There’s a whole different side to My American, Radio Life that I haven’t really talked about. It has to do with laying down under a tree if it’s summer or on your bedroom floor if it’s winter and waiting for whatever is supposed to happen next happen.
In my American, radio world, that’s how innovation works. It’s like with love or getting over a cold – you can’t make it happen. Real innovation, true creativity… you just put yourself in a position that it just might happen and then you wait for it, hoping like hell that it comes before you die. Dead and gone in a grave on a night like tonight when it’s cold as icicles out would be a real drag… especially if while you were alive you never sat still enough under a tree or on your bedroom floor to hear the call.
For me, moving forward is a series of waitings. You simply put yourself in a position in which some magic might happen and then you wait. Can’t force it. Like waiting for a bus in Chicago, you keep looking down Halsted for that 53 bus to come around the corner. Want as you might, it comes when it damn well feels like it.
I’m waiting in four areas.
Do you really want me to explain? I suppose I could at least try. It’s unconventional, this act and wait strategy, and there are those of you who would ask why I would reveal to anyone my secret business strategy. But what the hell? We’re all gonna be dead someday anyhows.
Actually, I’ve been working my ass off on all four things that at least have a possibility to work out.
Concerning 1. Radio, as always I’m elbow deep in radio issues like finding good music to play on Christmas Eve and Christmas and dealing with a non-performing Comcast… while paying for a study on what FM frequencies might work to enhance our little radio molehill. It’s a lot to do as always and it’s just another excuse for not writing this blog more.
Concerning 2. Tower. I’m talking to people, and exchanging prices and numbers and deadlines and stuff. I probably shouldn’t say too much about his other than maybe just maybe I’ll buy another tower and get in to the co-location business. Not sure if it’ll happen really but like a lotta people who love radio, I also love towers. They’re big and tall and beautiful and they send a message – that you’re compensating for something. They also connect wireless signals from New York to Chciago in a flash so that futures and options and stock traders can get their orders fulfilled quicker than other traders. Milliseconds count in the world of high-speed arbitrage trading, and that means towers along the way count also. Lotta work to learn it all. Lotta work.
And then there’s 3. TV. Every day I work with either Christina or Rob or Ryan or Debbie to build a TV studio for the video of radio. Check it out. Every Tuesday and Thursday (when Christina’s not downtown Chicago at college), we stream a four-camera shoot of video of radio. It’s in beta form but we’re getting pretty good at it and it’s just a matter of time that video of radio becomes just another thing that might work. And that’s all I ever ask for. After Wednesday of this coming week – Christmas Eve’s Eve – I’m gonna take off like 11 days to finish building our TV studio and internet infrastructure. Lotta work. Lotta work.
And what about 4. venture capital? That’s starting to pop also, and I would have never anticipated that there’s this much work associated with it. Part of the challenge is that we’ve not really had anything all that innovative happen around here since US Steel built it’s first big plant in 1906. That’s kind of a long dry spell between big advancements, so it just goes to reason that it might take some legwork to establish this place where local geeks can develop their products to change the world. The biggest hurdle is that no one – and I mean no one – believes me that we can do this. To almost every I talk to – other than Purdue chancellor Tom Keon – when I say that we can turn the intellectual capital being produced at Purdue Cal and other local institutions in to real companies that do stuff and make money, usually the people just up and walk away. Or they nod, in a daze, like they’re acting like they’re listening but they’re really just making a grocery list. I have been spending as much time on trying to convince people that we got a real chance with startup businesses here than I have been spending on building the TV studio. And that’s a lot of time.
So there you have it, my overall business strategy. It can be summed up as just do shit and hope it works out. Put yourself in a position in which it just might work out. And then do it a few times until you find one or two things that actually do work out.
How could I develop such a stunted business mentality? Easy. I developed it while trading in the pits of the Chicago Board of Trade. It’s a trading strategy, really. I have simply repurposed it to my American, Radio life.