Collisions at the Corner of Art and Commerce

Another from the Miscellaneous Files - A company that gets it

Monday, January 12, 2009

Here's another item that isn't applicable to the music business.... or is it?  Not in the specifics obviously, but in terms of responsiveness to the consumer - you know, the one who is using your product or service - this is about as good as a corporation can get.   Kudos to JetBlue.   I'll let the good folks at the oh so cool blog, BikePortland.org tell the story if you visit here

Of course the airline business isn't the music business, but the spirit of serving customers and adjusting corporate policy to address new circumstances transcends any business.   Here's some context for those who may not have traveled with a bicycle.  A standard bike, even broken down, makes a  and extra large, cumbersome piece of 'luggage', so a surcharge has been commonplace for years from most all airlines (even way back when all baggage was free - remember those golden years?)... Jet Blue's previous policy appears to have been written keying in on 'bicycle' rather than size of the case it is in.  Hence the surcharge to this person whose bike is a compact foldable in a standard size piece of luggage.  

So to tie it all together and hopefully link this to the music business,  in the words of The Dude, if I may, 'new shit has come to light' ... humans now have smaller folding bikes that fit in regular size luggage... intelligent corporation JetBlue addresses this new reality and adjusts their policy  instead of trying to force humans with smaller bikes to use (and pay for larger cases).  Or to re-write - humans now want to find and acquire music on the internet, intelligent corporations would address this new reality and begin to adjust their business model and the larger business around them instead of trying to force humans to continue to buy shiny round pieces of plastic that many no longer want or use.

See, lessons on the failings of the music business abound, you just need to know where to look.  For my friends still stuck at labels, I know my example is a bit simplistic, and there are clearly other players involved like publishers and artists etc, but we had a window to radically reconfigure the music business by design.  Now it's being radically reconfigured by simple market forces that will likely leave many of the old players by the side of the road.  Change was inevitable, how much suffering for the big companies was somewhat controllable by them - they've largely voted by their actions for maximum suffering on their part.    I'm not advocating that labels simply close up shop and die (that's more what *they* seem to be advocating by their response), labels didn't and don't need to start simply giving everything away,  there were, and still are, numerous ways to address the new realities of the marketplace, that *will* compensate the owners and creators of the Intellectual Property involved and they generally don't involve suing your customers.

To close out with the positive about all of the above, is if you are your own, independent entity, reaching your fans directly, you don't even have to worry about all of this BS of the dying labels - you can make your own way, connecting with your fans, building a career - and being like JetBlue - responsive.   The death of the old business can be nothing more than an interesting historical footnote as you build your business to fit the realities of *your* market - it's no longer one sized fits all world - use that to your greatest advantage.  Thus ends today's rant... I gotta go book me some travel on JetBlue, not sure where I'm going,  but just like training dogs, you gotta reward them when you catch them being good.

updated: 8 years ago

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