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What musicians could teach Tim O’Reilly and Seth Godin

September 7, 2012

Has anyone

Right Said Fred

Seen them in the same room

Seth Godin

At the same time?

Musicians: Solve Your Obscurity Problem and the Rest Will Follow” is the latest in a long line of apologias by the rationalist school of Internet consultants (aka hucksters), surfacing on the aptly named Hypebot by someone hyping their company.  These people seem to think that since they went to a Phish concert, they know something.

Here’s a thought for these folks from what might be called the empiricist school of people who do real work: Before you embarrass yourself trying to tell “indie” musicians how to make a living from music, hump a trap case up 2 or 3 flights of stairs every night for six months, after you slept in a van on a bed of flight cases and began to seriously wonder what all that itching was about.  Or shit, shave and shower in the bus and sleep in a bunk within a few feet of the guys you are never more than ten feet from for months at a time.  And be just thrilled that you can travel in that bus and don’t have to sleep in that van anymore.

You know–be like the guys they keep their daughters away from.  There’s no sweating on the Internet, you see, so coming up with circular advice like “be famous and the money will follow” is just never going to quite ring true.  Particularly since the “getting famous” part was usually handled by the record companies.

And what O’Reilley and Godin and their ilk are really saying is–work hard so that the Web 2.0 sites run by Siarhei Kalashnikov and his bros with the stars can make the easy money from the ad networks.  Sure beats standing in the cold selling dime bags.  They don’t tell you that part because they don’t like to think about that part.

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