Goldman Sachs hates DJs

The gig is up for the CEO of Goldman Sachs.

David Solomon hung up the turntables this week.

“DJ D-Sol” had a good run.

He performed at Lollapalooza. He even hit the Billboard charts.

But the board of directors crushed his little passion project.

Thankfully your side projects are safe.

And you should lean into them.

There’s a lesson to learn from Solomon’s DJ Dalliance.

As I laid the groundwork to leave Wall Street in 2015, I kept asking myself:

Is this a push or a pull?

Was I getting pushed out? Was I running away from something I didn’t like?

And while it was a demanding job, that wasn’t really my motivation to leave.

Instead, I was feeling the pull. The pull towards something new. Something exciting. Something different.

The pull wasn’t practicing for an upcoming DJ gig. But in spite of a 70 hour/week job, I was planting seeds to see what I could do next.

A series of micro-experiments

I went to dig up some of the relics from my graveyard of side projects or micro-experiments.

There was a business plan for, aka “Uber for Job Placements”

Last edit: April 2015

There were the wireframes for, whose mission was to “unlock the world’s latent generosity.” You’ll notice that I went so far as anticipating the database structure.

Created: Jan 2015

Then there was the entrepreneurial club called 8020 (yup, named after that productivity principle) from 2009!

And last but not least, the infamous first RadReads newsletter sent to 36 people in a Gmail BCC. (For those of you counting, we’re up to issue 416).

Sent January 2015

Building the confidence to jump

All of these ideas never made it out of the lab – with the exception of the newsletter.

But these experiments shared a few common traits.

They were free.

They showed me that if I had more time – I could execute.

But most importantly they brought me a deep sense of aliveness.

So back to DJ D-Sol.

In 2022 Goldman Sachs paid him $25,000,000.

Hopefully that makes his forced retirement a bit less painful.

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