On September 26, 1969 The Beatles released their much-heralded Abbey Road album, which captured their final recording session together (though earlier recordings were later released on Let It Be).
Whoda' thunk The Beatles would still dominate the music news four decades later?
Two weeks ago their video game "The Beatles: Rock Band" was released to much hoopla and frenzied demand the same day that their digitally re-mastered catalog hit the street, propelling them onto the record charts (yawn) again.
The following week five of the ten best-selling albums in the US were Beatles albums. (I thought I was having an acid flashback to April 1964 when they had the top five singles in the Billboard Hot 100.)
How is it possible that every product release by The Beatles—even the Love soundtrack from Cirque du Soleil a few years back—can crash the party, gobble market share, and grab headlines? Is it because The Beatles were that good or because the contemporary competition is that weak? (Try both.)
Of course the Beatles' breakthrough success was catalyzed by larger, synchronous forces of culture and commerce (a topic for another day)—along with the serendipity of finding the nearly perfect manager and record producer to suit their needs.
But as previously argued on these cyber-pages, this small business team in 1962 had much going for it even before the adults took over management of the operation.
In their pre-Brian Epstein days they were outlandishly innovative in look and sound when no one talked about innovation. They were passionate, if not ebullient, in their self-expression, bringing an infectious fun to their performance.
They had personality, individuality, and identity well before they sported the bangs, boots, and suits. And they had a preposterous dream (to be "bigger than Elvis") which they were fanatically driven to achieve.
So why in 2009 are small business teams not studying this commercial phenomenon and copying what works?