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Why we’re building CrewFire.

I always love hearing about why other folks are in business, so I thought it’d be fun to share a quick thought on why we’re building CrewFire.

A couple days ago, I stumbled across this interview with Sebastian Solano, one of the Co-Founders of the Life In Color music festival, after his recent promotion to head of Made Event (Electric Zoo) and ID&T North America (TomorrowWorld, Sensation, etc…)

This quote struck me: Given SFX’s current issues, what sort of managerial approach do you envision taking?

Solano: …My first priority is to really remind everybody that we’ve got a business because we want to throw the best parties in the world and that’s what we do. That’s who we are. We’re promoters, and we’ve devoted our lives to throwing amazing parties for music fans because we love the music, because we love to deliver an amazing experience.

I can 1000% relate.

I first had the ideas for CrewFire when I was a concert promoter for different local festivals, venues, and artists.

It was never about the money (there wasn’t much, heh…), but always out of a love for the music and the experience.

Coming from those roots, CrewFire has that love for the music and experience baked into its DNA.

Today, while money is an important pillar in our business, by far the most satisfying and rewarding part of our work is the pleasure we get from seeing CrewFire in the hands of the artists, festivals, and companies that we admire, doing the same type of marketing that we did ourselves, years ago.

That’s what we’re all about, and why we’re in business.

Whatever our customers are working on, we’re sure they can relate, and that they have a passion for their projects or businesses that goes beyond just the money, to something deeper.

With CrewFire, we’re looking forward to helping them in that purpose.

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Could Headstash have worked? Thoughts on business fundamentals and leverage.

First – wow.

I’ll be the first to admit – I’m a sucker for Likes.

I’d like to say I’m above it, but the truth is, whenever I post a picture or anything on Facebook or Instagram, you best bet I’m refreshing every few minutes for at least the first hour or so, seeing how that sucker’s doing.

On Instagram, anything over like 25 is a winner. On Facebook, maybe 50 or so and I’m walking with a little more pep in my step.

Ostensibly, I’m an adult. I (should) have other things to worry about. But damn if that little red bubble and that little blue number don’t tickle me.

I’m a sucker for it. What can I say?

The response from this week’s Headstash post though… wow.

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I actually didn’t mean to write that post.

It started off as just a quick business musing I was going to make – the oxygen/money analogy that lead the post.

The Headstash story was originally just intended to be a quick anecdote to illustrate that point.

But as the words started to flow, before I really knew what was happening, I realized I had written something that had been bottled up inside of me for years – finally addressing and giving some closure to something I’d abandoned so long ago.

Since re-starting this blog in July, I purposely hadn’t shared any of the posts on Facebook.

I’d been content writing for my own enjoyment – sharing small thoughts and musings on business and life, and enjoying the process, practice, and creativity.

After writing the Headstash post, I realized that there was a community of people who helped make Headstash – who created it, supported it, and related to it – and that the story would resonate with many of you.

But I did not see the response coming.

The post really resonated, and it was humbling, motivating, a little anxiety-inducing (269 likes! OMG! …Did I say too much? Who the fuck am I?), but most of all, rewarding.

Most rewarding was seeing the friends, team members, and community members who remembered or were involved in Headstash share their memories and stories about their time with the company.

My old partner in Headstash chimed in and said it well:

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As was always the case, Andrew was right on the money.

The feels I got from reading your responses can’t be captured in little red bubbles or quantified in little blue numbers.

So thank you guys.


After the post, I got an email from a friend who runs another music magazine.

It hit on something I’ve thought a lot about in the years since winding down Headstash, and have been asked about on occasion.

It’s a nice extension of the business lesson I discussed in the Headstash post, so it makes sense as this week’s follow up. Continue reading…

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What my failure with taught me about business, money, and profit.

Money is to a business like oxygen is to our bodies.

Everything else can be going right: you could be in amazing shape, drink plenty of water, eat nutritional food, the total package.

But take oxygen away from the equation, and nothing else matters. You’re done for.

It sounds like an obvious enough concept to grasp, right? Who wouldn’t understand that?

But it took me a hard failure to really drive home this message. Continue reading…

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The surreal feeling when releasing new software

There’s a funny feeling when you launch a new app, and you start seeing the first few people using it.

From our CrewFire Admin dashboard, we can see an overview of app usage by company.

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Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched our first customers recruit their marketing teams, create Facebook and Twitter blasts for their teams to share, and then watched the engagement stats roll in, and it all feels a little… unreal. Continue reading…

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Lifestyle Isolation

I often get asked why I moved to Saigon.

For me, there were several reasons – some personal, some financial, some business related – but the reason I’ll touch on here is that, for the few years I was living in the US before moving to Vietnam, I felt what I started referring to as “lifestyle isolation”. Continue reading…

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Perceptions of Risk

If you see a snake that you don’t know much about, your best bet is probably to avoid it.

Some snakes can be dangerous. Some snakes bite. Some are poisonous.

So avoid them. There’s potential danger, and the return is low. Just don’t touch the thing.

That’s a perception of risk.

Now take that perception, and compare it to that of someone who’s spent their life studying snakes.

With their understanding, with their familiarity of the worlds species of snakes and each of their quirks, the very same snake might easily be identified as harmless.

Same snake. Two different people. Two very different perspectives of risk.

Earlier this summer, when I was at home in the US visiting friends and family, a friend of mine mentioned that entreperneurship was “the risky path.” Continue reading…