Friday, April 16, 2004

Thanks very much to Eric Von Hippel of the MIT Sloan Innovation Lab for inviting me to speak this week. I was very glad to share my thoughts of how is riding and pushing a tide of democracy and innovation on the creative side of the music industry. The preparation gave me a chance to wax philosophical that perhaps the only thing separating art (especially performance art)from other human endeavors is that innovation is constantly required for success. That sort of incessant need to create something new, while exhilarating for the song writer is scary for the industry. Having sunk capital into an idea, the industrialist wants to squeeze out as much profit as possible from that idea. If it weren't for competition, companies would ride on their laurels for as long as possible. Is it so surprising that many companies sacrifice the good of society by stifling competition in numerous ways? However, it is also true that society is not prepared to handle the same amount of innovation in toothbrush making as their is in music-making. The trick is for society to communicate preference for an idea to corporations, *before* they invest in them. This is exactly the model GarageBand is taking with music. The people tell us what they want to hear, and we produce, promote and distribute it. IT keeps our capital costs down, and speeds the time to market significantly. Perhaps most importantly it takes full advantage of the innovation and perceptiveness of the independent musician community. Yes, it's moments like these when I most clearly see GarageBand as proof of concept for a much bigger paradigm shift