June 2007


This quote is from a recent article in Rolling Stone about the major label record industry. It’s key to point out they’re referring to major labels. Not that independents are rising above, but it’s surprising to see they’ve acquired that much market share to put a dent like this in the industry. Daniel’s previous post identifies ways that major labels are trying to get back some of this market share by branching into clothing licensing, soft drinks, etc. Things that musicians like me (and you?) will never likely need to consider.

Great article (and extra links) at this Fast Company article.

It takes so much more than great music to get noticed these days.  Which is ironic since having great music would put you miles ahead of most of the dreck being foisted upon the listening public, but that’s another post.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs

The video of the entire, historic interview with both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (available for free at iTunes) had me enthralled last evening, keeping me awake well into this morning.

One of the things that struck me was the genuine admiration the two share for each other. At one point Gates is quite candid in revealing that he is awestruck by Jobs’ ability to see things that others simply don’t, to map a path through the future in a way that makes total sense after the passage of time, but in the moment is seen as a visionary and daring move.

I am curious what Steve Jobs has in common with sports greats like Wayne Gretzy. This article at Wired makes quite clear that there are those among us who visualize the future with such insight that even their most successful contemporaries sit in wonder… “how’d they do that?!” Anyone who captures this elusive trait in a bottle will surely make a fortune.

A discussion point : I’d be quite interested what you think Steve Jobs and Wayne Gretzky have in common, what they “get” that us mere mortals struggle to understand even when it is explained in explicit detail.

It was 30 years ago today that the world’s first “practical” personal computer went on sale.

On June 5, 1977, Apple Computer released the Apple II.

A watershed event in the history of computing, the history of creativity – hell, even in plain ol’ history – Wozniak and Jobs enabled millions of us computer geeks to have an available outlet for our creativity.

I remember being so jealous of my friends with Apple Computers.  We were stuck with a TI-99/4a.  We didn’t even have an Atari to play games on.  Of course, all of that changed with the advent of the Macintosh (which our family’s computing life centered around from the first 128k model), but that’s a different anniversary.

For today, congratulations Apple!  And keep rocking Wall Street!!

Stewart Copeland has posted his own review of a show in Vancouver by his newly reunited band, The Police. (full story from Reuters here)

For a band who’s internal dynamics make Ike & Tina look like the Huxtables, I think his choice of words is a fascinating and precarious way to kick off their reunion tour (which I still maintain reeks of crass and soulless commercialism).

I’ve often wondered what keeps creative teams together. Why some work for years – decades, even – and others flame out after a year or two of supernova success.

It’s been true in music, in advertising, in creative enterprises across disciplines.

Finding two people who get along for a lifetime is difficult enough. When you start combining professional direction and drive with any artistic endeavor among multiple personalities, you are dealing with a tinderbox of emotion and passion, the same ingredients that have doomed some of the greatest relationships throughout history.

The challenge is partnering with people who collectively decide that the whole of your team is greater than the sum of your parts. It’s the same thing in any relationship, I suppose… maybe it’s taken me a bit longer to realize this than most. But seeing it played out in the news, whether it’s a team that works or one that doesn’t, is fascinating for those of us engaged in a creative enterprise every day of the week.

This has to be mentioned, as it was a landmark event in the history of creativity.

40 years ago today, The Beatles released arguably the most respected collection of songs of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Credit to Tom Peters blog for a full post on the topic (another good source for creative solutions to problems we face in business every day, whether it’s the music business or any other).

UPDATE : IGuessI’mFloating gets it right, too… and deserves props, per usual.