Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

October 24, 2006

Learning From Failure

For years now I've been preaching that we live in an incredible era of self-expression and self-empowerment. And it's true. It's never been easier to record and distribute music, publish a book, or produce a short film.

But just because practically everyone can do these things, that doesn't mean everyone who does will succeed on a large scale. We often focus on the success stories and use them to inspire us, but we should be able to learn just as much from artists who don't make it to the limelight.

Scott Andrew expresses this idea well in a recent blog post:

Something like nine out of ten business ventures fail, for various reasons. We're told to embrace failure, to cherish it. Fail faster, fail better. Take your lumps and keep moving, lessons learned. So why is it only that the grand successes get lavish attention and adoring media play? The way things are spun now, it's like some people honestly believe that blogging creates everyday millionaires the same way they believe MySpace creates rock stars.

I'd love to learn more about the failures. I'd love to know why something didn't work out, why a great idea fizzled, how some crucial detail was overlooked or market overestimated. I think that'd be fascinating. I think there's real value in sharing your mistakes.

We need a new magazine. We'll call it Modern Failure or maybe Do-Over Monthly, and every month it'll contain in-depth interviews of people who screwed up, made mistakes, made wrong assumptions, and had plain ol' bad ideas. There will be no trace of snark, not an ounce of gloating. Just profiles of people who tried something and flunked it. What they learned, and what they'd do differently if they had a do-over.

Sure, some people only care about the summit and who's on top of it. Me, I want to hear more about the climb, and that time you rolled to the bottom in the center of a giant snowball!

Great post!

Final thought: Failure is nothing to be ashamed of. Looked at another way, it is simply a result you got when attempting to do something. And we can all learn from results -- our own results and results produced by others.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:38 AM   2 comments


At Oct 24, 2006, 5:36:00 PM, Anonymous Seamus "Moose" Anthony said...

Allow me to help with this one: Zen And The Art Of NOT Becoming A Rock Star

At Oct 24, 2006, 8:36:00 PM, Anonymous Jason Fladlien said...

they say that 8 out of 10 businesses fail, but 6 of them are resturaunts...


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