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jerryking : momentum   9

Music’s ‘Moneyball’ moment: why data is the new talent scout | Financial Times
JULY 5, 2018 | FT | Michael Hann.

The music industry loves to self-mythologise. It especially loves to mythologise about taking young scrappers from the streets and turning them into stars. It celebrates the men and women — but usually the men — with “golden ears” almost as much as the people making the music....A&R, or “artists and repertoire”, are the people who look for new talent, convince that talent to sign to the record label and then nurture it: advising on songs, on producers, on how to go about the job of being a pop star. It’s the R&D arm of the music industry......What the music business doesn’t like to shout about is how inefficient its R&D process is. The annual global spend on A&R is $2.8bn....and all that buys is the probability of failure: “Some labels estimate the ratio of commercial success to failure as 1 in 4; others consider the chances to be much lower — less than 1 in 10,” observes its 2017 report. Or as Mixmag magazine’s columnist The Secret DJ put it: “Major labels call themselves a business but are insanely unprofitable, utterly uncertain, totally rudderless and completely ignorant.”......The rise of digital music brought with it a huge amount of data which, industry executives realized, could be turned to their advantage. ....“All our business units must now leverage data and analytics in innovative ways to dig deeper than ever for new talent. The modern day talent-spotter must have both an artistic ear and analytical eyes.”

Earlier this year, in the same week as Warner announced its acquisition of Sodatone, a company that has developed a tool for talent-spotting via data, another data company, Instrumental, secured $4.2m of funding. The industry appeared to have reached a tipping point — what the website Music Ally called “A&R’s data moment”. Which is why, wherever the music industry’s great and good gather, the word “moneyball” has become increasingly prevalent.
........YouTube, Spotify, Instagram were born and changed the way talent begins its journey. All the barriers came down. Suddenly you’ve got tens of thousands of pieces of music content being uploaded.......Home computing’s democratization of recording removed the barriers to making high-quality music. No longer did you need access to a studio and an experienced producer, plus the money to pay for them. But the music industry had no way to keep abreast of these new creators. “....The way A&R people have discovered talent has barely changed since the music industry began, and it’s fundamentally the same for indie labels, who put artistry above sales, as it is for major labels who have to answer to shareholders. It’s always been about information.....“We find them by listening to new music constantly, by people giving us tips, by going out and seeing things that sound interesting,”.....“The most useful people to talk to are concert promoters and booking agents. They are least inclined to bullshit; they’ll tell you how many people an act is drawing,”...like labels, publishers also have an A&R function, signing up songwriters, many of whom will also be in bands)....“Journalists and radio producers are [also] very useful people to give you information. If you know you’ve got particular DJs or particular writers who are going to pick up something, that’s really good.”
.......Instrumental’s selling point is a dashboard called Talent AI, which scrapes data from Spotify playlists with more than 10,000 followers.....“We took a view that to build momentum on Spotify, you need to be on playlists,”....“If no one knows who you are, no one’s going to suddenly start streaming a track you’ve just put up. It happens when you start getting included on playlists.”......To make it workable, the Talent AI dashboard enables users to apply a series of filters to either tracks or artists: to sort by nationality, by genre, by number of playlists they appear on, by the number of playlist subscribers, by their industry standing — are they signed to a major? To an independent label? Are they unsigned?
.......What A&R people are looking for, though, is not totals, it’s evidence of momentum. No one wants to sign the artist who has reached maximum popularity. They want the artist on the way up....“It’s the direction. Is it going in the right direction?”....when it comes to assessing what an artist can offer, the data isn’t even always about the numbers. “The one I look at the most is Instagram, because that’s the easiest way for an artist to express themselves in a way other than the music — how they look, what they’re into,” she says. “That gives a real snapshot into [them] and whether they really have formulated a world for themselves or not.”......not everyone is delighted with the drive to data. “[the advent of] Spotify...became the driving force for signings...“A&Rs were using their eyes rather than their ears — watching numbers change rather than listening to music, and then jumping on acts....they saw something happening and got it out quickly without having to invest in the traditional A&R process.”... online heat tends to be generated by transient teenage audiences who are likely to move on rather than stick around for a decade: online presence is a big thing in electronic dance music, or some branches of urban music, in which an artist might only be good for a single song. In short, data does not measure quality; it does not tell you whether an artist has 20 good songs that can be turned into their first two albums; it does not tell you whether they can command a crowd in live performance..........The music industry, of course, has always had an issue with short-termism/short-sightedness: [tension] between the people who sign the cheques and those who go to bat for the artists is built into the way it works..........The problem is that without career artists, the music industry just becomes even more of a lottery. It is being made harder, not just by short-termism, but by the fact that music has become less culturally central. “It’s so much harder to connect with an audience or grow an audience, because there’s so much noise,”
.......Today the A&R...agree that the new data has its uses, but insist it still takes second place to the evidence of their own eyes and ears.......As for Withey, he is not about to tell the old-school scouts their days are done....Instrumental can tell A&R people which artists are hot, but not which are good. Also, there will be amazing acts who simply don’t get the traction on the internet to register on the Talent AI dashboard.....All of which will come as a relief to the people running those A&R departments. .....when asked if data will become the single most important factor in scouting talent: “I hope not. Otherwise we may as well have robots.” For now, at least, the golden ears are safe.
A&R  algorithms  analytics  data  dashboards  tips  discoveries  filters  hits  Instagram  inefficiencies  momentum  music  music_industry  music_labels  music_publishing  Moneyball  myths  playlists  self-mythologize  songwriters  Spotify  SXSW  success_rates  talent  talent_spotting  tipping_points  tracking  YouTube  talent_scouting  high-quality  the_single_most_important 
july 2018 by jerryking
Twitter’s Troubles and Snap’s Appeal: It’s All About the Mojo
OCT. 11, 2016 | - The New York Times| By STEVEN DAVIDOFF SOLOMON.

