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

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Experiences > Things

Once again I was reminded yesterday that experiences are better than things. I had the opportunity to take a trolley throughout San Francisco. We visited the Pier, Palace of Fine Arts, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Next time I’d like to check out the Ai WeiWei exhibits at Alcatraz. In the meantime, there’s always muppets at the pier.

Forward Thinking

Guessing the future is easier than writing it. Steve Job did both. He knew what people wanted and built it for them.

Most people are either one of the other: analyst/forecaster or developer. The analysts’ information generally direct the developers what to do, mostly because the developers just want to do the work. They want to think in code. But you can’t waste a developer’s time building something outdated.

Research and development flock together, ideally as one, where forward thinking meets predictive doing.

Hitting the spot…

occurs when top quality meets the perfect moment of demand. For instance, you may desire pizza for dinner. But if you eat Dominos instead of ordering from your preferred pizza joint, you’ll just be semi-satisfied in the outcome. “It was ok/good enough.”

Fulfillment is a means to an end, to curb the hunger. But ‘hitting the spot’ is an experience that one remembers. It does more than provide satisfaction; it creates happiness and enjoyment.

Still, nothing ‘hits the spot’ like an awesome surprise. Having little or no expectation sets the stage for lasting memories. It turns out that the place you always thought was a whole in the hall made a hell of a slice. The second time will still hit the spot, but not as much as the first.

Because there’s only one Soup Man.

Because there’s only one Soup Man.

Here are the tracks of the week:

  1. Bonobo - Sofia
  2. Seekae - Test and Recognize (Flume Rework)
  3. Moka Only - Banquet
  4. Tamala - Him (DJ Mitsu Remix)
  5. Submerse - VHS.chords

Listen above or by clicking here.


And it’s Arsenal, Arsenal FC. My wife and I went to the Gunners - Red Bull match yesterday. The game was actually pretty uneventful for the Arsenal but the Germans were missing along with Alex and a couple key starting defenders. The fans were superb though!

Nevertheless, it’s great to see Arsenal play in the United States just after riding the high of the World Cup.

Sunday Social Roundup

  1. Facebook created its own version of Instapaper so you can save articles within Facebook and come back to them later to consume. I’m surprised this is just getting the release now but it was originally concepted in 2012. I’m more surprised though that Twitter has yet to develop its own native reading list.

  2. Remember when ringtones were a must-have? When I worked in the music business ringtones actually generated significant profit. But now ringtones are virtually dead. It seems that today everyone owns the same default ringtone, which also happens to be the one of my alarm clock :/

  3. After a slow start on Wall Street, FB is now a money making machine, especially one that predominates mobile ads. Facebook may not be the social networking hegemon some thought would wither away.

  4. Foursquare reinvented its app, removing check-ins to its new app Swarm and instead focusing on discovery of places. I never used the Foursquare app at all, only its API for geo-tagging pics on Instagram but that’s now gone too. Think this is the beginning of the end for Foursquare.

  5. There are two social media related stories in my weekly newsletter worth checking out. One is about the finger replacing the pen, the other is about how author Teju Cole uses Twitter as his writing playground.

Bonus: I think I know what Adorno would’ve thought about social media and the craving for “community and connection.”


I’d be a lier if I didn’t admit New York was getting to me a bit. It reminds me of a social network, mostly Twitter, with an endless stream of distractions, marketing spam, and amazing stimulation. Sometimes you really just need to step back and reflect.

Always on the Grid.

7 articles to read this weekend

The Internet never ends; we can only do our best to catch what we can. Below are my favorite articles from this week. Remember you can also subscribe to this via email and get some other goodies as well.

1. Life Is Worth Exploring

Life is complicated because it’s subtle. Anthony Bourdain explains why these paradoxes are also what make life so interesting. Every person is different, every situation is different; we can’t afford to generalize but rather experience a new occasion for what it is or judge a person for who they are.

2. The Demands of Now

Print is dying, not because people don’t like reading it but because it’s slower than the social media world. Print used to be the now, but now is actually right now, as Twitter spreads breaking news as it happens moments ago. As David Carr writes, “we’re all on the train that left print behind.”

+ Medium: The train is a [metaphor for life. It never stops moving. It’s all about the now space & time, like the Internet. My Metro North train diaries.

3. Paid To Think

Design is hard because thinking is painful. Good designers persist. Oliver Reichenstein argues that design is a combination of thought, listening, reflection, imagination, and ultimately experience.

4. Borrowing a Pen in 2014

If print is dying out, so too must the tools that write on them. Nick Bilton explains why the finger is the new pen. I still love my Kaweco for slow media and reflection.

5. Procrastination Station

There are many reasons we procrastinate, chief among them is the result of not being specific enough. Procrastination compounds until we take action to vitiate some of the stress. As I mentioned a few weeks back, sometimes all you need to do is start.

6. A Tweet to Create

Twitter is the perfect platform for writers because it allows them to test new material and because it constricts creativity. Author Teju Cole is the most experimental of Twitter writers. He retweets other people’s tweets to tell stories.

7. How Ira Glass Works

Every time I read about radio host Ira Glass, he reminds of a normal person like myself that just tries really hard and has a few talents he gathered from that practice of diligence. Here’s how Ira works.

+ Vimeo: In one of my favorite videos, Ira glass explains how to go from curator to creator.

Mediocre candidates answer the exam paper; brilliant ones question it.

Alex Harrowell

Refuse to be standardized.

Discovery 101: Lean In Vs. Lean Back

When it comes to information and music I’m more lean in than lean back. Everyone is interested in these topics but most people would rather consume them from the top-down rather than playing the part of curator/influencer and actively searching for them.

For example, most people prefer to listen to the radio because it takes the stress out of deciding what song to hear next. Actively building playlists takes a lot of time, especially for someone that just uses music to enhance their mood. The same can be said for news: most people would rather get all of it from one source like the New York Times.

The 90-9-1 rule of social media says that 90% of people just consume the feeds, 9% curate them (e.g. retweet), and 1% of users create original content. Lurking along is easy. Curation is hard. But creativity is harder.

Everyone needs a ‘lean in’ topic where they get to show their expertise. It doesn’t have to be tech news or electronic music, as I tend to discover and share. It just needs to be seething you’re passionate about. There’s a niche online for everybody.