Killers or Saviors? Yes!

Tonight, Virgin Records will host a raging debate where everyone will be in violent agreement. (7:30pm London, 2:30pm NYC)

The Virgin Disruptors panel will debate: Has tech killed the music industry? The event will feature artists who have been vocal about tech vs. music:, Amanda Palmer, Scooter Braun, Imogen Heap and Zoë Keating, alongside leading music platforms Spotify, Vevo and Songkick.

Skip the debate, we know the result. 
Killer? Yes. Savior? Yes. 
Resurrector? Yes.
Complicator? Yes. Simplifier? Yes. 
Elite King-Maker? Yes. Democratization for the masses? Yes.  

Been through this before. The pattern is just repeating itself:
1887: Tech innovator Thomas Edison rips into the future of all live music with his recording of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
1900s: Music industry goes berserk over copyright infringement
1906: Victrola flattens the cylinder to be a 78rpm pancake. Destroys one format by creating another
1920s: Radio starts broadcasting music. Music industry cries foul. Record sales plummet 
Been there, done that. That 30-plus-year cycle of innovation, destruction, reinvention and feuding is simply repeating itself today at digital speed. (14 years and 12 years since Napster and iTunes debuted.)

And the cycle is finally paying off: Music sales are growing for the first time this centuryGlobal music sales rose by 0.3 percent to $16.5 billion last year. But like all disruptions, the growth is uneven. While the surge is global, U.S. music sales are still falling. Wealth and progress, like the future, will never be distributed evenly. The U.S. is simply more peeved because it’s used to being on the upside of the uneven distribution. Boo hoo. Nobody said disruption would be fair to all!

To really get a grasp on disruption, we need to stop focusing on any one dimension or any one industry or even on technology, and start realizing that…
Disruption is a State of Mind, a State of Being.

A couple comments from Virgin’s Disruptor site

 Gwen Davis, CEO & Founder at The Look. “Disruptor” is my middle name. Dynamite with a laser beam, I create my OWN niche, and develop a way to do what hasn’t been done before. I ask no permission, take no prisoners. I Just blow minds and move on to the next challenge. Innovate, people! Change the world… Illegitimi Non Carborundum.

• Lidia Bergamaschi, University of Bologna. My way to disrupt is about my job and my consciousness. As trainer, I [help people] recognize how much we are part of a process, how much we can influence what/who we have around. Start to be aware, be emotionally present, be the one who can choose… Take a position, and go ahead… and when it is necessary… Go against the tide… maybe you will be alone, but you will be ok, with yourself, with the world… and sooner [or later] people will follow.

Advances in technology surely distribute disruptions faster, surely democratize the changes, surely speed up the process… But…
Behind all the technology is a way of being, a way of thinking.

Those who “get” the technology faster and ride its wave better, are those who were wired to “get it” before the new technology ever appeared.

Skip the debate, we know the result. 
It’s never going to be about the technology or the industry or profits being disrupted. It’s always going to be about you.

Are you ready to “get it”?

• • • • • •
Mr. Simplicity, Bill Jensen’s new book, Disrupt! Think Epic. Be Epic, based on interviews with 100 disruptive heroes, was published on August 5. He blogs at

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