Apr. 4, 2008 at 12:35pm
From Derek Sivers, founder of CDbaby:
Aiming to please big clients versus little clients
Thinking about the difference between aiming to please a few big clients versus
aiming to please lots of little clients.
March 11th, 2008
From a business point of
Many small entrepreneurs think, “If we could just land Apple, Google, or the government as a client, we’ll be all set!”
Software companies often do this. They hope to make some technology that a huge company will want to build into every product, or install at every employee’s desk.
But there are many problems with this:
* you have to custom-tailor
your product to please very few specific people
* those people may change their mind or leave the company
* who are you really working for? are you self-employed or are they your boss?
* if you do land the big client, they practically own you
* by trying so hard to please the big client, you lose touch with what the rest of the world wants
Instead, imagine if you designed your business to have NO big clients - just lots of little clients.
* you don’t need to
change what you do to please one client - only the majority (or yourself)
* if one client needs to leave, it’s OK, you can sincerely wish them well
* because no one client can demand you do what they say, you are your own boss (as long as you keep clients happy in general)
* you hear hundreds of people’s opinions, and stay in touch with what the majority of people want
Now, let’s think of this from a music point of view:
Some musicians think, “If I could just land a deal with Interscope or Warner, I’ll be all set!”
But look at the above lists again. It all applies.
The dangerous thing about the record deal mentality is you start changing what you do to please the one or two people at companies who have shown an interest in your music. It not only hurts your music, but puts you on shaky ground when (not if) that person leaves the company.
By making a plan to only please your fans, labels be damned, then not only do you stay in touch with what people love, but it puts your career on much steadier ground.
Musical Divinations with The Pop Oracle By Andras Jones specially for The Happy Friday Newsletter The Pop Oracle is a musical divination format where questions are answered by picking songs at random and interpreting the randomly chosen song as the answer to the question, like picking musical tarot cards. Jessica asks: "Will I get free tickets to Sasquatch?" Response: Ian Moore - Small, Who Would Be Tall Interpretation from Andras Jones: Jessica, This song from Ian Moore's "To Be Loved" CD
is a great answer but if it were me I wouldn't be optimistic about getting free tickets ("We all
want what we can't have.") I would, however, be optimistic. It sounds like your head will be "spinning
around and around" and that someone who is "happier when you are around" will be "lightening up
your brow" and inviting smiles.
Musically, the Beatles Revolver-era guitars hold psychedelic promise and, as an added synchronicity
for me, Ian's voice on this track kind of reminds me of the guy from Arcade Fire, a band that I saw at the
last Sasquatch. By the way, has anybody noticed that Arcade Fire who are always getting compared to
Bowie are totally doing an E Street Band/Springsteen shtick, but with Floydian fascist overtones?
Kinda creepy and awe-inspiring. Anyway, I see good things for you Jessica whether you are at Sasquatch or not. Andras Jones is the host of The Radio8Ball Show. Radio8Ball is a musical divination format where questions are answered by picking songs at random
and interpreting the song as the answer to the question, like picking musical tarot cards. Radio8Ball can be heard on KAOS 89.3 FM on Tuesdays
from 6 to 8pm and on Alternative Talk 1150AM on Fridays from Noon to 1pm.
Andras hosts a live Radio8Ball Show at The Capitol Hill Arts Center in Seattle on the second Thursday of every month. Ian Moore will be the live
artist at the upcoming live event on April 10th - www.radio8ball.com and/or www.myspace.com/radio8ball.
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Happy Friday Club
Next month in the Happy Friday Club Newsletter:
Tony Englehart talks Tacoma music
Lori Gardner gives her opinion
The Pop Oracle answers your question
and local music climbs into your front seat and takes charge of your car stereo
For a complete copy of the Happy Friday Club Newsletter,