User growth is the secret sauce of internet valuations. Revenue and earnings are forgiven if you can show growth in users. Whether that makes sense, of course, is another matter.....Sharp leadership — whether that is from its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, or new blood — could certainly help Twitter exploit its huge user base.

But the problem is that in the eyes of the Valley, Twitter has lost its mojo.

Even as Twitter was deflating, another social media darling, Snapchat, now renamed Snap, was riding high as reports emerged that the start-up, known for its disappearing messages, was preparing for a public offering that could value it for as much as $25 billion.
Twitter  Snapchat  momentum  valuations  Silicon_Valley  social_media  youth  mojo  special_sauce  customer_growth  user_growth  user_bases 
october 2016 by jerryking
Ben Chestnut of MailChimp: Learn to Love the Job You’ve Got - The New York Times
By ADAM BRYANT SEPT. 2, 2016

What are some leadership lessons?

Never sacrifice momentum. I might know a better path, but if we’ve got a lot of momentum, if everyone’s united and they’re marching together and the path is O.K., just go with the flow. I may eventually nudge them down a new path, but never stop the troops midmarch.
CEOs  leadership  lessons_learned  momentum  operational_tempo 
september 2016 by jerryking
Bob Pittman of Clear Channel, on the Value of Dissent - NYTimes.com
By ADAM BRYANT
Published: November 16, 2013
discussing an idea, “What did the dissenter say?” The first time you do that, somebody might say, “Well, everybody’s on board.” Then I’ll say, “Well, you guys aren’t listening very well, because there’s always another point of view somewhere and you need to go back and find out what the dissenting point of view is.” I don’t want to hear someone say after we do something, “Oh, we should have done this.”

I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done....“You’ll never be fired here for making a mistake. You’ll be fired for not making a mistake. Because if you’re not making a mistake, it tells me that you’re not trying anything new.”...“Weed the garden.” If you try 10 new things and, just for example, two are clear winners and two are clear losers. That means you’ve got six in between. What do I do with those? Most organizations — and when I’m not careful, including me — let everything live except the clear losers....only going to let clear winners live. I’m going to take the resources I put for the other eight things and try again,”...

Urgency wins. There are times when people come in with a presentation, and I’ll say: “What is it you want from me? What is the decision?” I find 70 percent of the time, I don’t need to know any of the other stuff. I’ll just say, “Do this or that” and we’ve saved 50 minutes. Although it may come across as impatience, it really allows us to move faster.
Clear_Channel  attrition_rates  CEOs  dissension  impatience  portfolios  kill_rates  momentum  operational_tempo  urgency 
november 2013 by jerryking
Twitter's Lucrative Data Mining Business - WSJ.com
October 6, 2013 | WSJ | By ELIZABETH DWOSKIN.

