Looking Beyond The Music Industry For Inspiration

It's easy to be critical of the music industry and far more difficult to offer solutions. As I wrote today on the MidemNet blog, from Bob Lefsetz to Hypebot,
there are many of us who are ready and willing to share our "insider" perspectives.  But some of the most educated and Thinker right informative opinions about our business is coming from outsiders.

Fortunately for all of us, some of the brightest minds in marketing,
socio-economics, management, tech and other fields are also fans who sometimes find inspiration in music and the music industry. Just a few of the great:"outsider" minds that I've been inspired by lately include:
  • Umair Haque
  • Seth Godin
  • Richard Florida
  • Kevin Kelly
  • Om Malik
There a more extensive list of people that inform and inspire me from both inside and outside of the music industry on the MidemNet blog here.

Read it and then please let us all know who is influencing the way that you think about the music industry. Who provides your inspiration?

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  1. I agree wholeheartedly with your recommendations, particularly Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell’s case study on Kenna in “Blink” was wonderful, and for the past few months I’m been going through Godin’s books and blog, walking away with something new each time.
    I also think that “Authenticity” and “The Experience Economy,” both by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, are great reads for musicians and music industry entrepreneurs alike. They present some interesting opinions on the importance of maintaining authenticity and creating experiences worthy of consumers’ (or in our case, fans’) time and money.
    Other Authors/Books I recommend:
    Noah Kerner and Gene Pressman – Chasing Cool great perspective on marketing/branding
    Gray Hamel and C.K. Prahalad – Competing For The Future It’s a long read, but worth it. Stresses strategies for focusing on what’s next and moving a company forward instead of trying to become “the next iPod”

  2. I used to edit an IT magazine.
    I now run several record labels.
    One reason I left IT was because I couldn’t cope any longer with the utopians. Fresh-faced rip-and-replace types – young guys who had the solution for your every problem. It always had some kind of tech focus and it invariably involved destroying your previous business model, partnerships, and the ways your people worked together – yes, even before the days of internet, yes.
    And when the idea didn’t work? The tech/new business guys always shrugged and said “well, how about THIS new technological approach? That’s gotta work!”
    Thank god I got out. Obviously the music industry will never up jammed full of that type…

  3. Who provides our inspiration? The fans do. When you’re in the trenches night in and night out, when you deal with fans every night – when you’re not in the office or tucked in while the real work’s being done, reading the intelligensia – but when you’re in the middle of the crowd and dealing with the artists as they load-in and load-out and watching them sweat, responding to fans in person and online … all that’s pretty inspirational. If marketing and music are really about people, maybe it’s good to spend a LOT of time with some. (btw, people drive technology, not the other way around.)

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