I’m Brandon, and this is my writing thing. I attempt (with middling results) to write monthly vulnerable takes on tech and life: about the inevitably complicated future we’re barreling toward, how we work within it, and what we do/make along the way.
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More on me
LinkedIn mostly knows me as a product guy. I’ve had the great fortune of working in many different, usually quite complex, spaces in my 11+ years doing it: talent booking in the music industry, two-sided marketplaces, collaboration in the enterprise, furniture delivery, messy platform scaling. I believe that diversity of experience, combined with tenure in both early-stage and FAANG-scale organizations, gives me a unique perspective as a PM. I’ve also worked with and led some amazing product thinkers and operators around the world, and that's been awesome.
But I also make music, write, tinker, and mentor/coach fellow product people a bit. In fact, I believe the best product people have backgrounds in highly creative places. I want to start doing more of these things and talking more about them to bring visibility to this idea.
People tend to be impressed and surprised by the fact that I’m a classically-trained pianist. I won awards for it as a kid. I think my mom still has a few of them up on the piano of my childhood home. (I should take some photos for social proof 😬)
During the angstiest of my teen years, I swore off piano and taught myself bass, then guitar, and now I dabble in those and a few other instruments. I went to school for music and composed some odd pieces, like one for solo 5-string bass and live looped electronics. I've performed with and produced for several bands and musicians. I played bass in an instrumental prog-rock band in high school, the other members of which went on to form Earthside (link in comments – check them out, especially if you’re into epic rock/metal stuff, they’re great).
I married an artist and photographer, who went to school for design and quickly became disenchanted with it. She is now an amazing photographer of women and young families, and creates art prints of things in nature that were recently described as “like old Renaissance paintings, but photos” (link to her work in comments).
In my late 20s, deep in my product career, I rediscovered writing prose and songs, both for fun and as a means to get ideas out in to the world. I also revitalized my love for the piano; now most of the songs I write start on a piano, and you can hear that across the 4 albums I’ve released (link to listen in comments - note some songs contain profanity and are noted as such). But I quickly ran out of time to do this stuff, especially after my daughter was born.
When you're a PM, you are incentivized to be "all in" on your product or problem space – it becomes extremely difficult to find the time and/or mental fortitude to keep other interests moving forward. Now that I’m in between full-time gigs, my wife and I plan to spend much more of our days helping each other in our creative pursuits, working on some of them together, and bringing our 2-year-old daughter in the mix as she likes.
On the name
It’s a reference a band I love called Titus Andronicus, which I highly recommend if you are into punk or roots rock. They have an album called The Most Lamentable Tragedy, which is a 90-minute rock opera, and the first proper song on it is called “No Future Part IV: No Future Triumphant.” It’s equal parts joyful, grim, and urgent, and I love it.
More importantly: it’s a reflection of the weird feelings I have about the future and my belief that it’s still anybody’s call. It is inevitable, so we have no choice to be both critical and excited about it. But no single future will triumph: we all will have our own weird, complicated, beautiful and tragic futures, influenced by a handful of watershed moments and otherwise highly nuanced and often personal.
Thanks for reading!