Tuesday, April 08, 2008

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." Muhammad Ali

"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse." Winston Churchill

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." Albert Einstein

Today's image: Torn by michelleBlack. Amazing. Thank you very much for sharing.

Finished reading the Clay Shirky book, Here Comes Everybody. Highly recommended (Amazon info). Over the next few weeks I'll share some lessons learned. Today from Shirky, Chapter 10, Failure For Free. He shares a great quote by Sun Microsystems founder Bill Joy "No matter who you are, most of the smart people work for someone else."

In a presentation on open source (e.g., Linux, SourceForge) and the power of failure Shirky writes...

"Open source is a profound threat, not because the open source ecosystem is outsucceeding commercial efforts but because it is outfailing them. Because the open source ecosystem, and by extension open social systems generally, rely on peer production, the work on those systems can be considerably more experimental, at considerably less cost, than any firm can afford. Why? The most important reasons are that open systems lower the cost of failure, they do not create biases in favor of predictable but substandard outcomes, and they make it simpler to integrate the contributions of people who contribute only a single idea.

The overall effect of failure is its likelihood times its cost. Most organizations attempt to reduce the effect of failure by reducing its likelihood. Imagine that you are spearheading an effort for a firm that wants to become more innovative. You are given a list of promising but speculative ideas, and you have to choose some subset of them for investment. You thus have to guess the likelihood of success or failure for each project. The obvious problem is that no one knows for certain what will succeed and what will fail. A less obvious but potentially more significant problem is that the possible value of various projects is unconnected to anything their designers say about them. In these circumstances, you will inevitably green-light failures and pass on potential successes. Worst still, more people will remember you saying yes to a failure than saying no to a radical but promising idea. Given this asymmetry, you will be pushed to make safe choices, thus systematically undermining the rationale for trying to be more innovative in the first place.

The open source movement makes neither kind of mistake, because it doesn't have employees, it doesn't make investments, it doesn't even make decisions. It is not an organization, it is an ecosystem, and one that is remarkably tolerant of failure. Open source doesn't reduce the likelihood of failure, it reduces the cost of failure; it essentially gets failure for free. This reversal, where the cost of deciding what to try is higher than the cost of actually trying them, is true of open systems generally. As with the mass amateurization of media, open source relies on the 'publish-then-filter' pattern."

First tribe of wireless rings register in the city: 2007 top ten radio billers in millions (BIA). WLTW 62.8, WINS 57.7, WCBS-AM 53.7, WHTZ 52.3, WFAN 37.5, WPLJ 35.8, WSKQ 35.3, WAXQ 34.4, WBLS 33.2, WQHT 32.3.

Bonus: Cluuz

The Pierre & Tom Show: Arbitron and Edison Media Research present topline from their annual study "The Infinite Dial: Radio's Digital Platforms" via webcast tomorrow at 2pm eastern. You'll need to register here.

Disappearing act: The sideman as solo star. I really enjoy reading Mel Phillips' blog, it's one of my guilty pleasures over morning coffee, a unique pop culture mashup. Mel remembers "Music Memories" as part of his format. Which brought to mind, the sideman. Are we witness to the end of days for the sideman turned solo star? Back in the day the instrumental hit song, while rare, was still possible but is that true today? Kenny G plays on but is confined to one format (Smooth Jazz/NAC). I guess you could make the case he is also played occasionally by some soft AC stations. Will today's CHR, AC and Hot AC play an instrumental? This is apropos of nothing, or is it? Radio programming and branding ace Michael Fischer weighs in via comments. Thanks, Michael! Your thoughts are also welcome, please opine via comments. Is the instrumental hit dead? (Perhaps all we need do is await the next blessing of Steve Jobs, the tech CEO turned modern day music director and hitmaker).

Congrats & cheers: Drew Horowitz, Greg Solk and team Bonneville launches 100.3 fm, The Sound, World Class Rock for Southern California. The Webby Noms including: Kurt Hanson's AccuTunes and KEXP (Radio), Ning and Flock (Social Networking), TED and The Onion (Podcasts), Dwell (Magazine), Epicurious (Lifestyle), I Can Has Cheezburger (Humor), American RadioWorks (Education), StumbleUpon (Community), Indexed (Blog - Culture/Personal).


michael fischer said...

"Consider The Source"

The last time POP radio embraced an instrumental was US3/"Cantaloop", their take on Herbie Hancock's classic jazz hit. The song crossed over to multiple radio formats with and without it's 'rap' interlude.

Consider this...how important is the "Source". If Carlos Santana put out an instrumental today...ala the original version of "Europa" would it be embraced by POP radio? Of course they'd ask for an edit first and a call out hook!)

Instrumental music lacks on POP radio because of its source, not its integrity. Sure some radio stations still play Kenny G's "Songbird" but its image far out weights the songs reality.

I'd love to hear more instrumental music from Carlos cross over...the great Stevie Ray Vaughn is still featured on rock radio...but no where to be found on POP radio.

Again, consider the source...instrumental music works only if: it has a great emotional melody connection and the "source" is respected.