#023 Shooting Stars

I still remember when a kid I went to high school with begged me to sell kitchen knives with him door to door, which to me, never sounded fun no matter how much money was on the other side of the equation. Even today I don't like knocking on my neighbor's door asking if I can use their can opener. So as you could imagine, I stuck with selling computers at Best Buy for $9.15 per hour. And I'm sure he went on to do a number of other pyramid schemes that were more promising than the last.

We've been trained for years in our current economy to avoid specific queues or actions that lead to financial traps.

And while the economic landscapes are changing with the introductions of unregulated digital and crypto currencies, those same traps still exist.

Seth Godin said it better than I did, "Like most traps, they're mysterious and then appealing and then it's too late"

I like to think about the two kinds of people in the world when it comes to adopting or accepting new ideas. The following is the most relevant day-to-day parallel I can draw for early adopters vs late majority or laggards...

I'm the kind of person that will try 20 different email client apps in one week just to try and find the best one. Sometimes I switch everything over because I'm bored. I naturally want to be tinkering around with new platforms and have no problem re-learning what I already know. I also changed my tumblr theme every 2 months. You know the drill.

On the other hand, I've worked with people who have a really high propensity to resist. The good ol' if it's not broken don't fix it people*.*

There is good and bad to both sides of the equation.

Our small conversations in the studio this week have been about Abe's broken shoulder and whether or not we should participate in the NFT market. We've been asked 2-3 times just this week to partner with people in making something.

I'm often quick to say yes to new technologies or ways of thinking but I slowed down a bit this time. When I asked, "Why would we make NFTs?"

I found out:

🤔 They could be a trap

⚡️ They use an insane amount of energy. Here's exactly how much.

🥴 That I really, just, don't care for a majority of the art being sold

Something we talk about a lot on this upcoming season of the podcast is intent. Would people care about NFTs if $ETH prices shot back down to $10 per coin? Are people making things they care about or is this a modern day equivalent to a pyramid scheme? Or as Seth calls it, a trap.

Money as a motivator seems to always leave us in bad position. We've seen the results of this for years.ore recently during the short squeeze of GME and now in crypto art.

I hope NFTs and other crypto art play an amazing supporting character in all of this. I also hope the creative work and the stories we choose to tell remains the why.

We're trying to stay focused on making great work and creating our own demand instead of getting distracted by the get rich quick campaign. Digital economies and algorithms fall short compared to what might be able to build yourself.

I think we all get the itch to arrive long before we're due. And in that moment we shift our priorities so quickly. The tools and vehicles that are made to support our journey end up becoming the priority.

Thinking about this note from last week and how it applies to this topic so heavily today: "Choose the difficult of discipline over the ease of distraction."

— Alex

Ideas from me


There are moments when we struggle to find creative breakthrough on command. And many times, if we sleep on it, we're able to come back with a whole new mindset. It's the idea of time off being useful—the resting, reading, and general leisure that makes creative thinking possible. When we think of the time off as a means to producing better, we're able to prioritize our wellbeing and position ourselves for better output.


We often make decisions "for now" as a temporary fix. But how we function at a small scale is how we operate at a large scale. What we practice from the very beginning sets the patterns for the whole system.

Quote from somebody else

“Authenticity has been weaponized. It’s a term that’s really been abused. You can almost say today’s society is characterized by an authenticity-industrial complex. We’re more concerned with appearing real than being real.”

— Eric Hu

Links worth sharing

🍗 Don’t Cookbook by Postmates

🎙 How Long Gone with Phoebe Bridgers

🍔 Burger King’s small comeback with their rebrand lasts only a couple months after a very poorly thought out tweet triggers everyone on planet earth.

💿 Jack buys TIDAL

👕 How Supreme-Style Drops Took Over Corporate America

🤔 The Authenticity Trap

🧼 Foam Talent Digital Exhibition

👀 Mackenzie designed the CORE logo as seen on the Golden Globe Awards.

Thanks for another week!

Common Discourse is a weekly briefing designed to help others (and myself) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work. It hits your inbox every Tuesday at 9:17am.

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