Visiting family, friends, and colleagues this month, I had several days—and 2500 miles—to reflect on musical and business matters while cruising Interstate 81 with iPod blasting…
I'm always looking for new rock bands with a wildly innovative approach—a way of performing or recording (or even marketing) that fundamentally changes the game.
Maybe those bands are out there but I haven't heard them. Perhaps the quality of popular radio is driving the best stuff underground? I'd like to think that's the case, but a lot of the subterranean stuff is not, well, groundbreaking.
Why haven't more companies at least tried to follow Apple's lead in delighting their customers? By paying $99 for '1:1' customer training following the purchase of a Mac, I can get up to three hours of coaching every day for a whole year at an Apple Store—on any project I'm working on using Apple applications!
I've been getting help on a Keynote slide show, an iWeb web design, iMovie edits, and even iPod playlists. At my average usage (three hours a week) it's costing me a whopping sixty-four cents an hour. This company has created some big time loyalty for me—at a time when I'm less than impressed with 98% of the 'service' I encounter from vendors in general.
I've mentioned before that many of the top rock bands have harnessed creative and personal tension for innovative gain—a great lesson for business teams of all stripes. But even more amazing is how musical duos—including songwriting partnerships—have dealt with differences (and outright hostility) day after day with no other musicians to cushion the daily abrasion.
The Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee are a few examples of brilliant music emerging from the crucible of un-buffered conflict!
And then there's the great songwriting team of Hal David & Burt Bacharach who were in legal war with each other. (You might remember their more famous tunes, 'Do You Know the Way to the San Jose Courthouse?' and 'One Less Subpoena to Answer'.)
Ok, ok, the lawsuits happened after they wrote their best songs, but the point is you don't have to like one another to be in a successful artistic or commercial partnership—and some of the finest collaborative work is sparked by conflict.