Monday, May 4, 2009

Tribes Group Blog - Day 19

What a treat to participate in a group blog project about Tribes by Seth Godin started by ChurchCrunch! Today, we're discussing pages 91-96.

Leaders Go First

Seth begins today's reading with an interesting post on how leaders resist the status quo. Leaders become leaders in the Tribes world because they go first. They disregard the status quo in exchange for an idea that is bigger and better than the status quo. The idea may not succeed; many don't. But in every case, someone had to go first. Someone had to stop being "everyone" and step out. Quoting the book, "'Everyone says it's impossible.' Guess what? Everyone works in a balloon factory and everyone is wrong." The chapter ends with the comment that "Over and over, everyone is wrong - unless you believe that innovation can change things, that heretics can break the rules, and that remarkable products and services spread. If you believe that, then you're not everyone. Then you're right."

We all can be everyone to someone. As a boomer, I find myself telling my kids sometimes that they can't do something. I really don't like it when I notice that, but I'm also afraid that I don't notice it as often as it happens. Too many times, I'm everyone to my barbarian kids. Do you notice that about yourself? Do you see that in your relationships with your peers, or coworkers or children? To what degree or to whom are you an everyone?
But, wait. Seth's not done. There's a great deal more. The two examples he uses are the music industry and Microsoft. Both are in a state of decline, however I'd venture to say that more people would agree that the record industry is in decline than would agree the same about Microsoft.

Watching The Music Business Die

Seth goes on to write an accurate and scathing rebuke of the music industry. As usual, his perceptive eye marks the decline of the industry and he provides some accurate criticism and an encouraging challenge to start trying to build a career self-publishing. The music industry was built for another time and it's economic model worked so well, that huge systems were created and many people made a lot of money operating the system. In fact, I wonder if the church hasn't made so much money working the system that we (I'm one of the church) missed the opportunity to take the lead and take advantage of the very process Seth describes. Is it possible that we (the church) made too much money and we missed the chance to really be the change in the music industry?

I've often wondered what would happen if the church gave away Christian music. What if we just gave it away. Wasn't it Keith Green who said something to the effect of, "If we call it music ministry, then why are we charging for it?" What if we created a site where people could download music for free? If the consumer states that they're a believer, they're sent to a donation page. If they state that they're not a believer, they're sent to a page where we explain that we give it away because someone paid for it. The advertising would be of an outreach nature and artists would be paid per download. No record companies, no distribution deals, just music with a Christian message. What do you think?

Don't Panic When The New Business Model Isn't as "Clean" as the Old One

The final entry is a conviction to me. Why don't I step in and do something? Am I God's heretic for this? If not, where is the leader or heretic for this idea? Actually the idea is probably not original with me. Even Seth mentions that "This isn't about having a great idea (it almost never is). The great ideas are out there, for free on your neighborhood blog. Nope, this is about taking the initiative and making things happen."

Is there a heretic Christian reading this blog who's in or around the music industry? My distance from the industry itself is a challenge, but I would quickly join with anyone else in beginning this venture. Is anyone willing to take some action and be a part of the change that's taking place in the music industry? It doesn't have to be the idea presented above; that's just the conversation starter. Open up the discussion with your thoughts and let's change something!