2014-04-17

Ease of Doing Business

On the ease of doing business.

1. Running a business should be like driving a car. You should have just enough freedom to do what you want, but the moment something doesn't work, there should be a commoditised technical service provider to handle it... compliance, branding, talent management, financial discipline, technology, etc.

2. Being an artist in food and beverage should be as easy as being a musician. The film and music industries have created infrastructure to standardise terms of engagement for agencies and self-managed artists. It is equally achievable in other subsets of entertainment.

#intpInTrafficJam

Friend requested clarification on 2. so I mused for longer.

Leaky abstraction.

Let's take the music industry to begin with. If you want to be a mainstream (i.e. professionally marketed) musician, there's a well defined career path that throws the world's top 1000+ artists into the multi-millionaire (USD) club. There's a specific set of gatekeepers, and you just need to impress them.

The next 99,000+ artists in music, roughly spend their time divided between mainstream and indie channels.

The next 900,000+ people who work as musicians kinda have a job-job. They're usually playing supporting roles, as musicians, for the folks about. But all the same, the formats of delivery, and the terms of engagement for folks are pretty clear. Wherever you go on earth, if you can hit a note, you can be a gigger. There are a specific set of formats for delivery, and a decently well understood "circuit" which will let you eke out a living as a professional performer.

The 9,000,000+ people after that who kinda sorta are musicians but don't make a professional living out if - probably doing gigs as a hobby, or playing non-performance (e.g. guitar tech, make-up, etc.) roles in the industry.

I'm probably off by a factor of 10 above.

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This economic distribution of talent is roughly paralleled in the film industry. You'll have to tweak the distribution by a factor, of ten or a hundred perhaps.

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On the other hand.

The potential marketing value in $/hour of the world's "top" 1000+ artists in the F&B industry is rather much less than their counterparts in either industry above. This is simply because you cannot use the Gutenberg distribution model for food and beverage yet... whereas in the last century or so... sufficient electrical and commercial machinery to deploy the Gutenberg distribution model to music and film has already been created.

The difference in the marketing machinery between these subsets of the entertainment industry, is responsible for the difference in levels of commercial sophistication between these subsets. F&B is simply a less centralised market, because the benefits of centralisation (clearinghouses, brokerages, contracts, etc.) are very limited, in comparison to how the film and music industries have it.

That's all I was observing.

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What I was saying, is that someone should work on an artist management framework to bring the F&B industry up to speed with the film and music industries. The value which I'm intuiting to be untapped, is the fact that owners of performance houses (read: F&B retailers, restaurants, pubs, etc.) would benefit from increased liquidity (read: lower cost of hiring) in the market of F&B artisans. Sure, it'd be harder to retain the few top artisans it took a decade to collect, but it'd be easier to obtain the presence of a hundred of their peers. There's surely an opportunity for innovation nearby. :)

Then again, I'm probably wrong on who really benefits from this. ;) Maybe it's just the artisans.




Well, it's coming eventually I suppose - food replicators are just a few generations of 3D printers away. But "hi-fidelity" food printers... well, that could take 70 years. But here's the rub - a startup should set out to do it in 10.

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