One of the best things about doing the Strength In NUMBERS project is getting in touch with artists I didn’t know about before. Adam WarRock showed love for the project & is an independent artist doing good, unique work. He releases hella free music and videos, and only asks for donations from supporters once a year. That time is now. Drive ends today. 


Adam WarRock “Broken People” (Free Download)


(all rewards are sent to paypal email)

The Donation Drive is going on. Support, keep it free and running for another year, get some free stuff in the processAlso, during Donation Drive, ALL MY FOR-SALE MUSIC IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD AT MY BANDCAMP PAGE


Here’s the thing about nerd rap, or nerd core, or nerd culture or whatever. It’s something that I try to stress every time someone asks me a question like, “What’s it like being a nerd rapper?” or “What does being a nerd mean to you?”

Nerd culture is full of a lot of broken people. And that’s totally okay, because honestly, everyone’s pretty broken inside. While websites and thinkpieces talk about how COOL it is to be a nerd nowadays, what most people who didn’t grow up nerds seem to forget is that the general way our brains work (obsessive, compulsive, overly enthusiastic and addictive) made a lot of outcasts. Being a nerd was never about being “uncool” the way that movies tried to frame it as. Being a nerd was always about being different, feeling like you didn’t fit in. Just because Captain America 2 was a huge blockbuster and bros wear Wolverine tshirts, it doesn’t change the fact that we are conditioned from a very early age that in some way, we are less-than-deserving of the love and acceptance that all people are entitled to.

I know a lot of people who think it’s perfectly silly to make nerd music for a living. I get that. I know a lot of fellow artists who think it’s a ploy for hits and attention; that it’s easy to make pop culture-based stuff, to play off of it. I won’t lie, I found a working model; and it just so happens to be what I love to do, so sure – there’s some of that inside of me. But here’s the thing: I love making music that speaks to people who feel fucked up and alone. I like espousing the notion that your obsessions and your predilections don’t in some way, make you less worthy of the life that “normal” people would have you sometimes (intentional or not) believe you aren’t entitled to.

Nerd culture is fun, it’s great, it’s wonderful. I’m a nerd. But it’s also full of a lot of depressed, anxiety-ridden, emotionally messed up people. I don’t cast stones, trust me – I’m one of those people. I struggle with that stuff daily.

The point is that you’re not alone. And sometimes it can feel like you’re a bit  more alone than usual, because the world seems to think it’s done you a favor by giving you Big Bang Theory and The Avengers and comic tshirts at Target and Thor cups at 7-Eleven. It’s still a struggle. Just like everyone goes through, daily.

So if you’re hurting, if you’re feeling alone, if you’re feeling utterly broken. Hey, I do too. You’re not alone. You can find help, you can find a family of people who will get you through the dark spots. And all I can say is that I’m very proud if I get to be the soundtrack for you on not only the good, but also the bad days.

Where my broken people at?



Because I have released almost 600 free songs on my website over the past 5 years of its existence. Because I never accept donations at any other point during the year. Because I have never monetized my Youtube account with ads. Because web hosting isn’t free. Because I’m 100% independent, no agents, no managers, no bookers, no merch people, no interns, no financial backing, no nothing. Because Internet content should be free. Because indie music and great web content should be supported. Because this isn’t a kickstarter. Because you want tshirts and new albums and posters and shows. Because maybe, over the past four years you’ve enjoyed a song or two, and maybe you’d find it in your heart to drop some money in the bucket to help me keep doing this, and doing good things for nerd and geek culture. Because it’s the right thing to do!

Thanks for the support and a wonderful last four years. Help keep up and running for another year! DONATE DONATE DONATE!


Seven years after their most recent championship, long after we figured they were through, the Spurs sprinted to the finish. By the time the clock hit zero on their 104-87 victory in Game 5, the Spurs had outscored the Heat by 70 points over the course of the series, the biggest point differential in NBA Finals history. So which team was the superteam again? It sure seemed like the Boston Celtics and then the Heat had found the formula in the years since the Spurs last won it in 2007. Quickly assemble a team of established veterans, grab all the magazine covers, then pop the champagne. The Spurs struck a blow for scouting and development. And patience. Most of all, patience. They’ve kept the core together for more than a decade.

Why I Launched Orbital Boot Camp

There are a plenty of places to help you develop your startup idea or product, but not a lot of places to help you navigate the initial creative process when you are just getting off the ground.

That’s what Orbital Boot Camp is all about.

It’s a 12-week intensive course to help people launch their side projects, where the output is not a demo day, but a public talk on lessons learned. There’s no equity exchange. Students pay to be in the program or are covered by scholarships.

The program provides: a space to work, instructors and coaches who will help students navigate their respective uncertain paths, and a community of like-minded folks who are all in the same boat. It also runs on evenings and weekends, accommodating those with daytime responsibilities.

The proposed projects may end up being funded companies, open source projects, art experiments, or educational programs. They may or may not make money. They may not even live on after the program ends. All of these outcomes are completely valid.

I’ve learned a lot from my short time in venture capital, but there are a few themes that particularly stick out in the context of the Boot Camp:

  1. The creative process is hard enough as is. To place additional expectations on an idea before it’s born—for example, whether it will or won’t be a venture-funded business—is a distraction and puts the cart before the horse. How your idea eventually sustains itself is indeed an important design consideration, but all of that is secondary to the simple act of figuring out what it is you really have and whether it is really what you want.
  2. It’s important to respect and appreciate the irrational as much as the rational. I could talk for hours about this topic, from investment decisions to product design, but the crux of it is this: while we may have control over conditions, we have no control over outcomes. It’s important to leave space for things to emerge.
  3. There’s tremendous value to working out in the open. Enabling people to find you achieves the same result as a strategy where you instead set out to find them. By embracing this philosophy, we are implicitly freeing ourselves from our own unrealistic expectations of having to know all.

