Jerry Garcia on Strategy

Brian Camelio, President of ArtistShare, came up with a radical new business model for musicians by asking himself the fundamental question of any strategy generation exercise: what will make me unique and desirable? As he told the New York Times:

I got to thinking: what’s the one thing you can’t download, the one thing that the artist can hold onto? The answer: the creative process. That’s the product I’m offering: the creative process.

What he come up with is ArtistShare, a collection of tools to help artists move from a product-centric business model to one built around continuous, interactive relationships with their audience. In his new approach, recorded music is allowed to do what it does best – be an idea virus that sells the artist – and value is claimed for the artist instead by charging for access to the rest of the creative process. Kaplan says it well:

The creative process is a timeline. It is a living, breathing thing. An artistic product… is just a quick snapshot of that timeline. The moments of brilliance an audience hopes to experience when purchasing that artistic product exist throughout the entire process.

I applaud ArtistShare’s determination to build a thriving venture off of a business model innovation (check out their patent here – respek!). It is a wonderful answer to the strategic question posed at the top of this post. As that notable musician/business guy Jerry Garcia once said (thanks to Tom Peters for the quote):

We do not merely want to be the best of the best, we want to be the only ones who do what we do.

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