I was recently invited by host Dmitri Vietze to appear on his new podcast Music Tectonics for the episode “The Shifting LA Music Tech Scene.” It was a fun discussion about the various ecosystems and hubs of innovation, creation and thought-leadership that is taking place in Los Angeles right now.
The Music Tectonics podcast goes beneath the surface of the music industry to explore how technology is changing the way business gets done. The podcast includes news roundups, interviews, and more.
Listen to the episode here or on Spotify, Stitcher, or Google.
I’ve been considering developing a series of online courses around entrepreneurship and innovation within the music industry, including and expanding on what I’ve taught in music industry and marketing undergraduate programs at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and Emerson College, in the music business graduate program at California State University, Northridge, in the business module of the advanced audio engineering program at SAE Institute Los Angeles, and in my workshops at USC Marshall School of Business, Los Angeles Recording School and College of the Canyons, but I’m starting to reconsider this.
I’ve seen dozens of online courses developed by so-called marketing, business, and entrepreneurship experts that promise to take your business from stagnant to 7 figures in just a few weeks. Often times these experts only verifiable accomplishments tend to be their ability to get others to sign-up for their online courses. Or, at best, they’ve had one lucky break and somehow parlayed that into a facade of serial success, from which real strategy and knowledge can be shared.
We’ve all heard the saying that “those who can’t do teach.” I do not agree with this ugly notion as a generalization, but I do believe that it is actually quite easy to take bits and pieces of advice, common sense, and lessons from others’ case studies and weave these concepts into curriculum padded with superficial “proven strategies” and outdated yet widely adopted business modeling techniques, which the instructor has never put into practice himself, and charge naive entrepreneurs hundreds of dollars to access this material as a life-changing course.
And we wonder why there is such a high rate of failure amongst students who’ve completed these courses.
I enjoy teaching. And I am honored to have been acknowledged in Billboard “15 Top Music Business Schools of 2017” and have been reviewed highly among the students in the programs in which I currently teach.
But even more thrilling, I enjoy doing.
I enjoy transforming business ideas into investible businesses within the music industry; especially when those ideas create real value for its target customers — music creators, music industry professionals, and music fans. And I enjoy helping entrepreneurs do this for themselves.
I don’t know if it makes sense for me to create a standalone online course.
I believe entrepreneurs who seek help seek mentorship and an open channel of communication. I provide this in the classroom where the ability to ask a question can unlock meaningful insight for an entrepreneur struggling with a decision or a challenge. Nuance matters. Nuance is what makes the difference between reading a lecture and experiencing a lecture. I also provide this through consulting and mentorship.
Over the last 7 years, I’ve had the pleasure of being a consultant, advisor, or mentor to nearly 50 founders of music, tech and digital media start-ups, including current clients Baserock (achieved over 300% Kickstarter launch goal), Weeshing (has earned over $10M in revenue), RoadNation (has helped indie artists raise tens of thousands of dollars to fund touring) and mydiveo (acquired for over $7.4M after my consultation to develop a go-to-market strategy and intellectual property compliance strategy).
I’ve provided mentorship and coaching through programs such as SXSW Music, Capitol360 gBeta MusicTech Accelerator, recommendations for founders to attend Project Music Nashville and Techstars Music Los Angeles, and will be continuing this work in 2019 at The Rattle Los Angeles and 2112 Chicago.
Over the last 2 years, I’ve contributed to the acquisition of or investment in 5 music tech startups including 3 companies that I founded.
I don’t know if any of this work could have been achieved by uploading 10 course videos and some downloadable worksheets. If so, I highly doubt the success rate would be very high. I do believe there is some perfect balance and that is what I am setting out to achieve in 2019.
In the meantime, if you’re an entrepreneur struggling to get your music industry businesss idea off the ground, reach out to me for a free consultation to see how me and my team can help.