Derek Sivers recently released a series of videos, titled Uncommon Sense, in which he sensibly discusses music and entrepreneurship in a manner that cuts through a lot of noise while providing a great deal of inspiration. In particular, he has a smart take on DIY and the often conflicting business advice shared by industry experts.
AppSumo offered Uncommon Sense as a Derek Sivers Action Class and it's still available for free as is the version Sivers made available on YouTube. I got the downloadable PDF transcript via AppSumo and found his comments relevant to sorting out the cacophony of advice from music marketers as well as that of industry pundits:
"I often speak at these conferences where there's a panel of people and a moderator that says a question like, 'What is the future of the music business?' The funny thing is, if there's a guy who's in the business of selling MP3s, he'll pipe up and say, "The future of the music business is selling MP3s...trust me everybody else is wrong..." And then if you have a guy over here whose business is, say, digital radio, he will tell you, 'The future of the music business is digital radio. All these people are wrong'..."
"The thing is nobody knows...If they would just admit that nobody knows or just have the courage to say, 'I don't know, nobody knows,' then we could start having a real intelligent conversation."
While most of the music marketers I've encountered know quite a bit, it's often the case that some will make the argument that the only way to do things happens to be the way they do things. But from what I've observed over the years, there are many paths to success and the best route is the one that best fits you. As Sivers puts it when discussing DIY:
"I like the version that says, 'Decide It Yourself.' Other people can do it. You're the one that makes the decisions. You don't have to do everything yourself...But whatever you choose...You need to optimize your activities based on what's important to you, instead of defusing them."
This is great advice including about deciding how to proceed as an indie musician in charge of one's own marketing.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He is currently relaunching Flux Research to pursue his long-standing obsession with web business models. To suggest music services and related topics for consideration at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.