Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Gonzo Latecomer

OK, so I never did buy the fucking book. Even after I kept getting all these inflammatory emails from some jackass whose Topica list I was dumb enough to subscribe to. So I see Gonzo Marketing in the library and I think, "What the hell!", and pile it on my stack of Linux tutorials and Lester Brown's Eco-Economy (couldn't find Natural Capitalism by Amory Lovins - rats). Man am I glad I decided to start with Gonzo (Does anyone else have this problem with books - I read 5 at the same time until I get hooked to one and toss the rest - or am I just mental). Holy shit. What was I thinking. I've read Cluetrain four times now and I was dumb enough not to buy this one sight-unseen. [shakes head in personal disgust]

So while pretending to work today (kidding boss, I was working. I read on lunch hour, er, um half hour), I was reading Gonzo Marketing and making notes (is THAT normal...please tell me that's normal). Do I use too many damned parentheses? (what do you think?). Here is a bit of my notes:

Gonzo Marketing: The question really does come down to quality. It matters much more now. In mass marketing, you could sell inferior junk because your goal was to blast the message (ad) to millions of eyeballs and hook a certain percentage (I'm reminded of the shoveling chum scene in Jaws...not sure why. HOOPER!). With Gonzo Marketing, you can't do that. In fact, you had better make damned sure your shit is great or you will essentially be marketing for your competitors! Napster proved this to the record industry. The old model allowed them to put out 11 shit tracks and 1 hit and sell tons of records. Ever get pissed off after you buy the album with "that one cool song" on it only to discover that one song was all she wrote? Not anymore, Jack. The conversation is real. And it goes a little somthin' like 'dis:

"Dude. Did you download that Slayer album?"
"Yep. All crap but track nine."
"No shit. I'm gonna have to burn a compilation!"

Now imagine that same conversation concerning the latest Tool release:

"Dude. (the kids always say "dude"...maybe we can use that in our personalization) Did you hear the Aenima album?"
"Fucking A. I got 5 tracks off Napster and they all rock!"
"Straight up. I'm gonna have to get that one!"
"No doubt"

See? Now this is precisely what the RIAA and most of the labels just can't get through their copyrighted skulls:

New Economy Rule #1 For Selling Records:
Make an awesome record. Give away the tracks. Sell a bunch or records.

A smart label would have strongly supported Napster and would have employed music enthusiasts (or better yet, set up a site for them) to get online and talk to the kids. I said to. Not at. Because, as Metallica used to say: "What about the kids?!" Wonder what changed their minds?

There's a billion dollar formula for you folks. Just a little tip from your uncle Eric.

No comments: