Check it out: HERE.
[Disclaimer: I was one of the original TuneCore founders]
Creativity in Productivity in Creativity
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Check it out: HERE.
[Disclaimer: I was one of the original TuneCore founders]
I can neither take nor attribute credit for this list; it’s floating around out there, and if anyone knows who originated it let me know. However, I think it’s really valuable info for everyone, and particularly for bands who are out on the road, and often staying in some less-than-savory places where theft is likely.
To me, #4 (copy the contents of your wallet), and #7 (calling credit bureaus immediately after a theft), are the most crucial for artists on the road.
Here are the tips:
1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “PHOTO ID REQUIRED.”
2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the “For” line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.
3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home Phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.
4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a Photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.
5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card Numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
6. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an Investigation (if there ever is one).
But here’s what is perhaps most important of all:
7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations Immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by Phone to authorize new credit.
Here are the contact numbers:
Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742
Trans Union: 800-6807289
Social Security Administration (fraud line): 800-269-0271
Some very cogent words of wisdom from one of the record industry’s legends, Bob Ezrin.
Speaking at an industry event in Nova Scotia, Ezrin stated:
“…people in the music business canâ€™t simply find new ways to do old things. “The old way of doing things is gone. Weâ€™re not at the tipping point, weâ€™re on the other side.”
“Itâ€™s about being something real. . . people need to change their goals in order to survive as entertainers.”
“At the end of the day, itâ€™s about live performance. Youâ€™ve got to play. What no one can steal is your direct relationship with the audience, you canâ€™t duplicate that love affair.”
Innovation and outside-the-box strategy is really what this blog is all about (and, of course the way technology can improve your efficiency, and thus allow you to both create more music and get that music heard by more people).
Mr. Ezrin is correct, but far from this being a depressing statement, it’s really one that shows the reality of the situation, and therefore pushes us towards progress.
I’ve written and spoken a lot on the topic of the importance of the live gig.
â€¢The Importance of the Live Gig video
â€¢Building Towards Booking a Tour video
â€¢Gigs Outside Your Home Town article
â€¢Making the Most of the Actual Performance article
You can view more of my articles and videos (and articles and videos from an array of experts) at Artists House Music.
Itâ€™s wonderful to see someone of Mr. Ezrinâ€™s stature speaking so frankly about the industry.
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.”
Read/WriteWeb has a very good article on startups. I find this particularly relevant to music business related startups, as I’ve been long championing the idea of focused niches over overly-broad ventures.
Today, more than ever, it is about identifying a customer/fan who shares your values, and making a direct and emphatic emotional connection with this person. as Read/WriteWeb correctly states, “There may never be a site as big as MySpace again.” I believe this fervently, everything (The Long Tail, echospin, etc.) is pointing to creators connecting efficiently and emphatically with their constituents.
Just from looking at the section headings of this article…
1. Divide and Conquer, Differentiate or Die
2. Generally Speaking, the Smaller the Niche, the More Loyal the Users Become
4. No Small Market is Small Enough
5. Mind Numbingly Simple
…you see the mantra forming. It’s a good mantra, and it’s one for artists to know and understand.
Consider this passage apropos of the music biz:
No brand, no corporation, no startup can achieve 100 percent of a market in the face of competition. Once you accept this reality, finding a niche is greatly simplified. You don’t have to face those demons that keep telling you, “Let’s not give up any part of the market”. The truth is that all businesses are a niche business. The only difference is that the leader’s niche is bigger than the niches owned by others, but it is still a niche. Nurturing the specific needs of the niche users has become the prevalent theme for most successful startups.