Wells Baum is a Futurist, Creator, and Music Explorer. Always connecting the dots on screen.

More About Me

I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.
Elon Musk

Dressed to Lead the Pack

“This is New York City — people like glitz and glamour,” Mr. Caldwell said. “You need a gimmick. You need to stand out. I’m a walking advertisement. People see me and they tell their friends.”

The ridiculous is the new remarkable, and it sells, especially in New York City.

Proof of Concept

A concept is a rough draft. A proof of concept is a rough draft backed by the practicability of execution.

Concepts are meant to be far-fetched. They should go beyond conventional wisdom in attempt to get others thinking about all the possibilities.

  • Novelty: Something new
  • Creation: Something new and valuable
  • Invention: Something new, having potential value through utility
  • Innovation: Something new and uniquely useful

Horace Dediu

Concepts can fall into any of the categories above, culminating in innovation. Concepts describe how things could be when nothing is out of scope.

The hardest part about concepts is following up and doing the work. Research, management, and experimentation come with hurdles. You may discover that the infrastructure fails to meet the mission. Uber would still be a concept without the spread of Internet connected mobile phones and apps.

Concepts are business dreams, far from impossible. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop blueprint shows what a practicable pipe dream looks given the funds and teamwork to make it happen.

In short, concepts are visions for the future. The challenge is in embracing patience and working backward to make concepts happen.

Just replace this 2006 New Yorker cover with phones and tablets and it’ll be 2014.  Also replace the books with social networks, games, and Buzzfeed.  No one reads anymore, in long-form anyway.

Just replace this 2006 New Yorker cover with phones and tablets and it’ll be 2014. Also replace the books with social networks, games, and Buzzfeed. No one reads anymore, in long-form anyway.

Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on
Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on
Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on
Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on

What I like about you is the serious way you make up nonsense"—): "…it is an absolutely autobiographical statement. It is not only a definition of my work, it is a definition of my character.
Gabriel García Márquez, on his own touch of magical realism

7 articles to read this weekend

I wrote earlier this week about the paradox of hoarding information so it’s only natural I share my reading list with you like I do every weekend.

1. Facebook Self-Unbundles

The Great Facebook Unbundling

Facebook has failed to invent any new behaviors or even innovate on the behaviors that were commonplace on the service. For instance, Poke is a grand-pappy of Snapchat.

Facebook is too big and too distracted by business priorities to create another popular platform. So it’s just going to acqui-hire the likes of Instagram and WhatsApp. Even Zuckerberg admits that Facebook will exist as a bunch of mobile apps without Facebook’s branding on them.

2. The GIF That Keeps on Giving

Admit It, GIFs Suck. So Why Won’t They Die?

“It is like a whole new medium. Cinemagraphs is a whole new thing. People have understood, with the web, we have images, we have video—people understand what to do with that,” Burg said. “But this kind of in-between thing is a very new phenomenon.”

GIFs have been around for a while but exploded in popularity because of Tumblr. It’s still a bit unclear though how to make GIFs as much as it is to pronounce the word. Vine has also helped in mainstreaming the little looping pieces of art.

I personally love GIFs as a way to quickly digest soccer highlights. But I also love everyday GIFs, like this.

3. Side Projects

Why ‘Side Projects’ matter?

You are letting it grow up protected from the harsh world of putting food on the table and meeting deadlines and targets. It will do that one-day for you. It will do that in spades. But right now, it is just a child. It wants to play around for a bit. It needs time to work out its place in this world.

Gmail started as a side project. So did Nasty Gal and many other businesses that are now legitimate. It turns that if you really love doing something a career may meet you half-way, and that’s when you pick another passion to work for free on.

4. The Lost Film


Maier was an inveterate wanderer and self-taught photographer, favouring a Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera, with an uncanny ability to get close to people from all walks of life.

You think you’re weird (and different) until you see someone like Vivian Maier. She’s my new muse.

Only the weird survive.

5. ‘Soccer’ (aka Football)

Soccer, Particularly England’s Premier League, Growing in Popularity in New York Creative Circles

“It is often said that baseball blew up in America in the age of radio, and the N.F.L. rose to dominance once television took over,” Mr. Bennett said. “Soccer is the perfect sport for the Internet era. American fans can follow games and instantaneously track information from global leagues both big and small, feeling as close to their favorite teams as if they lived within a thrown beer of their stadium.”

Soccer has come a long in the United States from being labelled as the Commie sport in the 70s to the sport of intellectuals and culture seekers today.

All it took for me to become a fan was the one game I went to at Highbury Stadium in London to watch Arsenal. Now I can follow the team online and talk about it in depth with other Americans on Twitter and Facebook. It’s ok for hipsters to like soccer, as long as it means more Americans play it and we win the World Cup before I die.

6. Record Store Day

Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza on how “we live in a streaming world”

"When you run a small independent label, at a certain point, it becomes like trying to squeeze a dry lemon. It’s a lot of work, and you’re not getting a lot of juice." - Rob Garza

Vinyl is durable, like a good conversation. Digital music on the other hand is as ephemeral as a Snap(chat). There’s little connection with the music and the artist since listeners just skip on to the next beat. The iPhone/iPod made the music library [infinite]( and streaming has made music more of a commodity. For some bands, however, the digital world has been a boon.

Did I mention that I still miss John Peel.

7. To Done List

Three Things

"What three things do you need to do today?"

You should be able to instantly answer this simple question, each day, every day, for the rest of your life. Without any tools other than the brain you were born with.

You don’t need a pen or a computer to write down your to-do list. It should already be in your brain. If you can’t identify your tasks, then you’re ignoring them and might want to consider scratching them off the list. And after you finish, celebrate with a done list.

I think that art certainly is the vehicle for us to develop any new ideas, to be creative, to change the current conditions.
Ai Weiwei

Collecting Dust

With infinite spaces comes infinite hoarding. Space encourages us to consume, produce, and save everything. We try to fill every nook and cranny of a house with furniture and paintings like we do uploading files into Dropbox.

Hoarding is the paradoxical desire of collecting everything to own nothing. We keep building a massive repertoire with the excuse that one day we’ll go back and only keep what’s essential. But throwing away excess never happens without the pressure of a big change.

The process of elimination comes at a cost of severe stress. We wish to throw it all away and start over just to avoid the complications of sorting. It’s impossible to define what’s essential when there’s zero marginal cost to collect another item. Infinite space is a zero-sum game, especially in the digital world.

The Future of Facebook May Not Say ‘Facebook’

In the past, he said, Facebook was one big thing, a website or mobile app that let you indulge all of your online social needs. Now, on mobile phones especially, Facebook will begin to splinter into many smaller, more narrowly focused services, some of which won’t even carry Facebook’s branding, and may not require a Facebook account to use.

Facebook begins to disrupt itself like Apple did in replacing the iPod with the iPhone. But will breaking Facebook down into a series of non-branded Facebook apps work? I think so, mostly because your favorite apps won’t mention Facebook (e.g. Instagram, Whatsapp).

"It will be everywhere, but you may not know it.”