Sing Music's Answer To The New

I can imagine the b-school essay; The music industry is a poster child for all that can go wrong with capitalism. Discuss.

It’s difficult to make a case for any stakeholder to have remained unshafted by them. Perhaps that exam question would ask to ‘explain and assess’ the famous Hunter S Thompson observation; “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

The latest device hurtling myriad entrants towards it is streaming.

So I am compelled to quote verbatim the first paragraph of a piece written about this supposed “reinvention of radio“;

The music and technology industries worship the sparkle of the new. If something is described as “new” or “the new [insert name of existing format or platform here]”, there is the conveyance of a commendable sense of modernity; a feeling of momentum propelling us all forward. New is good. New is utopian. New also, sadly, takes a long time to make its presence felt or make a difference.

Anyone selling – or about to sell – a shiny new product needs to heed this.

I’d like to posit that your target buyers do not “worship the sparkle” of “momentum propelling” “utopia”. As the concluding line makes plain.

Yet possibly the biggest single mistake someone pitching the new can make is to slip into the mirage that they do.

A frequent coaching balance I must find is to fire up most of a sales force a level or two, whilst dropping it down a notch for the rest. To this end I often seed simple ideas to deploy in the field as patterns.

And lo and behold, the journalist proceeds to provide just such design.

What are you the Answer To? The author delights in listing many preposterous silicon valley examples here that #fail. By default, you gain a checklist for how to make such a framing work.

  • has the question actually been asked?
  • are you solving a non-existent problem?
  • is your comparative anchor truly relevant?
  • are you neo-[whatever] for the sake of it?
  • is the ‘old’ you mock really outdated?

Lick these and you probably do have an answer too.

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