“I think the essence of science—what really makes it so much fun—is to do what others aren’t doing…rather than doing what everyone else in the pack is flocking to…I think it’s a problem when the word ‘useful’ is treated as a synonym for something that can be commercialized in the next few years.”

–Yoshinori Ohsumi

Japanese biologist and winner
of 2016 Nobel Prize in
physiology or medicine
for elucidations on cellular waste recycling (autophagy)
and the body’s ability to recycle proteins

For some business models I lack enthusiasm, especially at a certain scale.  Webvan was one.  In 3 tweets is decent capture of both my low appreciation for, if another’s foreseen long-term viability of, the grocery delivery start-up Instacart.

Also, research indicates most groceries and other items in a home were brought there by the lady of the house–the home’s “primary shopper.” Purchases she didn’t make often still required her approval. I know her. I am her. She’s picky.  She won’t outsource everything.

Dutch design studio Tjep. has rendered skeletal furniture from bronze to create a design collection “totally opposite to the technology-driven trends.”

The back of a head has never been more interesting. The songwriter and singer phenomenon known as Sia is exemplary for something rare in the business: Rejectionism for a conventional music industry alongside extraction from it of mass appeal. See the comments:

Despite capsules like, Why Sia is a marketing genius…not a reluctant star, she can legitimately be both. Sia is smart enough to know it wouldn’t work if it wasn’t authentic. Her back to the audience you have no choice but to listen–what we once did with music–as you can’t see her. Her album debuts tomorrow.

Already successful music artists tend not to bother attending Ivy League business schools mid-career. Exceptions include L. A. Reid who did a stint before grabbing the reins at Arista. Swizz Beatz appears the latest attendee. He is interviewed here at The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 on his latest trek in the HBS Owner/President Management Extension Program.

At issue for him are “graduating your brand” and “being an owner for real.” The artist’s hustle has relocated from the street corner to the studio to the board room. Beatz distinguishes “real” ownership (Dre’s Beats deal with Apple or Diddy’s Diageo-led portfolio driving a recent honorary doctorate) from puffery label deals with bad ratios.

Music industry players–regular first movers but also creative last movers and re-mixers of 1st movers–are consummate taste-makers and masters of technology, marketing, culture, and brand extensions. Beatz makes the case for an academy-based management competency and breakout collaboration networks offered by selective academic stints. Artists like Beatz who enroll to “sharpen their pencils” and do a brand upgrade may inadvertently rebrand some B school culture.

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