The Brilliance!

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#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

‘…where’d you hear that, Friendster?’

I gotta stop with these technology posts! You’d think I have something brewing myself… Honestly though, I don’t just hang out on the internet – I go out and socialize, I swear. I just bring my Treo. Anyway, finally someone wrote it, who better than the NY Times. This is the ‘VH1 Behind The Music’ tell-all story about Friendster and why they didn’t get cash like Myspace. I’m not going to spoil it, or write a lot here…but one thing: Take $30M dollar offers – have these kids ever heard of compounding interest? It’s a long article, I won’t be mad if you don’t read the whole thing.

Bottega Veneta furniture and such!!

Unbeknownst to me, Bottega Veneta has been doing some amazing home furnishing pieces. Who knows how long…I just took notice recently. Real luxury type stuff. What is impressive about Bottega from a branding standpoint is how they bypassed a logo-logo like all the other lux-brands, opting for a weave pattern as their signature and using that on all their leather goods, shoes, bags etc. The weave pattern is especially nice on their desks and tables. If your BAAALLLLINNN’ and not into that, do it in Ostrich and be a real boss. Check out the bedroom set up…it is so me. Listening to all this Jim Jones has got me thinking I have this kind of money to spend. “We stay fly….”

Diddy 2.0!

Ugh, another technology post?! You’re such a nerd Ben. So yeah, I put Diddy in my ‘Top 8’ as a joke type thing a while back…but then I started getting all of ‘his’ bulletins, then I started watching his webisode/youtube things, then I started checking his tracks, then I started watching his little contents things…etc. Needless to say his ploy to grab the internet kids is working quite well – he’s gotten my attention more than a few times. Thing is, he hasn’t been doing the myspace thing for that long – but he already has 4.1 million page views. All that bandwidth, all the streaming videos, all the streaming music, all the promotion, all the exposure, etc. – FOR FREE. Seriously. He has done little to nothing different than your average high school garage band, he just happened to be famous before the fact. Without all this, I honestly wouldn’t have checked for this album – but now I’m actually waiting for its release…have I been brainwashed?! Who knew?!!? A great illustration of why Diddy continues to be successful – adapt to your market!!! Honestly, hats-off to our generation’s Frank Sinatra – Mr. Diddy. **Virgil here, co-signing on this album, just listened to it 2x in a row…for real…Diddy pushed the artistic envelope and I am riding the ‘New Wave’ vibe, reminds me of Kelis - Wanderland, take that…take that**

The Google & YouTube stuff…

I kind of feel like I am supposed to write about this…I mean, I watched the deal/rumors like kawsone.com right before it updates…I cant lie, I love this stuff. Love the deals, love hearing about the insane numbers, and wondering what it must be like. $1.65 billion in stock…not too bad for a company that is ultra young and really has only ‘mattered’ for 12-14 months. Isn’t that just mind numbing?! I mean, it was not a widely used service a while back – then it simply exploded. Some interesting notes: (1) The ‘nerds’ seem to share the same thoughts that Google Video is a better product…the soundtracks are perfectly synced, faster, etc – but the majority rules as was illustrated here. (2) The cost of the deal, $1.65B in stock, is roughly equivalent to a mildly rough week of trading for Google – basically nothing to them. (3) Sequoia, the venture cap firm they used stands to make $500+ million on their original $30 million dollar investment – the majority of which went to server/hosting fees – very easy to manage compared to people/staff. (4) The three founders of YouTube are going to bring in an estimated $100-$200 million each – don’t you wonder the first thing they thought this morning when they woke up? …so yeah, as we’ve said before – the internet is back. ***Take a look at the link below, its TechCrunch’s first write-up of YouTube back in the day.

THE BRILLIANCE! gets down with Flickr!!!

The three of us are going nuts over on our new Flickr account. Uploading photos from all three of our lives and everything else in between. Simply cool…simply fun. Add us to your friends/contact lists and get down with THE BRILLIANCE on Flickr! We’re very late! We know! But better late than never… Take note: Ben said “It was a SPAIN in the neck!”

How to: Price a Painting!

