Web startups are just like garage bands

At mobile monday last week, I made an observation to the audience that web/mobile startup business environment reminded me of the music industry

– you can easily start a business/band in a garage with a few mates

– you don’t necessarily need much (any?) talent nor do you need much money these days

– whilst there are examples of some bands/firms catapulting to fame & riches on the wave of viral fortune, many others have to do the hard work of marketing to a sceptical market full of noise & short on attention

– most firms/bands hope to be discovered by the big industry giants who’ll promote & bankroll them

– some bands/firms are condemned to forever play to small audiences, or simply fall out with each other before fading away into oblivion

I say this because I don’t think the existence of a large number of startups equate to a bubble. Of course there have been some big hits for firms with a large “fan” bases or awesome output into supergroups. Yet in the music industry this is just the natural order of things – frothy & hyped, but not a bubble in the way people are talking about the web space..

Certainly the music industry structure is changing & bands can make it on their own with the right talent/luck. But the helping hand of a large record company marketing budget can massively help an otherwise average/weak product.

Perhaps one day, being an entrepreneur will be as cool/hip/happening (whatever is the phrase; I don’t have teenagers so am out of touch) as being in a band……… just fewer screaming/adoring female fans.


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