Let’s Start A Band!

A good friend’s recent success with his band got me to thinking about all the similarities between my love for music and my love for building businesses. Below are 5 things that all companies need to think about as they launch their start-up, new division or product. When it comes to creating a successful business, its still rock and roll to me.

1. The garage – most great bands and companies have the same start-up phase. A safe place where they can experiment and build their own internal chemistry before they expose their product to the world

2. Band members – selection of the team is not solely based on talent. There are plenty of stories of musicians learning instruments to play their role in a band. The magic is that all the members know their role and trust the others to do their roles as well. The other key is that all the people in the band share a common passion and willingness to do whatever it takes to make that passion a reality.

3. Core fans – these early adopters, often let into the garage to get a sneak peek, are even more critical in today’s word-of-mouth world. Often as passionate as the band, these are the evangelists that will spread the word and bring people out to the show.

4. The songs – the product of the band needs to be well crafted and delivered. This is where you really get to see that the product of the band is the result of everyone’s contribution. Remove an instrument and the song doesn’t sound as good. Also the songs have to connect with the audience in style and substance but be original enough to differentiate the band from anyone else. Cover bands work only because they cost less than the original but no one is walking around wearing a cover band’s t-shirt. The loyalty is to the uniqueness not the sameness.

5. The set list – a critical element that describes how the band will deliver its product to maximum effect. Think about the first song at a concert. Hair on your arm stands up and the crowd roars. Think about the last song that left everyone begging for “one more”. Carefully crafted set lists deliver product in impact producing ways.

This list is just the beginning of the similarities. When I started thinking about the things that I love, I was worried that my three-headed passion of music, food and business building was going to pull me into pieces. What I realized was that they all have the same elements. Just wait for my “your business is like a casserole” post.


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