Last week or so a really cool site popped up outta Chicago called businesspov.com . Its premise is to highlight local businesses of all sorts and tell their unique story. All the content is made up of properly cut and pasted short videos that are refreshingly not youtube’d and all grained out. There’s a handful of intriguing videos on there, one of which is the Wesley Kimler piece. Any of us that are into art and have no understanding for how pieces get priced this interview is a nice inside view. Obviously this is just one persons method, but it reminds you that art is not just fun, it’s a business that is made and marketed like any other product. Watch and learn how a 9 x 27 foot painting is a financial loss.

Netflix, who wants to be a millionaire?

I love this. Netflix is offering up $1 million in cash to the any individual who can increase the effectiveness of their movie recommendation system…I think that’s the thing that pops up right after you add a movie to your queue. Check the article below for some interesting quotes from the Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, about all this – a very honest/candid guy to just say ‘hey, we cant figure this out – can you?’ I’m not sure exactly how this all works, if they’ll give contestants access to real/sample Netflix user info or what…should be interesting. Classic business strategy…throw the problem to the masses, let the hustler-nerds figure it out. An inclusive not exclusive approach to business. I’m interested to watch how this unfolds…

Married To The Mob, actual fashion-forward!

I don’t really write about anything fashion related – but I felt like putting this out there. I know they announced this last week or whatever, but it had to take time to marinate. So being part of this whole ‘blog-thing-scene’ and being around the street wear and also the high fashion stuff…we get bombarded with new ‘brands’ all the time. Yeah…honestly too much. But there was something new/different about Married To The Mob when they dropped a while backed…in fact we interviewed the ladies right here on this site. Fun interview. But the real point of this post is to highlight their latest collection, campaign and more important than that…this latest iteration of their actual brand. Nothing short of very impressive. They have quickly reached ‘that place’ where their logo, clothing, website, blog, etc are now just the conduits of the actual brand…a ‘gut feeling’ of the public. (Read Branding Gap!) The photo shoot and press-kit PDF thing they sent out is so fresh. The photo shoot alone is smashing every corny attempt these men’s streetwear brands have been making . Like Jeezy – I love it. So yeah…pay attention now so that in like 3-4 years you can be like ‘yo, I was up MTTM like 4 years ago kid!’ Shouts to Leah and the whole gang, congrats on your continued success.

UK Music Import Alert, Ty!!

Here in the states it’s easy to forget that we don’t have the sole music industry in the world. Notably the UK music industry has a much broader range of music styles that make up their popular music. I don’t know how much radio is supporting Ty over in the UK, but these tracks off of his new album are such a breath of fresh air. Ideally, he could step through the door that Gnarls Barkley opened in the US but who knows. With his last album ‘Upwards’ in personal classic status I had high expectations for this latest effort ‘Closer’ and they have been surpassed. For starters any album cover that directly pays homage to music legend Grover Washington Jr. is headed in the right music direction. The production is so ‘musical’ and doesn’t get too comfortable in the same place, each track contrasts the one right before it. He’s a myspace addict so send him a message and tell him to hurry up with the US release and coinciding tour.

Cut & Paste 2006!!!

I love the whole concept and idea behind this - just so much fun. Cut & Paste is a live digital design ‘tournament’ of sorts…a battle…the Iron Chef of art…whatever you want to call it. Basically what Cut & Paste is doing is holding 4 different events around the country on different dates - NYC on October 21st, Chicago on November 4th, LA on November 11th, and San Fran on November 18th. What I need to get out there is that they are looking for artists and designers to submit their work to be considered to be contenders in these live events! The press and exposure will be great in all different media outlets from Juxtapoz Magazine, to Giant Robot, to Coolhunting.com, Flavorpill, and more. Basically go to the website (linked below) for details on how to enter. The entry deadlines are - NYC - 9/29, Chicago - 10/06, LA - 10/13, and SF - 10/20. So get your site and work sent in for this!!! You know we don’t usually post this kind of stuff - but Cut & Paste is a really awesome concept and fun way to encourage creativity. Just a really simple, cool idea that is sure be a good time with a fun afterparty too. And hey - if you come to the Chicago event to observe or participate if you are selected, you can meet me! Because I’ll be a judge, along with Jeffrey from SkinnyCorp/Threadless, Alethya Luiselli from Leo Burnett, and Melissa and Robert Von Bjal from Red Car. Other judges in other cities include Deanne Cheuk, Sascha Lewis, Buffmonster, Jeff Staple, and more!