This is the preface for Divergent Streams, a collection of essays edited by Kyle Bylin (@sidewinderfm) and written by influential executives, startup founders, and thinkers in the music industry. Download a free copy of the e-book here.
I wanted something to read. Something that challenged me. Something that engaged me. Something that forced me to sit down and consider the writer’s perspective. What I found instead were news stories about trivial developments, blog posts with big headlines but small insights, and numbered lists lacking intellectual substance.
As someone who cares deeply about music and technology, I found this disheartening. I wanted someone to show me the bigger picture and help me see things from a different view. I wanted someone to visualize the future and inspire me to imagine what’s to come. Certainly, I thought, there must be analysts out there identifying emerging trends and writing about them in a way that would encourage me to grow as a reader.
But I couldn’t find anyone who did that on a regular basis. Although there are writers I admire and publications I love, I still wanted more.
Happily, this frustration presented an opportunity: Other people in music and technology may also feel the need for deeper analysis, I reasoned. So I set out on a mission to develop and curate the type of content I wanted to read.
I started out by taking on several younger writers and publishing their essays through Hypebot. Once this effort gained momentum, I started my publication, sidewinder.fm. I asked dozens of my friends, colleagues, and heroes if they would like to write guest posts. I told them my vision for a new conversation, but gave little direction about how it should begin. I wanted them to tell me what they had been thinking about lately and how they saw important issues developing. I wanted them to take on topics that they cared about.