Sxsw, vinyl and what’s next

I said in an earlier post that I love music.

I really do.

The first song I remember loving was ‘Birdland’ by the Manhattan Transfer. I’m not sure why but I just loved it. Then many, many years later my Dad played me the Weather report version and my head exploded (not literally obviously) and Jaco Pastorius became my hero.

The power rangers theme tune made 6 year old me hyper, the Raggy dolls made me think deeply about how toys should all be loved and Coronation Street still makes me think it’s Sunday, my hair has been washed and I have to go to school the next day.

I was listening to a sxsw playlist earlier today and I didn’t like any of the first 20 songs I listened to.

My first thought was, its over. You’re going to be that guy saying ‘it was so much better when the Chili Peppers released By the Way. Those were harmonies’.

Then I thought. What if I haven’t given the songs enough of a chance? What if one listen isn’t enough. Lots of the songs I love grew on me.

I very quickly treat music like a service. Hear the new thing and move on.

I have begun collecting vinyl to stop myself just consuming music, to try to sit with a record and enjoy it.

Sometimes things need some time to settle, to develop. Maybe it could be said some of the best things require it.

My Dad took the his copy of Kind of Blue back to the shop after buying it on release day. He hated it that much (to confirm, he then went back to it a month later and between us we must have bought 20 copies of it). 

I didn’t think I would keep watching the West Wing after 1 episode.

My challenge to myself today is not to run off and try to hear all the music, but to just enjoy a couple. Really listen and try to understand what the person is saying.

It’s all very pretentious I know, but I really don’t mean it like that.

I shall let you know what album I settle on.

More disciplined than you think

We all know the story, it goes like this:

‘He wakes at 4am and gets straight on to his e mails. Once he has had a simple breakfast of organic oats, harvested and blessed by surfer monks from Fiji he gets on the treadmill for 2 hours and holds FaceTime calls with his core team. By the time 6am comes around he has achieved inner peace and launched 17 new products.’

I exaggerate slightly (2 hours on the treadmill is too much…). If you read a business book, magazine or watch the ‘behind the founder’ interviews you may have read similar things.

The problem? What if that isn’t the only way to be productive, what if the morning routine should look different for us?

I always want to know about the habits of successful people, how they do what they do and why they do it. I then try and roll that out in my life.

The issue is that it doesn’t make me happy. It exhausts me.

It felt good to confess that.

I’m Kristian, and I’m a routine copycat of those I have never met.

At this point I should say that I don’t believe that there is such a thing as a morning or night person, it is just routine. I have to wake up in the morning to go to work, therefore I make a choice to be in bed by 11.

That’s a start! A disciplined part of my routine.

I am finding that enforced discipline can be one of lifes great gifts to me.

I need to get a train at X time so I need to leave the house by Y. This is a good staring framework.

It is custom to my routine, not enforced by my love of Silicon Valley founders or how I want to present myself. I can use that as my kick off point to build the other parts that give me energy.

I’m going to talk more about the things I am trying to add to my morning routine in a later post.

I will end here, we all have things we are aiming for and the morning can be a great place to get some wins under your belt and launch the day well.

Find an anchor point for routine, the things you have to do anyway and celebrate that you did them.

‘I have to get up to walk the dog/feed the kids/get to work.’

You have more discipline than you realise, use it this week to feel a win then add the things you need/want to.

Creating something lasting

I recently went to Venice. Venice is now in my favourite places in the world. 

The churches, the locals, the coffee, the boats and houses on the river. 


My wife and I went round lots of old churches. For such a small place there really is an abundance of churches. 

The picture above really does no justice to how wonderful the churches are. 

I won’t turn this into a travel journal, or even a thesis on architecture (largely because I know nothing about either). 

What all this beauty made me think was as follows:

Is there any one who can still make beautiful art on this scale? Did the skill get lost when cathedrals weren’t as popular as building projects? 

Closely followed by:

Hundreds of years ago someone used their talent and built something lasting, beautiful and grand. Centuries later I’m stood enjoying their work, thinking about legacy. 

This week I shall be thinking more about what we build that lasts. 

The statement is as follows, ‘websites, projects and legacy can fade – what do we leave that lasts?’ 

Happy Monday to you and yours.