Reading Paul Resnikoff's essay this morning it occurred to me that the 'vehicle' for the future of the music business will be a completely individualized start-up mentality. Everything has changed; what it means to be a performer, a recording artist, a songwriter, an instrumentalist, a composer, a music publisher, a record label... As long as we hang on to the old paradigms we won't see opportunities for the future.
Apple dropped Computer from their name because they're about something bigger; challenging the status quo and and building things that empower individuals. They practically own the word, "i". Computers, smart-phones and music downloads are manifestations of their larger identity. Think like a start up or a game-changing company. Why do you do what you do, how do you add value to the world, and how can you make money with the gifts you give?
Professional musicians have always worn multiple hats and been less dependent on CD sales as their primary source of revenue. Ask yourself what your favorite musicians stand for. What is their vision of music and how have they organized their lives around that commitment?
CDs are a by-product of something much bigger. If we continue to focus on the rapidly shrinking 'what' and 'how' of the past we'll miss the opportunity to do something exceptional today. Get back to why you make music. Forget about how the music business is supposed to work and visualize creating something unique, powerful, and profitable.