and then (hopefully) flip the @zackfox switch back on. If you might know who that person is and can connect me, I’d really appreciate it.

When Zack was “permanently banned” from Twitter in August 2019 for provoking the alt-right, my regret was not going hard enough in those first 2 weeks when we had momentum on our side. It took 9 months for his account access to be restored out of nowhere. And while I think I know the person at Twitter who brought his account back to life, I’m not certain.

The point being – as with most things – one person can make all the difference. Please let me know if you know them!

This piece in Digiday on “polywork” (which feels a bit like sponsored content for the startup Polywork) defines the term as:

The professional workforce, particularly millennials (aged between 25 and 40 years old) and Gen Z (up to 24 years old), is increasingly rejecting the concept of a full-time job and a single boss in favor of something that’s being dubbed “polywork,” or having multiple jobs at once.

Let’s talk about the startup for a moment. I don’t think it’s a LinkedIn killer, but I do like the timeline view of career and project history for those who have taken the time to fill it in.

Many people have had convoluted and unexpected paths that led them to working in talent management, and I do like reading about these origin stories in the same way that I like to trace connections on IMDBPro and ROSTR. There are currently 159 people with the Music Management badge and 78 people with the Artist Manager badge. And I won’t rest until all of them are subscribers of Tools for MGMT.

Anyway. It feels a bit indulgent (not unlike this Substack…) but think I’m going to try it out and report back in a few weeks. And if any of you need an invite code, just send me an email. 💌

Interview with the CEO of Patreon
This is a long read… but you can tell Jack Conte (co-founder and CEO) has thought very deeply about the possibilities and issues facing the creator economy – and where Patreon fits in.

His take on platform risk is timely:

We want to believe they are, but they’re not our fans, and they’re not our customers. They’re Facebook’s users. They’re Twitter’s users… They’re not really my fans. On those mass media companies, on those sites that are destinations — those are not solid platforms on which I can build a business as a creator. With one change, they can cut my traffic in half. I’m left as a creator with suddenly half the views, half the ad revenue, and none of the control. Now I’ve actually lost touch with half of my audience….

I think Shopify is thinking about this in the same way. People need a place where they can own their customer relationships, where there’s not a mitigator between the consumer and the author and the creator and the merchant or whoever it is. Those companies are of course getting into payments, as they should. I’m actually very excited about that world, because again, I think it’s a net positive for creators. I think all that competition is going to mean that creators are about to make, literally, billions of dollars over the next decade.

Ok, that’s a wrap – but here are a few more things for your week ahead: