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...

Inc. Magazine: Jason Fried, this is how I work!

Man, I’m blogging!! I haven’t done this many posts in a while. I’ve been feeling semi-relaxed these past few days, maybe that’s why. Whatever. So, I always worry that I’m going to sound fan-boyish when I talk about people I admire - maybe I shouldn’t care. Either way. People like Jason Fried are really interesting to listen to - either you loathe his attitude towards things or you really identify with him. His latest article in Inc. Magazine is him giving a glimpse into how he operates day to day. Funny, we interviewed him a while back and asked some of the exact same questions. People, I think for the most part, are drawn to him not just because he’s got a wildly successful business but because he seems to have a business/personal life that are woven well together. Most people don’t, you know? Maybe that’s just why I enjoy reading his thoughts. It’s weird, I imagine Steve Jobs is quite different from Jason Fried, but there are similarities. I have oddly placed their insights in the same “mental bin” in my head. Hmm. Anyway, great feature, check it out at the link below.

***You know whats bugging me, is people in comments asking Jason, directly, how they can: skip meetings, come in late, minimize work weeks, etc, etc, etc, and make money like 37signals does. He never said it would work for you. He’s simply giving a look into what makes 37signals work. Not everything translates to your business, you know? And honestly, I feel like as soon as you have to ask those questions you already don’t “get it”. Probably the same reason why I can’t stand self-help books. Ugh.

Objectified!

Objectified - the flick that I’ve been waiting to watch for…too long. From the guys who made a movie a fell asleep watching, Helvetica. Sorry, maybe I had mono that day - I just couldn’t keep them peeled. Objectified on the other hand is awesome, as I hoped it would be. It’s not nearly as niche a film - I think pretty much anyone could watch it and get inspired by the idea that everything we interact with, every single day, is designed - either amazingly well, poorly, or just meh. Johnny Ive’s part was of course cool, his little giggle thing or whatever at the end of his bit was kind of weird though, ha. Weird to see him break his whole “AL-YOU-MINI-YUM” intense stare thing. Anyway, yeah. Mr. Dieter Rams is simply mesmerizing to listen to. Naoto Fukasawa’s explanation of simplicity by comparing corny over the top poets (see “slam” poets) to poets who prefer hiakus really struck a chord with me. Kind of like the whole, “don’t design just for design’s sake” - duh, but Muji has that perfect magic about it doesn’t it? I’d have to say my favorite was the Frenchman, the two Bouroullec’s. They are so passe it seems - they’re simply doing what they enjoy, and not too concerned about being “designers”, you know? Or maybe they’re just super French and I just dig French people. I think my favorite part about Objectified was that I could grab it right off iTunes for only $9.99 - I just thought that was a hell of deal, and I don’t have to rip it, or whatever, I’ve got it with me all the time. Great flick, I highly recommend it. ***Kareem Rashid’s suit jacket didn’t fit. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

We Were Once A Fairytale, A short film by Kanye and Spike Jonze.

You know, I’ve been, dare I say, a loyal Kanye fan for quite some time. His production, his music, his taste, and maybe even more so his apparent lack of pretention in just being himself - totally un-edited. Its cliche, yeah, to be like: ‘oh, I love when someone is just themselves’ - but I distinctly remember Kanye being on 106 and Park when College Dropout was just about to come out - he was wearing this bright blue corduroy polo blazer - and jumped off the sofa and said something to the effect that he was you, he was everyone in the audience, he was the fan that got too close to stage. I’ve never really looked at him as simply an entertainer - he’s always been an artist that uses any medium he see’s fit to present his work. Be that pop-music, proper street music, fame, antics, fashion, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. All as a medium. This isn’t a post for me to gush about him, etc, its more the context that I watch his latest creation in. Its all about context isn’t it?? All that said, have a look - link below.

Some stuff, or whatever.

What’s up?? The whole THE BRILLIANCE! gang over here has been heads down, busy, working, getting inspired, etc. All is well though. WHATEVERZ though right?! So yeah, I’m just going to post a bunch of stuff I’m into right now, things that are inspiring me, or whatever.

Ferro fluid video. Have you ever seen this stuff? Super cool, in fact, I actually tried to order some on eBay once - it never came, the guy said it got lost in the mail.

Why doesn’t Vans make the black on black, or white on white classic in leather? Bummer.

Triumph Of The Nerds! How had I never seen this. Circa 1996, big glasses, getting it in. I miss coding after watching this.

Clove cigarettes are banned now, yeah, I guess I’m “goth”, ha, cause I enjoy ‘em. I still have a hook-up.

Beyonce Clown.” First there was “Cat Gate”, and now this. Try and watch that and not laugh.

I kind of miss having a Blackberry sometimes.

I grew up reading Popular Science, etc - I haven’t read one in a while.

I was under-the-weather (I hate saying “sick”) a week ago for about 3 days - and having to sit at home for 2+ days (let alone more than 3 hours) did wonders for my creativity. Forcing yourself to slow down, and just day-dream is a good thing - even if you feel rough.

I’ve never been to Mexico before - I think I’m headed there this season. I think.

Winter-wear. I’m taking it seriously this year. Marmot puffer (sorry, Moncler is getting too obvious) and I just got a Supreme winter cap in the mail. I might even do long-johns. Ha, are there any cool long-johns?? Hey everybody, have a good weekend.

Heavy inspiration: Rachel Sussman’s photography & travels!!

To be a photographer is one thing. To travel the world and document what most people would consider to be some of the most fascinating natural wonders on Earth is another. Rachel Sussman’s work does all of that. I discovered it via Jason Fried’s Twitter when he posted about her Oldest Living Things In The World section, which by the way is completely amazing and my favorite section of her site. What’s more - her work is good because it’s so simple. No heavy editing, no screwing with colors to make things “look cooler” via Photoshop…Just the photos of a person who has seen some amazing things in her lifetime. Look at this tree!!. 2,000 years old in South Africa. Super cool. Super simple.

RSVP gallery!!!

NEW PROJECT ALERT!!! Part of the reason I have been in a cave for the past month or so. It feels so good to be writing this post sitting at RSVP gallery a new concept shop I just opened up with a couple of good friends. All the traveling and relationship I have built can now have a home. The part-gallery, part-shop is a random assortment of POP art and Luxury. It feels good to see all The Yeezys and Louis in one case for sale. I have always wanted a rack of *A Bathing ApeĀ® in Chicago. It’s also a one stop shop for THE BRILLIANCE product. Nopattern Books & the only Boxed Water Fridge in the world. A splash of Vintage CHANEL and hallmark Louis Vuitton pieces is always a good thing to offer as well. The design of the space reminded me why I went to architecture school in the first place… NEON and NONSENSEĀ® All in all I just love having a platform to showcase cool stuff. Come visit. Whew!

I sometimes think Apple is confusing.

