Sunday, April 06, 2008

Music Industry, Technology, IP and Piracy: Is there anything in common? Really?

Multiplicity of Approaches.

News articles on the music industry below, indicate a mutiplicity of approaches (could it be serendipity?) being followed by firms to deal with flagging "old media" revenues:

The article, and my own experience in Technology Intellectual Property (IP), got me thinking again about the music industry's woes.

My contention is that any firm considering developing IP in emerging markets must think of the markets as hypercompetitive, where they compete with their own shadows. This might dovetail with the experience of some Venture Capital firms in Asia and Africa.

Allocate resources toward making money.

As some one who has created IP, in technology, in an emerging market, my generic stand (and I know this is likely to spark controversy) in that context is that protecting IP is subservient to growth- marketshare, ramping up revenues quickly, etc. Marketing muscle- either the company's own distribution strength, or the company's ability to create a network of stakeholders in its success- is critical towards finding a defensible niche where the company can build customer relationships/ stick. Allocate resources toward making money, instead of fighting a losing battle.

So What? How does this apply?

While the developed economy context is not the same, the first two articles seem to be a sign of parts of the value chain seeking to control the supply chain.
The third article seems to indicate a deepening of a pragmatic approach in the industry. An approach that focuses on developing models for making money off an economic reality, as opposed to fighting an (apparently) losing battle. For project management, I tend to advocate a multiplicity of approaches toward a more robust critical path. However, there are times when a multiplicity of approaches only serves to muddy waters.

Over the past few years, I have faced some flak for flatly advocating the pragmatic approach. What do you think?

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