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November 9, 2010

Third legs, tentacles and trust

Having designed your music business with these 5 principles in mind, you should operate the business based on three pillars: third legs, tentacles and trust. These are the things that will help you rise above the crowd, grow your music career, and ensure your future.

The third leg metaphor is discussed in the pages above. It is a reason for people to talk about your act and need not be musical. What contribution do you want your music to make to other people's lives and to the culture more broadly? Does your act have an interesting back story? Do you stand for cause? Are you prepared to do things to produce or promote your music that no-one else has done before? What cane you do that will get people interested in you and keen to find out about your music?

Tentacles are a metaphor for the networks through which you collect Esteem and convert it into services and free labour. The tentacles extend from a central point and act to bring all the services, cash, expressions of support and offers of assistance back to your base. They also work to take messages from your base into your fanbase, out to your peers and colleagues. As your career grows, the tentacles reach further into the industry and into the community.

Trust is the basis of Esteem, upon which the strength of the business depends. People must trust that your songs will be meaningful; that your performances will always be memorable; that your act will be professional; and that your negotiations will be reasonable. In turn, you must trust that they will support your efforts. Relationships built on this trust will sustain a career through the inevitable setbacks and hardships.

These three pillars help to apply the Novelty Principle in a way that is consistent with your Personality to gather Esteem that centralises at a point under your direction (Propinquity) and accrues over time (Synchrony)?

The combination of these three operational pillars with the 5 design principles on the previous page provides a solid foundation for any 21st century music business. But the details of the business plan will needs to be tailored to each musician's individual circumstances - starting with their goals.


Being creative and reliable in non-musical ways can attract the attention of networks of people. It is then up to the musicians to deliver on their promises and build trust in them and their music. If they can do that, a business structured according to the 5 principles offers the best chance to convert their esteem into income.

This post is one section of Part 3 of Dr Huge's "How the record industry got it so wrong". The latest version of the complete ebook can be downloaded here and a hard copy can be ordered here.
Posted by DrHuge at November 9, 2010 8:11 PM

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