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#245 Rick Rubin (In the Studio)
May 8th, 2022 | E245

What I learned from reading Rick Rubin: In the Studio by Jake Brown.


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Rick Rubin on Lex Fridman Podcast #275

Rick Rubin on The Peter Attia Drive Podcast #57

Shangri-La Documentary

Rick’s podcast Broken Record

[1:39] Decoded by Jay Z. (Founders #238)

[3:19] Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

[3:31] His goal is to record music in its most basic and purest form. No extra bells and whistles. All wheat, no chaff.

[5:42] Dr. Land was saying: “I could see what the Polaroid camera should be. It was just as real to me as if it was sitting in front of me before I had ever built one.” And Steve said: “Yes, that’s exactly the way I saw the Macintosh.” He said if I asked someone who had only used a personal calculator what a Macintosh should be like they couldn’t have told me. There was no way to do consumer research on it so I had to go and create it and then show it to people and say now what do you think?” Both of them had this ability to not invent products, but discover products. Both of them said these products have always existed — it’s just that no one has ever seen them before. We were the ones who discovered them. The Polaroid camera always existed and the Macintosh always existed — it’s a matter of discovery.

[7:31] My goal is to just get out of the way and let the people I'm working with be the best versions of themselves.

[7:50] Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders 1965-2018 by Warren Buffett (Founders #88)

[11:26] In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules by Stacy Perman. (Founders #244)

[14:13] “Designing a product is keeping 5,000 things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways.” —Steve Jobs

[16:00] Less is more but you have to do more to get to less.

[16:25] Against The Odds: An Autobiography by James Dyson and reading A History of Great Inventions by James Dyson. (Founders #200)

[17:56] Rubin's most valuable quality is his own confidence.

[20:57]  If we're going to do this, let's aim for greatness. You have to believe what you were doing is the most important thing in the world.

[21:29] Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger by Janet Lowe. (Founders #221) “Everybody engaged in complicated work needs colleagues. Just the discipline of having to put your thoughts in order with somebody else is a very useful thing.”

[24:24] On being a reducer —not a producer: Often in the studio there will be the idea to add layers to make it seem bigger. Sometimes the more things you add, the smaller it gets. A lot of it is counterintuitive. You need to discover it in practice.

[27:10] I want to play loud. I want to be heard. And I want all to know I'm not one of the herd.

[36:16] There were no stars in rap music. It was really just a work of passion. Everyone who was doing it was doing it because they loved it, not because anyone thought it was a career.

[38:12] Krush Groove YouTube link

[38:47] Russell really cared about finding new ways to expose their music to a bigger audience.

[39:03] Bloomberg by Michael Bloomberg.  (Founders #228)

[44:19] A handmade product at scale.

[48:23] Rap music as recorded work was just eight years old.

[50:06] Q: Do you have an engine of constant dissatisfaction. Self criticism that I could have done better? A: No. I’m pleased with the work that we did. Excited to keep working. It’s fun. I don’t know what else I’d do with myself. I like making things, it’s fun. I feel like it’s my reason to be on the planet so I just keep doing it. If it could be better I would have kept working on it. If it could be better it’s not done. I’ve done everything I can to make it the best it can be. I can’t do more than that so there is nothing to be critical of. It is almost like a diary entry. Everything we make is a reflection in a moment in time. Could be a day, could be a year.

[52:54] These things that we don't understand and cannot explain happen regularly.

[58:33] To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.

[58:58] He's living in four different centuries at once.

[1:01:02] I believe in you so much, I'm going to make you believe in you.

[1:03:07] Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire by James Wallace and Jim Erickson (Founders #140)  Gates and Allen were convinced the computer industry was about to reach critical mass, and when it exploded it would usher in a technological revolution of astounding magnitude. They were on the threshold of one of those moments when history held its breath... and jumped, as it had done with the development of the car and the airplane. They could either lead the revolution or be swept along by it.

[1:05:35] The newest sounds have a tendency to sound old when the next new sound comes along. But a grand piano sounded great 50 years ago and will sound great 50 years from now. I try to make records that have a timeless quality.

[1:13:58] Mozart: A Life by Paul Johnson. (Founders #240)


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