How one man alone in a room can say so much so well

Pretext: As a film major who worked in the TV industry for the first half of my career, I’m a bit of a content fiend. One pretentious quality that I do have is that I’m a bit obsessed with content that I feel has a deeper meaning and that grows even more interesting or impactful with subsequent re-watches. In a world never more deluged with “content,” I most admire the stuff that has something to say, and has found a way to do so intentionally and cleverly. I decided to start writing about some of these and why I love…

Why novel experiences change our perception, and how to use this for a more memorable life

2020 has been a hell of a decade. This of course is not an original joke, but one that I think resonates with us all. Thinking back to January or February 2020 really, actually, feels like years ago — not months. It’s difficult to contextualize now, but we began 2020 worrying about record-breaking Australian brush fires and the outcome of the impeachment of the U.S. President, two hugely significant historical events that seem like distant, quaint memories. Why is that, and what lessons can we take away?

One explanation for 2020's collective eschewing of our temporal perception is known as…

Photo by Rebrand Cities from Pexels

A few weeks ago, I began my MBA education at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, which also happens to be my current employer (it’s complicated…)

This week, I had my first “lightbulb” moment in one of my classes, “Leadership in Organizations” taught by Professor Loran Nordgren. The subject of the class was which characteristics people implicitly judge us by (and to be fair, we judge others by) to determine leadership potential. …

The last major streaming service is competing on its own terms

Today, media conglomerate Comcast NBCUniversal officially launched Peacock, the last major streaming service expected to enter “the streaming wars.” Following recent launches of HBOMax, Disney+, and Apple TV+, many are questioning whether there’s room for yet another streaming service. Peacock, however, is competing on its own terms — leaning into Comcast NBCUniversal’s strengths, instead of following the philosophy and strategies of streamers before it.

When it comes to content strategy in the streaming era, there are conventionally two different types of content used to acquire and retain customers. For customer acquisition, streamers have relied on flashy, big-budget, original serialized drama…

A political division that explains the state of USA

Note: This is my perspective, and I fully appreciate that my views are formed by my media and social media diet. This is not intended to be a statement of fact, rather my individual perspective.

It occurred to me recently that one of the many major political divisions in the U.S. is what is valued and held sacred by each political party, either Icons or Ideas. Once you use this framework to look at political disagreements, it’s hard to ignore and is in fact visible in almost every disagreement.

This thought emerged as statues around the country were torn down…

And then I started again.

After 46 days of quarantine, I decided to stop drinking for the month of May. Five days after quarantine began, I quickly realized that I needed to make some sort of effort to create some healthy habits while locked alone in my 2-room apartment, so I started a tally on a whiteboard to do three things every day: meditate for 20 minutes, write for 1 hour, and… floss. …

Passive distribution, useful information, and a little bit of personality

Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on Unsplash

Chances are that you’re subscribed to more email newsletters today than you were five years ago. Newsletters aren’t “new” technology, and they are in fact utilizing a relatively old internet distribution channel in your email inbox. Despite this, newsletters are more popular than ever before, and are being utilized by long-standing publications and individual writers, some of whom are able to make a very comfortable living with their newsletters at a time when journalists are being laid-off on a daily basis.

What’s behind the rise in volume and popularity of…

Prioritizing process over inspiration

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

On day number eight of sheltering-in-place, I was in a dark place. Over the previous week, I had lost all motivation to do just about anything but read articles about COVID-19. It didn’t seem like there was a reason to do anything. What’s the point? When the world can stop on a dime and change so drastically, so quickly, what hope do we have of making our plans come to fruition?

Everything felt meaningless. After a week of existential crisis, I decided it was time to make meaning out of the circumstances. Hey — wouldn’t it be a great story…

How the new streaming subscription service can survive a disappointing launch

Quibi CEO Meg Whitman speaks about the short-form video streaming service at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty Images

When Quibi finally launched a few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about the finer details of the platform that skeptics seemed to ignore altogether. The catalyst for writing that piece was a frustration that journalists, venture capitalists, and many others seemed to be dismissing Quibi both offhandedly and with a seemingly personal joy in what they knew would be the company’s eventual failure.

Six weeks after launch, Quibi has a reported 3.5 million downloads and 1.3 million active users. But it quickly fell in rankings in the app store, none of the launch content has reached the cultural zeitgeist…

A short fiction story

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Note: This story is fiction and the result of a writing exercise I’m practicing while sheltering-in-place. It is not meant to be political or conspiratorial, simply fiction from my imagination written under one hour.

The members convened the annual conference with a long agenda ahead of them. It wasn’t until the third day on the remote island that they reached item number 21, labeled “Kryptonite,” which had been put on the agenda by two of the lesser-known 100 attendees.

“Gentlemen, most of what we discuss at this conference remains the same from year to year: the unconstrained growth of our…

Mike Raab

Writing about entrepreneurship, media, tech, life. Currently associate director @ The Garage, former VC in SF and media strategy in LA.

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