Optimistic Delusion and Music Business Version 2.0 Syndrome
In this piece, artist manager Jake Udell analyzes his personal experience of overvaluing his own success, and looks at why too much personal confidence and a failure to rely on others can compromise one's ability to succeed in the music business.
Guest post by Jake Udell of Art of Manager
When we’re successful, our brains believe we can easily replicate that success because we instinctively view ourselves as the primary factor responsible for creating the original success in the first place.
As we increase the value of our own contributions to influence success, we often downplay the plethora of surrounding factors responsible for creating the initial win, including timing and contributions from others.
I experienced this firsthand when I started my management company. After being told female DJ’s would never rock the world, I managed Krewella for six weeks before their rise became imminent – Following their major record deal and initial breakout touring success, I believed I could do it again with other artists in whom I recognized talent.
However, the trajectory of those few artists was not the same as Krewella. Each of those artists may have needed to work harder. Maybe they needed to be more differentiated in the marketplace or more interesting on social media in order to create success. Or maybe they just didn’t have the song or sound capable of propelling success.
While there are general formulas for ideas worthy of exponential growth (i.e. Zero to One), there are an infinite number of immeasurable factors influencing the exact circumstances of success.
Creators must be optimistically delusional in our pursuit of what is possible. However, this innate self belief following a “win” can create version 2.0 syndrome in start-up’s across all industries.
Confidence is key to success, but believe too much in yourself, and you may not rely on the greatness other talented individuals can contribute or see the other external factors capable of impacting your chance at success.
The bottom line is every opportunity and situation are completely unique and all factors must be considered.