Monday, August 25, 2014

Thanks to Jason, the Real MVP (Vol. 2, Ch. 3)

The SmartPhoneRecords (SPR) that you see now is not the SPR I originally had in mind and I owe it all to a guy named Jason Fried. When I first began working on SPR I included a ton of unnecessary features. I was under the impression that in order for an app to thrive in a competitive market, it had to have the most sophisticated algorithms, graphics and technology.  However, it wasn't until I read "Getting Real" by Jason Fried that I realized I had been approaching it all wrong. Instead, I learned the importance of knowing how to take a large project and break it down into smaller pieces, thus making it easier to manage. I was also introduced to the idea of "M.V.P.," an acronym for "minimal valuable product." Basically, build the product modestly, with only what's initially needed to get it functioning properly, and forgo the rest.


Just by adopting these two concepts alone, I was able to eliminate over $65,000 in developer fees and release SPR in six months rather than the two years I had originally forecasted.

Not only has this advice been beneficial to me from a business standpoint, but in my personal life as well. Eliminating the clutter, keeping things simple and breaking down projects into manageable pieces has made my life much more enjoyable, and also managed to save me a little money in the process. Thank you, Jason Fried.

What about your M.V.P.? It's never too late to simplify...
Thanks for reading. See you in seven.

Monday, August 18, 2014

It All Started With "Wouldn't it be cool if..." (Vol. 2 Ch. 2)

When I left New York and moved back to California in 2011 to help take care of my father, he and I would spend a lot of time together in our backyard. He liked to dwell in an old red shed, which was referred to as "Big Beau's Crib." The trailer connected to it was used for storage and believe me, my parents stored a lot of shit in there. One day while looking for something, it hit me. It was the perfect size for a studio. It was small, easy to manage, and had all the accommodations to make it happen. All it needed was to be cleaned up. So after getting my parents blessing, I got to work.
Where it all began...
I cleaned out the trailer and set up shop. I didn't have much to start with. Believe it or not, all I had was my laptop, a software system (Protools), and my iPhone. I downloaded both the "Music Studio" and "BeatMaker 2" app. With these I would create beats from my smartphone, transfer them to Protools, and record my vocals via my laptop.

After months of recording and adding the finishing touches I was finally prepared to release my first track on iTunes. And then during what seemed to be a never-ending night of burning CDs for distribution, I had a sudden revelation. Wouldn't it be cool if...I could sell my music straight from my smartphone.

Thanks for reading. See you next week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome Back! (Volume 2, Chapter 1)

Here it is ladies and gents, another year for the SPR Blog. This time around, we've attached the word "inspiration" to our theme in addition to "Music and Motivation" because I believe that inspiration is key to every creation. I'll be sharing with you some of the stories that inspired the creation of SmartPhoneRecords, as well as some of the people that made it possible for us to exist. Additionally, I'll share some of the resources we use that help make our company run more efficiently, in hopes that you, too, will find them just as helpful not only for using our app, but for pursuing your passion for making music.

We will also be showcasing artists within SPR community that have compelling stories to share as well. This year will definitely include much more interaction with our readers and customers and we can't wait to get started. So with that being said, I'm going to get back to work.

One important message--we are still working on some updates, so if you run into any problems while using the app, please feel free to send us an email at

Thanks again for being with us on this journey. We appreciate you.

See you next week!

Monday, August 4, 2014

52 Pick Up

It seems like it was only yesterday when I made the decision to write a blog. The past year has flown by and it's hard to believe that I'm writing blog number fifty-two already. Throughout this time I've experienced some of the best and the absolute worst moments of my life. The best was getting SmartPhoneRecords off the ground while the worst was losing my father shortly thereafter. Yet even through my darkest days, writing this blog helped keep me focused, because I felt that if even just one person could benefit from reading them, that in itself would be enough for me to press on. So, in essence, I have you to thank, for keeping me going, for holding me accountable, for retweeting, forwarding and "favoriting," for your comments and responses, and most of all, for simply taking the time.

Starting next Monday the blog will be different. I'm not sure exactly what it will look like. I still have six days to figure it out, but whatever it turns out to be, I look forward to sharing it with you.

See you next week.