Surrender Is For The Foolish

So much fun to watch the opening (finally!!!) of the 2011 NBA campaign last night. Think everybody wanted to put the lockout behind them and get down to business. And it was business as usual…the start of the season brings the standard debates of who will win it all this year.

You know what’s sad about that debate? It’s always the same teams that get mentioned. Lakers or Bulls…do the Heat have what it takes (as long as the game is shortened to 3 quarters to accommodate a faltering LeBron!).

Nobody talks about the Washington Wizards or Sacramento Kings or Minnesota Timberwolves (pick a team) and for a variety of obvious reasons. The most overt reason is…they’ve already given up. They’ve accepted their fate and recognize they won’t win a championship this year. Not even come close. Worse for some franchises there’s no hope of “next year.” They’ve just given up.

In the black and white world of sports where winning and success is clearly identified this is an appalling attitude!

Why go through an 82 game season if you are not prepared to win it all??!

the biggest band in the world surrenders.

the biggest band in the world surrenders.

Startlingly I am encountering that same attitude with bands when we begin discussing the online selling of music. It’s all iTunes so…there is no debate. Sure there are other smaller companies that do a decent job but it’s iTunes all the way. The Sun is warm, water is wet and Eva Mendes is hot…that’s the way it is and that’s the way it will always be.

This attitude makes no sense to me. Why would you surrender your guns before you even fight?

In talking to other employees at some of these other online music companies iTunes is placed in that same category along with the Lakers, Yankees and Packers…perennial permanent winners. These companies recognize they might stumble into the playoffs but don’t really believe they can win. That’s terrible.

We should be offering more to artists and really they should be demanding more from us as online music retailers. No companies should readily surrender just to bask in iTunes’ glow. Thankfully this is a competitive marketplace where several companies can co-exist. Burger King and McDonalds, Coke and Pepsi etc. so it’s ok to be number 2 but at least strive to get to that position.

Refuse to lose. Ask often what if this is as good as it gets? (Good movie!). And if the answer is no then let’s not accept that no…let’s figure out a way to make things better. For the music fans. For the artists. Is iTunes as good as it gets?

After all some of the best moments in sports come from when rivals battle.


Also published on Medium.

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