from the about-time dept
Tomorrow is the latest version of the absolutely awesome SF MusicTech Summit, which happens twice a year, and which I rarely miss. It’s always a great place to meet lots of people involved in both music and technology and to have some really great conversations. If you’ve never been, it’s absolutely worth checking out. I asked organizer Brian Zisk about the themes for the event, and he noted that it’s really about “working together to move things forward productively.” This is great to hear, because that’s what’s really needed at this point. We’ve gone through about a decade and a half of finger pointing, but have not nearly had enough effort put into actually focusing on helping each other.
Along those lines, I’ll be doing a panel at 9:25am tomorrow morning, with one of my favorite musicians, Zoe Keating and Mike McGeary from Engine, to talk about how artists and entrepreneurs can, are and should be working together to help each other. This session will actually be a brief “preview” into a bigger effort that we’re working on. The following day, Wednesday, we’re hosting a whole bunch of artists (not just music, but film, books, graphic artists and more) and entrepreneurs, for a daylong productive “working group,” to try to help everyone understand each other — the challenges we all face and the opportunities we all see — and to figure out if there are specific, actionable things that we can all do to help each other. We haven’t set up this working group as a “conference.” There are no talking heads. There won’t be any panels. There’s a very loose agenda. But the focus is on having an open discussion and finding common ground — recognizing that entrepreneurs and artists are often more alike than different. In many ways, we’re all running our own businesses — and creating something new and wonderful.
At the same time, obviously, there are some very real differences between being an artist and an entrepreneur — and one issue that both sides often run into is a failure to fully understand those differences. So part of the goal of the one day event will be to foster better understanding of those issues, but with a focus on figuring out how we can actually get something done to help each other, rather than just talking about it all. We’ll give a glimpse into that discussion tomorrow, and then will spend most of Wednesday working through these issues with a wide range of artists and entrepreneurs. We’ll then be taking what we learn from the working group and creating a paper out of it, that we’ll (of course) release to the world. It should be an exciting week!
Oh… and don’t forget, if you’re in town, come by our Happy Hour on Wednesday evening!