February 11th, 2000

Sometimes my audience fools me by reading the Commentaries.  Other times they fool me more by proving they can write a response.  This is one of those times.  Evidently, the last two Commentaries dealing with the change of times in our industry rang a few bells.  The readers write:

Dear Gerry,
Now, try convincing those executives that buried themselves in their own call sheets for 20 years…rising up the ladders…only to find that they did not think outside of the box ONE TIME during all those years….(alternately, there are many DID/DO and will benefit from it).

Leverage acts, big money and proven hits are still crucial tools and those who have them WILL survive to a point.  However, charming personalities and nose to the grindstone work ethic doesn’t always pull off the result anymore.  Bottom line doesn’t care much about personality.

Entrepreneurial thinking is what got most of the real successful people in business where they are….thinking outside the box is the only way to go in ANY business.

It’s a very scary time, but also exciting for those who want to view it as an opportunity rather than doom..those who want to stop clutching on their big offices for dear life and start thinking anew.

The problem is there are a lot of highly paid mouths to feed and thinking outside the box is very, very scary for some people…or a luxury they can’t afford themselves…until they are eventually left with no choice.  And how can you balme them , really.  The times ARE a changin’, indeed.

Just my opinion.  Everybody’s got one.

Cathy Burke
Blackbird Records

(Yeah, Cathy, but yours is generally better than everybody else’s!)

Dear Gerry,
“With one click, you accomplish demand, supply and fulfillment.”  Great editorial.  As my little brother, Shaggy (Network 40 Managing Editor Gregg La Gambina), will attest, this is a subject with which I am obsessed.

i have one thought with regard to the above quote.  I realize you are speaking abstractly, but I believe the demand portion will of the economic cycle will remain at the mercy of the traditional venues, at least for now.  As with any product/service on the web, traditional marketing is still necessary because you need to draw the consumer to the site.  This is evidenced by the abundance of million dollar dot-com ads during the Super Bowl as well as the pages of colorful ads in mags like Red Herring and Business 2.0, et al.  Even magazines specifically targeting the denziens of e-commerce know they can’t reach everyone with traditional marketing.  Radio stations will need billboards and vans touting their web address and labels will still need touring and street teams to create demand for a CD available on their website.

If you don’t agree, feel free to take it out on my brother.

Doug LaGambina
VP Promotion, Immortal Records
(Peace? You call yourself cutting edge, but use an outdated ‘70s term as your salutation? et al? You’re lamer than your brother.)


Are you sure you’re money is where your mouth is?  Since the AOL/Time Warner/EMI mergers, et al, here are some more you can expect to see:

Polygram Records, Warner Bros. and Keebler Crackers become Polly Warner Crackers.

Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fukker Brush and W.R Grace merge to become hale Mary Fuller Grace.

3M and Goodyear merge to become MMMGood.

John Deere and Abitibi-Price become Deere Abi. 

Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco and Dakota  MIning merge to become Zip Audio Do Da.  

Honeywell, Imasco and Home Oil become Honey I’m home.

Denison Mines, Alliance and Metal Mining merge to become Mine All Mine.

Federal Express and UPS become Fed Up.

3m, J.C. Penny and the Canadian Opera Company become 3 Penny Opera.

Knott’s Berry farm and the National Organization of Women will merge and become Knott NOW.

Peace and Love,
Danny Buch
Sr. VP Promotion
Atlantic Records

(Hey, Danny. Not NOW! The hottest rumor is the merger between Noah’s Ark, Hits Magazine, Atlantic Records and All State. The new company? No Hits At All!)

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