New, used, wet, broken

New, used, wet, broken

Disruption Theory 101

Vincent Messina, Cult of Android (emphasis mine):

For Apple consumers, there’s simply no reason other than form factor to choose the Mini over any of the other iPads Apple has to offer.


The only thing the iPod Mini had going for it was its smaller thinner form factor. It went on to become the best-selling iPod.

I refer thee to this post on Asymco, as well as this one, and this episode of The Critical Path.

The iPad Mini does a different job than the iPad 2, the iPod Touch, and the iPhone. What that job is has yet to be seen. I’d put my chips on casual reading as a major selling point, but then most reviewers thought the original iPad would be mainly used for content consumption, like watching video.

One thing is for sure: if they’re releasing it this month, you can be damn sure that Apple has at least some idea of what that job will be. And rather than watch Amazon and Samsung disrupt the iPad, Apple is willing to disrupt itself. The similarity with the iPad 2’s pricing is no mistake: the Mini will lure in customers who might buy an iPad 2 or 3 when they get a chance to play with it.

And if it takes sales away from the more expensive tablets, great! Apple is better off if anyone who would rather spend less for a smaller tablet ends up buying an iPad Mini instead of being wooed by a Galaxy Tab or a Microsoft Surface. Welcome to Disruption Theory 101.

I can’t wait to get one.

Why Remix Culture Needs New Copyright Laws

If they choose to test the waters, artists with little to no knowledge of copyright law are faced with countless legal questions: How much of a song can I sample? What if I record my own version of it and sample that? If I give it away for free, does that make it OK? (Answers: it doesn’t matter; still illegal; and it might help your case.)

Even without overt sampling, a work can still come under attack. The growing popularity of “soundalikes” — songs written in the style of popular artists used in commercials to avoid licensing the originals — is a recent example among dozens of dilemmas faced by modern composers, songwriters, and performers. What about the Koren Ensemble, who perform orchestral, intricately-arranged medleys of popular TV theme songs?

My latest piece for BuzzFeed is a how-to on how to remix without getting sued, and what is necessary in order to encourage remix culture from a legislative standpoint.

It was co-authored with Gabe Levine, my lawyer and the co-star of one of my favorite Creative Mornings talks of all time.

Fuck. Yeah. Legal. Advice.

With help from the wonderful, patient Chris Ritter finalizing my half-baked Omnigraffle chart, and co-authored with the legendary Gabe Levine.

Fuck. Yeah. Legal. Advice.

With help from the wonderful, patient Chris Ritter finalizing my half-baked Omnigraffle chart, and co-authored with the legendary Gabe Levine.

It begins.

It begins.

Warm-ups before Ignite

Warm-ups before Ignite

Cable guy (Taken with Instagram)

Cable guy (Taken with Instagram)

Speaking at Ignite NYC Oct. 22

I’ll be speaking at Ignite NYC, a fun event with smart people each speaking for 5 minutes at a time about whatever sparks their interest.

The theme for this event is “Truth is a Moving Target: Oddities, Anomalies and Wonders with Data”. Here’s the abstract for my talk:

What do self-proclaimed psychics have in common with cocaine-addled rodents and men who are unable to maintain sexual arousal? The answer: all of them have been studied by researchers eager to understand the intricacies of the human brain and behavior.

In this talk, Ben will discuss 8 studies that changed the way we understand our motivations, thoughts, and desires.

Hopefully that speaks for itself.

If you don’t have tickets yet, you can still get them here while they’re available — even though there are 1200 seats, I’ve never seen this event not sell out.

The ‘R’ Word: Really, Really Overused

Say a co-worker shows up for a pivotal meeting wearing a plaid blouse and a polka-dot skirt. In the old days you might have said: “Well, that is certainly an interesting fashion choice. Myself, I prefer something more subdued when sitting down with a client.” Now, though, if you’ve succumbed to the loathsome trend, you will simply aim as withering a look as you can at your colleague, say “Really?” and walk away.


I'm on SoundCloud

Recently I’ve taken a liking to Ableton Live 8. Once you figure out how to use a Digital Audio Workstation it’s pretty easy to move between them, and the inordinate amount of time I spent in Protools in college (and with Garage Band on the iPad) paid off quite a bit.

The first post is a remix of one of my favorite tracks off Grimes’ album Visions from earlier this year. Hope you enjoy it.