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...

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!

The Space Blogger!!!

“LOL! OMGWTF! HEY LOOK THERE’S A PLANET!” That is an exact quote from Anousheh Ansari, the world’s first female space tourist and first ever space blogger. Ok, so that’s not really a quote from her, I made that up. But she did say “Keeping good hygiene in space is not easy!” You think? Gravity is the one thing that makes going to the bathroom possible, really…I’d hate to try to deal with what is meant to go down trying to make its way up…does that make sense? Anyways, this is really, really fascinating though. Anousheh, like I said, first female space tourist in the world - and she’s keeping a blog about it. And not only a blog, but a Flickr page about it too!. Truly a beautiful way to utilize blogs and Flickr to do something interesting…a nice departure from looking at pictures of sorta-but-not-really-friend’s weekend BBQs and reading about their favorite crappy new bands. Interesting fact - all water on the International Space Station is recycled. “Wet objects are left to air dry so the station’s water conduction unit can collect and purify the water—including from sweaty workout clothes.” This grosses me out, but when you’re in space, who cares. Do what you have to do and enjoy the view. This really has to be read and seen (i.e. her blog and Flickr) to be enjoyed. So I’ll leave you with a really great quote from Ansari and the link to the blog follows. “Here it was, this beautiful planet turning graciously about itself, under the warm rays of the Sun… so peaceful… so full of life… no signs of war, no signs of borders, no signs of trouble, just pure beauty.”

Vintage candy packaging!

And I thought those old hip-hop flyers were cool?! These are nuts! I’ve always been a fan of vintage advertising…the old travel posters, the super cheap (but awesome) old-school French advertising posters you can get at World Market, etc. I love the simple color schemes, the ultra-simple screen printed look, the pasted-together feel of it all. Its like utilitarian marketing, and it comes out so genuine. Anyway…I got this link off the Glob and I had to post it. The ‘Snappy Gator’ is my favorite…I want a huge, huge print of this. Like 6ft x 6ft on a huge white wall. So what happened to this style of design anyway? Computers?

Star Trak, nice move!

I am not gonna lie I put a lot of stock in what the Neptunes have done for our genres music and how Pharrell is blazing a trail with his hip-hop fame…talk about an inspirational lifestyle. Since we are ‘so internet’ here at THE BRILLIANCE I could not help but notice the the new tone of the re-vamped Star Trak website. Two thumbs way up. This is a great example of content versus coding. Granted its a bit of flash, but the content they put up is more than you normally get from a music artist standard promotional tool. The pics and videos are a nice inside look into the on goings of Star Trak. The only way the site could be anymore candid was if they had footage of the knock-down-drag-out label drama. Enjoy the user experience, search around. Be on the look out for that chrome keepall?!?!