The Mix Tape, Vol. 72
Have a happy, healthy, and productive 2021. Thank you for reading and reaching out this year—it means more than you know.
Now, welcome to this week’s Mix:
The magic of non-doing
Budweiser discovers the magic of free beer
HBO’s “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” documentary
Progress over perfection
The Magic of Non-Doing
Many of us are now making plans and setting goals for the year ahead.
Almost always, this is an additive process: I want to learn this, have that, and achieve this other thing.
But we should also think about what o remove and not do, says Paul Millerd:
Yet as I’ve found when you do say no and create a space, more interesting things emerge.
I’m a big fan of reading books with advice of people near the end of their life or who have gone through hell and lived to tell the tale. Almost all of these books seem to have the same advice:
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t get caught up in extrinsic goals. Love the people that matter. Don’t put off bold risks. Have fun.
Embracing a state of non-doing gave me the clarity to see the things that matter and belief that its worth non-doing them now rather than some day down the road.
Sometimes, doing less leads to better quality and surprising new pathways.
Budweiser discovers “free beer” is a solid Internet awareness strategy
Ari Lewis, on Budweiser’s innovative and viral campaign:
This week Lionel Messi, a soccer player for Barcelona, scored his 644th goal. This wasn't just any goal. His goal broke the record for most goals ever scored by a player for a single club.
To celebrate, Budweiser sent a specially numbered beer for each Messi goal to the goalkeeper who gave it up. One goalkeeper received 17 beers.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon supported the campaign with a sponsored tweet:
Lewis nails why this worked:
Now, any brand can get a "celebrity" to promote their product. But that doesn't mean it will achieve reach. Budweiser knew this. That's why this campaign was so good. It didn't seem forced. It seemed natural. It seemed like something Buffon would tweet without being paid.
Online endorsements and sponsorships are increasingly common—and similar in execution. Budweiser found success with a unique idea that allowed players to express genuine admiration for Messi’s achievement.
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
If, like me, you enjoy a good rock documentary, you’ll enjoy HBO’s “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” which details the lives and career of The Bee Gees.
The Bee Gees were insanely prolific and talented songwriters:
The Bee Gees elevated catchiness to a kind of transcendence. The blissed-out harmonies, the melodic rapture that caressed you with its melancholy sweetness (“How-w-w-w can you stop…the sun from shining?…What makes the world go round?”), the way their songs had unexpected chord changes that could make an emotion leap into the next dimension — if you didn’t like the Bee Gees, it’s probably safe to say you don’t like pop music. They wrote over 1,000 songs, including 20 number-one singles in the U.S. and the U.K., and those songs became the soundtrack to a lot of people’s lives.
The Bee Gees were also masters of reinvention, retooling their sound as the music industry changed. They rode the disco craze to incredible heights with the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, which stayed on the Billboard charts for 120 weeks.
As disco fell out of favor, the The Bee Gees fell as far as they rose. As always, the reinvented themselves and came back again.
HBO’s documentary is a study in perseverance and reinvention, backed by some of the greatest songwriting of the 20th century.
Progress over perfection
Powerful vizualizaiton of a tweet from Ryan Stephens:
A robust portfolio is important because we never know what the masterpiece will actually be.
You see this everywhere. A musician’s throw-away single becomes a monster hit. A quickly assembled blog post goes viral.
Keep creating. A portfolio is both a hedge against, and an asset for, unpredictability.
Thank you for reading and sharing.
Please hit reply if you have questions, comments, or open rebuttals. (Or just want to say hi.)