Alex Clare and Rethinking Business

This morning, I was walking through the mall, and I heard the song, “Too Close (to Love You),”by Alex Clare. As I contemplated the song, I remembered the story. As it goes, Mr. Clare was a broke musician, basically living out of his car. He was recording music on his computer and posting it his YouTube account.

The song, “Too Close,” amazingly caught the attention of some marketing executive at Microsoft, who used it in the promotional campaign for Windows 8. Which is where I heard it, and along with millions of other people, I promptly jumped online and downloaded it. Now Alex Clare is a millionaire, who, this year can, “make that money and watch it burn.”

I was struck by this story, and the way that the Internet has changed the business model for the music industry. The music industry, a field near and dear to my heart, has died and we all know that. I’m not sure who is to blame—the digital age, or just the general lack of musical creativity espoused by a generation who grew up in an age of educational budget cuts (think Mr. Holland’s Opus). I have even heard a theory that the powers that be in the music industry have learned how to suck the life out of music, reducing it to sound waves scientifically proven to activate the pleasure centers of the brain, and with repeated listening, causes people to like it and want to buy it. That’s far more nefarious and sad than I would like to think.

But, it just makes me think about the way we are taught to think about business. It makes me wonder if perhaps I’m overlooking opportunities that are not what I think, but far more advantageous than how I would have envisioned it.

Just food for thought today. Don’t overlook opportunities because you never know where they might lead you.


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