The music business (like all businesses) is one where you must innovate or die. The problems that the music business currently faces really do come from lack of innovation.
All those engaged in the music business at any level (musicians, managers, entrepreneurs) must focus on innovating, and then applying strategy to bring those innovations to fruition.
It is very important to avoid getting caught in a feedback loop, and looking only to your own industry for inspiration.
To wit, below are a series of quotes relating to both the importance and difficulty of innovation and strategy that are culled from California Institute of Technology Engineering Professor Erik Antonsson’s website.
“Design is what you do when you don’t [yet] know what you are doing.” i.e., Real design is done during the unstructured, informal, noodling around that occurs before the structured and formal `design’ methods are employed.
Professor of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
June 21, 2002.
“If a major project is truly innovative, you cannot possibly know its exact cost and its exact schedule at the beginning. And if in fact you do know the exact cost and the exact schedule, chances are that the technology is obsolete.”
â€”Joseph G. Gavin, Jr., discussing the design of the Grumman lunar module that landed NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon on July 20, 1969.
“Fly Me to the Moon: An Interview with Joseph G. Gavin, Jr.”, Technology Review , 97:5, July, 1994, Page 62.
“And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as the leader in the introduction of changes. For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new.”
“We must bear in mind, then, that there is nothing more difficult and dangerous, or more doubtful of success, than an attempt to introduce a new order of things in any state. For the innovator has for enemies all those who derived advantages from the old order of things, whilst those who expect to be benefited by the new institutions will be but lukewarm defenders. This indifference arises in part from fear of their adversaries who were favoured by the existing laws, and partly from the incredulity of men who have no faith in anything new that is not the result of well-established experience. Hence it is that, whenever the opponents of the new order of things have the opportunity to attack it, they will do it with the zeal of partisans, whilst the others defend it but feebly, so that it is dangerous to rely upon the latter.”
N. H. Thomson, translator
Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1992, page 13.
Originally published by P.F. Collier & Son, New York, 1910.
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where its been.”