Some words and sounds that I’ve enjoyed recently.
How Pop Stars Turned NPR’s ‘Tiny Desk’ Into Authenticity Theater [Adlan Jackson/New York Times] – As Stefon might say, music’s hottest club is called Tiny Desk. And it has everything. Gwar, Taylor Swift, Juvenile. NPR’s Tiny Desk has always been wonderful across its 15 years, but is having a specific post-pandemic resurgence driven by some amazingly eclectic performers and, in my opinVC ion, the glee of seeing lots of people packed into a small space.
Chile’s Shantytowns Are a Last Resort — and Growing Fast [Eduardo Thomson/Bloomberg] – Historically sitting here in the US we’d expect to read stories like this about places distant from our own country. And while Thomson’s article discusses Chile, I do wonder if we’re likely to see more of this globally, including domestically. It’s an extension of the semi-permanent tent cities and car/RV/trailer parking hubs. A cocktail of climate change, inequality, rising housing costs and over-regulation preventing new builds ends up with clusters of people seeking some sort of shelter and community.
These tomas are growing at a dizzying rate all around Chile. A dearth of affordable housing, unemployment, migratory waves, and even discrimination, are leaving many without better options. The number of families living in shantytowns jumped 39% between 2020 and 2021, to almost 114,000, according to the latest from housing nonprofit Techo Chile.
VC (Probably) Isn’t Right For You [Chris Neumann/Panache Ventures] – Find me someone who can perfectly discern at a company’s beginning whether it’s ‘right’ for venture capital, and I’ll show you the world’s most successful investor. So while Chris’ premise is 100% accurate, it’s also often true only in hindsight for many companies. His real call-to-action here though is to help entrepreneurs know there are other sources of capital/models for building out there which aren’t VC-dependent. That I can get behind. I also believe our industry could improve the ways we help a company get off the venture curve if it turns out that they’re not going to succeed, but that’s a more complicated topic.
Jimmy Buffett, 1946 – 2023 [NYTimes Obituary] – My first tattoo came in 1991. A parrot on the inside of my left ankle. A parrot in reference to Jimmy Buffett’s fandom, and the interior because it was for me, not for others. My onramp to Margaritaville came in the 1980s as a pre-teen, my best friend’s lawless uncle playing us Songs You Know By Heart in his convertible. Jimmy had a smaller fan community those days – so small that when his albums first started being reissued on compact disc they needed to put TWO on a single disc in order to incentivize purchase – but we two joined it quickly. What followed were several decades of concerts, Buffett-inspired adventures, and even a few encounters with the man himself. Thank You Jimmy 🦜