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design products, make records. hip-hop, writing, investing, fitness, nba. lead product @humen_ai prvs cofounder @getchronos (💰 @life360 ) @ideo @stanfordgsb

Five recommendations to get the most out of reading

I spent a lot of college reading, or more often, catching up on reading. I was an English major, and for four years, averaged a few books a week, often speccing out a pace of 100 pages/hour and setting aside a few hours of heads-down time.

That experience of my main academic obligation being reading classic works with great professors wasn’t lost on me, but by the time I graduated, I didn’t read a book for pleasure for the first year after college — all-nighters, term papers, and comparative analyses completely burned me out.

When I did pick up reading…

a quick intro, then the liner notes for a 16-track album, ‘folklore circles, that pairs taylor swift’s folklore with mac miller’s circles and swimming albums posted below the art. available 1.29.21 as a free download / pay-what-you-want, with proceeds to the mac miller fund.

(this is just) the prologue

hi. hey. hello. how are you?

I make music by finding artists I like, taking snippets from their songs, and putting them together with other songs to make new music. …

The top 12 albums and 50 songs of a very strange year

Here’s the playlist of my top 50 songs of 2020 (list below, along with top 12 albums)

Every December, when I sit down to take stock of the last 12 months, my first inclination is always to describe the year that’s passed as unprecedented. From the macro— the world news stories, the political movements, the natural disasters, the economy climbing or crashing — to the individual moments — friends getting married, having children, going to grad school, buying homes, moving, changing jobs — every year, at the end of it, it just feels like so much has happened.

As adults…

My 2019 began with waking up in LA and will end falling asleep in Tokyo. In between, so much happened that it doesn’t feel like it’s only been a year.

I took weekend trips to Houston, Memphis, Nashville, Boulder, West Virginia, Miami, and Mexico City to celebrate and catch up with friends. My sister and I rented a car and drove through northern Spain and saw where Dali lived. My best friend had a daughter. I left IDEO and joined Bungalow, and got back to building mobile products and tackling really interesting human problems with an awesome team.

I took…

…and five things I was proud to put out into the world in 2018 😎

One of the most personally significant axioms I’ve taken to heart over the last few years is the value in creating things outside of a work context. As we get older and life inevitably fills up with obligations (both real and perceived), hobbies and creative pursuits — both continuing old ones and pursuing new ones — are usually the first to fall by the wayside.

There’s a social premium placed on busyness, as if being busy correlates to being in-demand and important — if we’re busy, we’re needed. There’s an unspoken badge of honor that accompanies the recounting of late…

prefaced by a brief self-indulgent self-reflection on the year 🎶😜

Any time I start thinking through the year that passed, I look back at previous favorites —I’ve made favorite album lists since 2006 and posted a list of top songs the last couple years (2015, 2016, 2017), and each is a time capsule reminder to me of all these little slices of life from each year.

I was all over the place in 2018. Literally — from June through September, I didn’t spend back to back weeks in SF — Mexico City a few times, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Western Germany, rural Mexico, London, Manchester, Paris, Boston, Chicago, and the New…

The secret to understanding a city’s energy and essence lies in exploring it via sneakers on the ground

If you want to know a city’s essence, there’s no better way to do it than on foot: run (or walk) through a city as soon as you get there to note what piques your interest. When you move through a city on foot, nearly all of it is open to you: you can wander into a park, towards a landmark, into a gallery. …

17 albums for ‘17

2017 was a pretty interesting year for music — after long waits, we got new albums from Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, and Eminem, with mixed critical receptions: no major publication listed any of those records at the top of year-end lists, though each album was pretty good.

It was the first year that hip-hop/R&B overtook Rock as the most popular genre, and Atlanta solidified itself as the current capital of hip-hop with Future, Migos, and Young Thug all reaching new heights of mainstream success. …

And a smattering of thoughts on the current state of hip hop and how we got here

I was reviewing my list of favorite 25 songs from last year, and in my notes had a bit about how “2016 was a really rough year for a lot of things, but great for music.” 2016 looks pretty good, comparatively, a year removed. Would be curious to see a longitudinal study of how safe/happy/secure people felt in the US a year ago and what kind of hit that probably took this past year.

Despite the state of the world in 2017, music didn’t seem to directly reflect a lot of what was happening on a macro level in the…

And Other Nontraditional Anniversaries

Since I was a kid, I’ve been kind of fascinated by dates and nontraditional anniversaries. Not like astrological signs or anything like that — I don’t think dates really mean anything more than the meaning we ascribe them — but in a very nerdy way, I did think it was fun to calculate the day of the week I was born (Thursday) or when I’d turn 5,000 days old (March 6, 1999). …

charlie kubal

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