I’ve designed the boot camp with these considerations in mind. The focus is on the experience rather than the outcome. Success is based on learning rather than achievement. All of this requires that people are willing to engage with each other openly.

While my time at Union Square Ventures has informed the design of the boot camp, what inspires it comes from moonlighting for the past three years teaching Entrepreneurial Design in Liz Danzico’s program at SVA.

(I should note that Entrepreneurial Design itself was inspired by what Christina Cacioppo, the course co-creator and my former Union Square Ventures colleague, and I learned from working at the firm. Everything informs everything.)

The course was designed to help the students understand that in an age of networks, it has become increasingly possible for skilled individuals to realize their own creative ideas rather than solely that of others. The course is best known for challenging students to make $1,000 using the Internet. And that, they have, launching all sorts of projects that satisfied the constraints of the class while also finding a way to express themselves.

It’s been an incredible privilege to teach in the program, but it took me awhile to fully appreciate it.

After moving on from Union Square Ventures in early 2013, then teaching through the spring semester, I did a bit of traveling. In doing so, I shared stories of my students’ feats in countless public talks and private conversations.

As I did, I began to notice a pattern. I’d introduce the class, the focus, the $1,000 Project, and then I’d begin describing some of the students’ projects. About 2 or 3 projects in, the audience would noticeably shift. They would be intently listening, but you could tell that their mind was elsewhere. I could tell that for many, they were thinking: “Hey. I could do that, too.” Eventually we’d switch gears and start talking about their ideas for launching their own side projects.

The students’ work has clearly inspired others, and seeing the effect their narratives have had on others has in turn inspired me.

Many people have asked me why I’m doing this and what I get out of it. Externally, I imagine that my actions appear altruistic simply because the usual markers of a profit motive are absent.

But I look at it somewhat differently.

From a practical sense, the Boot Camp is an attempt at creating an economic engine for Orbital, my new workspace where I plan to collaborate with others on my own project ideas—kind of like a modern day guild. If the Boot Camp proves to be viable and sustainable, I’ll have greater freedom to pursue whatever interests me on my own terms.

On a personal level, I’ve reluctantly realized that I’ve learned a lot from teaching. It’s forced me to crystallize my views and defend my positions in a way that I hadn’t had to do previously. I think teaching is one of the best ways to continue to learn once you’ve left academia—or in my case, a particularly thoughtful investment firm. We tend to think about self-sufficiency solely in financial terms, however I think it’s just as important to always be learning.

The Boot Camp is also an intellectual experiment. What will emerge if you remove the expectations of a financing and focus solely on navigating the creative process? What happens when you start from a broader base of ideas, irrespective of their fundability, whether they are civic, social, creative, or commercial in nature? How does having a more diverse environment of creators, whether it’s by age, ethnicity, gender, affect how we look at things? What happens if you treat the ideation phase as an educational process vs. a competition?

There’s a cultural motivation, too. At a macro-level, we are amidst a transition from an industrialized world to a networked one, where the laws of physics are fundamentally different than what we grew up with.

Everything is changing—how we work, how we learn, how we sustain ourselves, how we organize. It is not certain that this change will lead to positive outcomes for everyone, but it is certain that change will happen.

In the face of such uncertainty, I think one way forward is to take an indirect approach. Rather than attempt to create direct solutions, could you instead help more individuals learn to create their own opportunities—whether they are businesses, community organizations, services, or simply fun creative projects?

And, could you construct the program such that the exhaust of this education fuels the creation of even more narratives of individuals learning to leverage networks (whether their projects succeed or fail) that are more broadly relevant to people outside of early adopters?

I’d love to see more educational opportunities like this that foster experiential learning in addition to the many great resources we have around instructional learning.

There are many great educational programs, like the MFA in Interaction Design at SVA, or upstarts like Austin Center for Design and the School For Poetic Computation (and many more) that do this today.

The Boot Camp follows in that ethos, and for all of the reasons mentioned above, I hope we’ll continue to see even more do so, too.


The Donation Drive has crossed 300 donors in less than 3 days. WOW, Bub! 
Thank you so much for the support and the generosity! More Donation Drive shenanigans on the way soon, but for now, let’s get back to the weekend. Off to do a show at Super-Fly Comics in Dayton, OH tonight!


The Donation Drive has crossed 300 donors in less than 3 days. WOW, Bub! 

Thank you so much for the support and the generosity! More Donation Drive shenanigans on the way soon, but for now, let’s get back to the weekend. Off to do a show at Super-Fly Comics in Dayton, OH tonight!



Glenn Fleishman was nice enough to invite me onto his podcast The New Disruptors to talk about Orbital and the upcoming boot camp, which is slated to launch in the coming weeks (.  We recorded this just a few days after applications closed, and talk about how I got started and why the boot camp is such a relevant project for me.

It’s a nice marker for me because the last podcast I was on was back in November 2013 (Joel Bush’s Capital), which took place when I was still figuring things out after leaving USV earlier in the year.

About a week after recording that podcast, the opportunity to take over the space presented itself, and I’ve been pretty heads down on developing Orbital ever since.