Twitter's Data Business Proves Lucrative
Twitter Disclosed It Earned $47.5 Million From Selling Off Information It Gathers

Twitter's data business has rippled across the economy. The site's constant stream of experiences, opinions and sentiments has spawned a vast commercial ecosystem, serving up putative insights to product developers, Hollywood studios, major retailers and—potentially most profitably—hedge funds and other investors....Social-data firms spot trends that it would take a long time for humans to see on their own. The United Nations is using algorithms derived from Twitter to pinpoint hot spots of social unrest. DirecTV DTV +0.99% uses Twitter data as an early-warning system to spot power outages based on customer complaints. Human-resources departments analyze the data to evaluate job candidates....While estimates of the market value of the social-data industry are hard to come by, one research firm, IDC, estimates that the entire "big data" market has grown seven times as quickly as the information technology sector as a whole. It may be valued at $16.9 billion in two years....Each social-data firm boasts proprietary dating-mining tools that go beyond basic keyword searches. Some can zoom in on a subset of people—say, women in a certain ZIP Code—and monitor phrases that show emotion. Then they can create a heat map or a sentiment score that measures how that subset feels about a topic. They have trained natural language processing algorithms to look at slang and broken grammar and to highlight tweets that indicate urgency because of words like "BREAKING."

"We don't just count the volume of these trends. That's naïve," says Nova Spivak, CEO of the Los Angeles-based firm Bottlenose. Rather, his firm looks at the momentum of trends....Many smaller analytics startups are now turning to four companies that Twitter has dubbed "certified data resellers." These brokers, Gnip, Data Sift, Topsy and the Japanese firm NTT Data, 9613.TO -2.04% account for the bulk of Twitter's data revenue. Last year, they paid Twitter monthly fees of about $35.6 million.

Twitter's exponential growth has meant its influence extends well beyond marketing and crisis PR. Nonprofits, human-resource managers and politicians have found Twitter data useful, too.
data  data_mining  Twitter  massive_data_sets  sentiment_analysis  social_media  social_data  trend_spotting  Gnip  Data_Sift  Topsy  NTT_Data  Bottlenose  NLP  hotspots  UN  human_resources  insights  Hollywood  hedge_funds  momentum  product_development 
october 2013 by jerryking
Jurgen Klinsmann Has U.S. Soccer Team Speaking German - WSJ.com
June 19, 2013 | WSJ | By MATTHEW FUTTERMAN.

When head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the former German star, took over this band of oddly self-satisfied athletes two years ago, he promised to change the culture of U.S. soccer at the highest level. He aimed to build a side that played with both discipline and fury—one that could compete consistently with the best soccer nations. In other words, to turn them into... perhaps not Germany exactly, but something like it....Players talk constantly now about wearing out opponents rather than surviving them, of wanting to enforce their will on games and not simply being satisfied with that staple of American soccer from toddlerhood on—the trophy for participation. "Jurgen has instilled that mentality to fight for every ball, to play your role, to not take plays off," midfielder Graham Zusi said after Tuesday's win. "If we do that we can eventually grind a team down." In other words, what Germans do......"It is what is required to play well internationally. You got to play fast. You got to play at a high tempo, you got to play both ways, get behind the ball and be going forward. If you're going to be with the best in the world, this is what you got to do."

He has conveyed his message with the subtlety of a Wagnerian symphony. He belittled the accomplishments of his top players, booted team captain Carlos Bocanegra, even temporarily dropped Jozy Altidore, the team's top striker, all in an effort to teach these big fish in the smallish pond of U.S. soccer they need to burn to get better. His message, that international soccer is no joke, seems to be sinking in.
soccer  German  coaching  organizational_culture  team  hustle  operational_tempo  attitudes  grit  mindsets  fingerspitzengefühl  tempo  momentum 
june 2013 by jerryking
When Uncertainty Is A Constant, You Can Still Plan for Surprises
April 7, 1998 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

one of the few certainties in today's tumultuous business world: About all anyone can expect is the unexpected.

Hal Lancaster answers readers' questions on career issues in Career Corner. Send your questions or comments by e-mail to hlancast@wsj.com .

Between mergers and restructurings, new technology and intensified global competition, "change is accelerating," says Dallas management consultant Price Pritchett, who specializes in change management. "The more change and the faster it comes at us, the easier it is for us to get blindsided."

But isn't the ability to cope with the unexpected genetically coded? "Some people have a high need for structure and don't like to wing it." Still, anyone can get better at dealing with surprises.

Here are some other effective strategies:

* Figure out what you can control.

* Plan tight and play loose. "deep planning," or considering all conceivable scenarios and what-ifs. But won't the unexpected foil the best-laid plans? "The better job we do planning, the better we'll do improvising, because we'll understand the situation better,"

* Develop solutions. In a soon-to-be-released booklet on innovation that he is publishing for clients, Dr. Pritchett draws lessons from the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory talked about "crafting solutions that were tolerant to the uncertainties" of such a project,

* Separate fact from assumptions.

To make good decisions, you need good information. In turbulent times, Mr. Postons observes, "people get suspicious, they get paranoid and that's when they get frozen."