So yeah, I’m a super huge Apple fan right? To a certain extent I evangelize their products a bit too much. I suppose I just really love their attention to detail. That being said, after just scrolling through Engagdet’s live updates on the keynote today and chatting with my friend Adam about this new iPod Nano with a camera…I feel a little confused. I love simplicity, and not just in design, but in business models, etc. I feel like Apple is making some confusing moves by offering, while really cool, odd enhancements to their products. So we’ve got an iPod Nano that can take video now - great. But I kind of can’t believe I just saw Steve Jobs show a picture of a Flip Camera and say “we want to get in this market”.........and then announce it as a new feature on their mid-level music device. A music device that has nothing to do with capturing video. A device thats simplicity, see them brag about the click wheel, made it so attractive. A device that’s whole purpose, music, reinvigorated the public’s image of Apple. Does anyone remember Steve Jobs saying that even just playing video on an iPod wasn’t something they were interested in? Now they’re just cramming features into it - making it harder and harder for me to explain to, say my Grandmother, which iPod would be best for her. It used to be like, you know, small - medium - large. As in, Shuffle - Nano - iPod. It feels like each is its own product but none really fit into a line-up as Apple usually does. To be honest, it feels kind of like the presentation of product lines we’d see from Sony or something, you know? Or, ouch, Microsoft with their 20 different versions of windows. I had the same thoughts with the iPod Touch when that was launched too, like, I couldn’t believe they would do that. Yeah, it sells well, but does it cannibalize other products, does it confuse, is it kind of corny? I always looked at the touch as the C-Class hatchback Benz did a while back with cloth seats. Yuck, what a bad look for Mercedes at the time. It’s funny, when Steve Jobs came back the first time in the 90’s he slashed Apple’s product lines big time, made things simple, understandable and FOCUSED. Looks like they are creeping back to their old ways maybe? I guess it all feels just kind of un-Apple. ***All that said, its pretty awesome to see Steve back on the stage doing his thing, I hope this is the case for a long time to come.

Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3. I’m listening!!

What a tradition this has become for me. I remember all the way back in high school in my parents Ford Tarus in the parking lot of Best Buy ripping the wrapper off (putting the windows down like he suggested) and throwing in a new Jay-Z album. Before ever having heard any of the tracks, like early internet. I remember making one of my first paid-for websites in high school listening to Jay tell us that if we wanted to get down all we needed to invest was our time. (Paperchase is STILL one of the CRAZIEST songs, seriously.) Man oh man, Jay-Z is a business mentor of mine, indirectly, you know? Like, “I didn’t got to college, I just listened to Jay-Z albums.” I’ll stop gushing. I haven’t even listened past 4 of these new tracks and I know its another one to remember - and like most his works, its not to be compared to a previous album, each one is brand new, listen to it accordingly! Ha, he’s killing me, he said: “If you like my old stuff, buy an old album.” Raise your champagne glass, or diet coke can for me this morning, and toast to Jay-Z lets get it and like he said: “never let ‘em see you frown, even smile when you’re down.”.

Patrick Blanc’s vertical gardens! I love this.

My friend Rick sent this to me. Super cool. I’ve had this kind of obsession with vertical farming lately too, like how it integrates with cities, etc. This stuff though is pure art. Super, super whimsical - just makes your imagination run, kind of like that post I did on huge indoor jellyfish tanks. So yeah, this guy Patrick Blanc started growing gardens on his walls when he was young, using fish tanks with fertilized water as the base and now he’s doing massive walls for hotels indoors and out. Amazing stuff. I wonder how it makes a room feel when you walk into it - is it humid, refreshing with all the fresh air, how does it smell? I want to do an ivy wall in my loft now - can you imagine ivy creeping up the inside of a loft’s exposed brick? Nuts. Link below is to his official site, but check this great Wired article too.

Mad Men. I’m so late.

I did a post about Entourage the same way, like 3 seasons after it started I was like “OMG. hav u seen like this awesome show where they r just like rich and live super awesome lives?!11 its called liek Entourage or sumthing. so good!” Ha. Ehh. So yeah, I just wrapped watching the first DVD from season one. Wow, I’ve been missing out heavy. Brilliantly acted, produced, shot, etc. So entertaining but in a low-key, almost relaxing way I suppose. I’ve never worked at an ad agency but all of us here at THE BRILLIANCE either have run, are running our own projects or have freelanced in this arena at some point - so fun to look at the roots of the industry, or at least an interpretation of it. Especially seeing as how..corny ad agencies are now. No more suits, just a ‘cool jeans convention’ at most agencies now, ha. And a competition of who has the squarest, literally in shape, glasses. Ha, I’m sorry - I suppose I just wish it was like it was back with the Mad Men a bit more, a stack of fresh white dress shirts in your drawer to get sharp if you didn’t make it home the previous night before your 9am meeting. Dig. Although, the sexual harassment and lung cancer can stay back in that era, yikes.