I am fan of and subscriber to the Lefsetz Letter – a music industry commentary by Bob Lefstez who has been around longer than I have . Interestingly, a lot of his commentary is about issues that are wider than music alone. This is to be expected because music is both a social and technological phenomena. It is social because of the way we listen but also it is at the forefront of technological change because because it is simply information for consumption.
His latest outing looks at Flash Boys by Michael Lewis and can be read here.
I have snipped out the bits that interest me below.
…..MOST PEOPLE CAN’T READ
“60 Minutes” did a good job of explaining the story:
But the truth is most people will not read “Flash Boys” because they can’t. Inured to television, they can’t hold multiple concepts in their brains at one time, when the reading gets tough, they give up. “Flash Boys” is even harder to read than “The Big Short,” it’s the hardest book I’ve read in years. But wading through gives you passage into the club, and the truth is all winners want to be in the club, but most just say they’re there, without truly being inside. Success is not only money and status, it’s wisdom and knowledge. You gain that through experience, and hard work, like reading “Flash Boys”
.….JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE’S RICH, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY KNOW ANYTHING
Nobody on Wall Street could explain flash trading, except for those perpetrating it, who were tight-lipped. Imagine a world wherein a label head has no idea how the records are made, how they get on the radio, that’s what’s been going on on Wall Street.
…..SPEAK THE TRUTH AND BLOWBACK WILL BEGIN
They’re not gonna let Michael Lewis edge in on their turf. As soon as the book came out, insiders pooh-poohed it. They always do. America is a game of who has the biggest dick, and those at the top whip theirs out on a regular basis and the little people succumb to this intimidation. You get ahead not by kissing butt, but by standing up to power, that’s what a great artist does. Michael Lewis is a great artist. Nobody on the “Billboard” chart is.
…..SUCCESS IS A TRIAL BY FIRE
In other words, they’ve got no time for you until they do, after you prove yourself. Brad Katsuyama worked at the also-ran Royal Bank of Canada, the big boys laughed at him, but when he enlightened them and proved he could make them money… You want access? In business it’s all about money. Doors open when you can make people a profit.
And my favourite –
…..ART IS FOREVER, TECHNOLOGY IS NOT
The fiber optic cable laid from Chicago to New York is being superseded by microwave transmission. A great record is forever, nobody wants yesterday’s flip phone.