* Do something.In an environment of high-velocity change, Dr. Pritchett says, remember the perils of passivity. "You have to keep moving forward, knowing that in this blurry, fast-moving world, you're going to have to drive on fog lights much of the time."

Concentrating on a plan of action and lining up others to help can turn despair into accomplishment, Dr. Stoltz says. The strategy, he adds, is "whiner-proof and solution-oriented."
Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  uncertainty  adversity  surprises  critical_thinking  managing_change  unexpected  cost_of_inaction  assumptions  change  resilience  tumultuous  constant_change  solutions  solution-finders  accelerated_lifecycles  action_plans  span_of_control  momentum  blindsided  blind_spots  beyond_one's_control  JPL  next_play 
december 2012 by jerryking
All I ever needed to know about change management - - Organization - Change Management
MAY 1997 | McKinsey Quarterly | ROGER DICKHOUT offers 5 basic
premises to help clients design organizational change programs—ideas
Dickout considers as natural laws:
(1) the law of constituent balance--change driven by an imbalance
between a company’s stakeholders: shareholders, employees, customers,
communities, & mgmt.
(2) the law of leverage. Max. the return on effort by changing those
things that will produce the greatest results/really matter.
(3) the law of momentum. Liberate the energy to drive the change. Change
is work. Work requires energy. That energy can be introduced from
outside—e.g. pressure from shareholders or new mgmt.—or the system’s own
potential energy can be transformed into kinetic energy.
(4) the law of feedback and adjustment. Learn how your organization
responds to change, and adjust the program accordingly. N.B.Change may
itself create opportunity.
(5) the law of leadership.Leadership is the scarce resource and
ultimately, the catalyst of change.
McKinsey  change_management  organizational_change  leadership  feedback  leverage  OPMA  momentum  constituencies  adjustments  return_on_effort  imbalances  what_really_matters 
april 2011 by jerryking
Understanding change in a business
The Globe and Mail. Seventy per cent of big changes in a company fail; John Kotter explains why

The Kotter model

In the 90s Harvard-professor John P. Kotter had been observing this process for almost 30 years. In his book Leading Change he argues that to make big changes significantly and effectively, there are generally eight basic things that must happen:

INSTILL A SENSE OF URGENCY. Identifying existing or potential crises or opportunities. Confronting reality, in the words of Execution-authors, Charan and Bossidy.
BUILD A GUIDING COALITION. Assembling a strong guiding coalition with enough power to lead the change effort. And make them work as a team, not a committee!
CREATE A VISION AND SUPPORTING STRATEGIES. We need a clear sense of purpose and direction. In less successful situations you generally find plans and budgets, but no vision and strategy; or the strategies are so superficial that they have no credibility.
COMMUNICATE. As many people as possible need to hear the mandate for change loud and clear, with messages sent out consistently and often. Forget the boring memos that nobody reads! Try using videos, speeches, kick-off meetings, workshops in small units, etc. Also important is the teaching of new behaviours by the example of the guiding coalition
REMOVE OBSTACLES. Get rid of anything blocking change, like bosses stuck in the old ways or lack of information systems. Encourage risk-taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions. Empowerment is moving obstacles out of peoples' way so they can make something happen, once they've got the vision clear in their heads.
CREATE SOME QUICK WINS. This is essential for creating momentum and providing sufficient credibility to pat the hard-working people on the back and to diffuse the cynics. Remember to recognize and reward employees involved in the improvements.
KEEP ON CHANGING. After change organizations get rolling and have some wins, they don't stop there. They go back and make wave after wave of other actions necessary for long-term, significant change. Successful change leaders don't drop the sense of urgency. On top of that, they are very systematic about figuring out all of the pieces they need to have in place before they declare victory.
MAKE CHANGE STICK. The last big step is nailing big change to the floor and making sure it sticks. And the way things stick is through culture. If you can create a totally new culture around some new way of managing, it will stay. It won't live on if it is dependent on one boss or a couple of enthusiastic people who will eventually move on.

Kotter.gif

We can divide these eight steps in three main processes. The first four steps focus on de-freezing the organization. The next three steps make change happen. The last step re-freezes the organization on the next rung on the ladder.

Kotter avoids any discussion re how this high level approach ties into Project Management. Anderson & Anderson (The Change Leaders Roadmap) adopt a similar high level approach however do tie it into the lower level by adding in a lot of trad. PM items.
backlash  John_Kotter  organizational_change  change_management  urgency  Communicating_&_Connecting  roadmaps  change_agents  risk-taking  obstacles  obstructionism  entrenchment  quick_wins  non-traditional  shared_consciousness  momentum  operational_tempo  project_management  action_plans  eels  emotional_commitment  buy-in  resistance 
october 2010 by jerryking

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