What I’m Reading: Understanding Michael Ovitz

I think understanding context is crucial for education and self-development. An example: my current employer, Intellectual Property Group is a successor to the H.N. Swanson Literary Agency, one of the greatest Hollywood Lit Agencies of all time. Swanie represented some of the greatest literary heavyweights: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, etc. The foreword to his memoir, SPRINKLED WITH RUBY DUST, was written by client, the late great Elmore Leonard. The Importance Of Context In reading Swanie’s memoir and understanding the circumstances in which he built his agency, I understand the nature of my work and my environment
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What I’m Reading: 9/5/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: I’ve made an effort to read deeper, instead of just hopping around my Feedly account like a one-footed jackrabbit. It takes a lot longer, and you can’t just skim the headlines, but deep reading provides clarity to complex situations, beyond the ability to regurgitate the facts. For example, on the general topic of “Is Silicon Really Changing the World?” I read, in this order: Why Draper University Won’t Work (But Could) | Study Hacks Startup Culture’s Lack Of Diversity Stifles Innovation | Fast Company |
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The Benefits of “No”

I read this beautiful piece by Kevin Ashton called Creative People Say No. The gist of which can be summed below: Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy. Creators
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What I’m Reading: 8/28/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: Day Trading Is a Sucker’s Game Crossing Wall Street | Crossing Wall Street“The good news is that this means that our formula for investing is now at an even greater premium. The ingredients of that formula are the same as ever: (1) Find good-quality companies; (2) Buy said companies’ stock at good prices; (3) Be patient. You don’t need to be the fastest trader, or have the most gizmos working for you. You don’t have to make the perfect trade every time. What you do have
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What I’m Reading: 8/21/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: An End Of Books | Seth Godin “Yes, we’re entering a new golden age for books, one with more books and ebooks being written and read today than ever before. No, books won’t be completely eliminated, just as vinyl records are still around (a new vinyl store is opening in my little town). But please don’t hold your breath for any element of the treasured ecosystem to return in force.” America Can’t Afford Wall Street’s Terrible Investment Advice | TIME.com “Assume that you are an
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What I’m Reading: 8/14/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: ANYTHING YOU WANT by Derek Sivers Weinstein Co. Lands Bill Murray’s Next Film, ‘St. Vincent De Van Nuys’ – Deadline.com | Deadline Love this story about Ted Melfi getting Bill Murray behind his project, which I read after hearing Melfi would also be adapting THE TENDER BAR. Patrick Whitesell on The Future of Content & WME An interview of interest if you work in Hollywood and want a glimpse at the overarching reach of one of the big 4 talent agencies, in the entertainment world
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What I’m Reading: 8/7/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: Understanding Google | stratēchery by Ben Thompson “The surest route to befuddlement in the tech industry is comparing a vertical player, like Apple, with a horizontal one, like Google.” Inside Look at How Netflix Launches an Original Series | TIME.com Simon Sinek Ted Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action “There’s the ‘what,’ the ‘how,’ and the ‘why’ we do things — it’s the ‘why’ that matters.” 06:00 “It’s not what we sell, it’s why we sell.” 11:00 “People don’t buy what you do, they buy
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What I’m Reading: 7/31/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: Wheeler Dixon’s DEATH OF THE MOGULS “Death of the Moguls is a detailed assessment of the last days of the “rulers of film.” Wheeler Winston Dixon examines the careers of such moguls as  Harry Cohn at Columbia, Louis B. Mayer at MGM, Jack L. Warner at Warner Brothers, Adolph Zukor at Paramount, and Herbert J. Yates at Republic in the dying days of their once-mighty empires.” I wanted to build on my fundamentals of Hollywood history, to wrap context around what I’m learning today. If
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PURPLE COW by Seth Godin Notes

Work has been giving me an emotional beat down with fists wrapped in quarters lately. Last month, I’ve nearly torn out my eyebrows over the bullshit monotony of scheduling, rescheduling, and emailing. It’s an assistant’s mental equivalent of “I-pick-stuff-up-I-put-stuff-down.” At the end of a day, I’ve spent 90 percent of my time pushing around paper, minus the paper. This isn’t a rant against who I work for, my role, or my industry. I understand this shit has to get done, and why I’m the one shoveling it. My “win-days” have become those when I manage to carve out 30 minutes
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Round-up: MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane and Behind the Brand

I finished Dennis Lehane’s MOONLIGHT MILE recently. It’s disheartening to say, but I felt he didn’t bring his A-game on this one. It was as if he tried so hard to be relevant, to cover every iota of modern day society, from adoption to Twitter to unemployment, that he lost sight of the razor sharp characterizations that made Patrick and Angie novels so enticing. I can’t say I’m the foremost expert on Dennis’s writings, though I’d like to think I’m in a pretty good position to comment on his work — at least in the top 5 percentile of “critics
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