Mike

Final Reflection:

My experience throughout this project was very much an up and down experience. My project morphed from an interview based exploration of passion, to the creation of a business model, to an exploration of the music industry and its current status in the digital age. My experience throughout the project has given me some insight about what I am passionate about and how I can somehow incorporate these passions into my life. I found the project to be a valuable experience that really showed me how to turn something that I like into a passion, and how to make time for this passion on a daily basis.

My initial proposal was boring. I wanted to interview professionals, athletes etc. and try to determine what drove different people to achieve, excel, and work. Looking back, this proposal was a bit of a cop-out. I think at the time I was nervous about actually trying to do something valuable for myself and was more concerned about making a project that would be informative and valuable to others.

As I realized what I was doing I decided to spend some more time brainstorming a unique and personally engaging project. As I am a management major I decided the development of a business proposal could be extremely exciting and could even lead to become something I could spend my time focusing on after graduation. As I thought about this more I decided I wanted to write a business plan for something involving music. I came up with a very cool plan and was extremely excited to get to work, learn more about writing an effective business proposal, interviewing lawyers and musicians to learn about how I could improve my plan and deal with any issues. Just as I was getting started I found a website with an identical concept in progress and was immediately deflated. I continued my brainstorming process and decided on another idea that was equally exciting. Again, much to my dismay, this idea had already been put in place. After a few days of feeling very dejected, I decided to meet with Jordi to see how I could still do a project involving music and business.

Ultimately, I decided to explore the music industry through a research/expose project. The process proved to be extremely interesting and even sparked a new interest in intellectual property law for me. What I initially approached as a research project quickly morphed into an exciting process that allowed me to explore blogs, websites, documentaries, books, and magazines. Although I didn’t use a lot of what I read or watched in my final paper or PowerPoint, I was exposed to a massive amount of information that was new, exciting, and very relevant. The process really made me think about my opinions on music creativity, digital rights, and where the industry could potentially be headed. Through the project I have been able to rethink where I might want my career path to take me, and have given myself a lot to think about over the next few years. More importantly, I have reengaged myself as a music fan and have taken a lot of time to explore new music and learn more about artists (a relatively dormant pastime for me).

My time management throughout the process was not optimal. I spent most of my time researching, reading, and watching documentaries as a means of gearing up for actually doing work. All of this exposure to information ultimately left me with very little focus when it came time to create my actual project. I think this has both positive and negative aspects regarding the development of my hacker ethic. On one hand, I truly embraced the ethic as I spent all of my free time being excited about learning more and seeing things that people had shared in text, video, and audio. On the other hand, a hacker must be able to realize that all work cannot be pleasure and must be able to take the time to form a deliverable, focused piece of work to share with others. This is where I may have fallen short with my project.

I am extremely pleased with the way my hacker project went. I really wanted to ignite some sort of passion for myself and I was successful at doing that. I still want to write a business plan for a musically oriented company, I still want to be involved with the music industry, and I might even go to law school now. All of these ideas and odd responses are because of my passionate, exhaustive exploration of the music industry.

I think what I have really learned from the project is that I am an extremely driven person when I am engaging in something I truly love. This is certainly an important characteristic to realize when I am determining a career path or job selection. The project taught me how to incorporate passion with the rest of life and showed me how to condense hours of research, inquisition, etc to share with others—an important aspect of the hacker ethic.

My plan for this project has taken new shape and I am ready to move forward with my plan. I have always enjoyed playing and listening to music. One of my favorite activities/hobbies is finding new artists and learning more about them. I have been fascinatUPed with the music industry my entire life and would love to ultimately make a living working in the industry.

My initial plan was to create a business model that involves music in some way or another. I had come up with a plan for an open source music development site which has been started (see: www.kompoz.com). Next, I thought about creating a microfinance service for musicians as a means of starting tours, recordings etc, this too has been started (see: www.microfundo.com).

Obviously this was a bit frustrating in terms of trying to develop my project goals. After meeting with Jordi I have decided to move forward with a project that will explore the current state of the music industry. What I hope to gain from this project is a greater understanding of some of the most recent trends regarding: intellectual property rights, recording, financing, touring, popular music, independent music, and hopefully a few other aspects of the industry. I would like to investigate the success of www.kompoz.com and www.microfundo.com in terms of success rates, usage and popularity. I would like a portion of my project to be dedicated to my personal analysis of these sites as I was initially interested in creating something along these lines.

I see my project taking the form of a “docu-presentation.” This format will resemble our 1st paper but will likely be more polished and potentially involve audio and video formatting. I plan on writing a narrative to be synced with my presentation.

I plan on conducting a great deal of research next week and would hope to start writing by the end of the week. I would like to get started on creating my presentation the following week.

In terms of sharing my work with others I am fine with the idea of a showcase where we can invite friends. I like Linda’s idea and agree that this will be best on a Sunday or a weekday.

Goals:

  • Provide informative and educational expose on current state and future of music industry
  • Gain insight on: intellectual property rights, recording, financing, touring, popular music, independent music, and hopefully a few other aspects of the industry
  • Provide a clear and exciting project that will interest others

Procedure/Presentation

  • Attempt to contact sites listed above
  • Research via internet, online blogs, magazines etc.
  • Provide narrative and visual aspects through writing and PowerPoint media

Timeline

  • By April 21st compile research
  • By April 25th complete narrative portion of project
  • By April 28th complete visual/audio/video portion of project

UPDATE!!
My research has been coming along well. I am really happy to see where this is probably going to go. Thanks to Ross and Jordi for the input. I am in the process of getting in touch with some of these companies and their investor relations/customer service departments. Most of the information I have been looking for is extremely accessible and fun to learn about.

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Responses

  1. Be sure to look at creative commons website too.

  2. I’m sure you have heard of the online music site Pandora. The history of the company and the trials they had to go through in getting around copy right laws etc. could blend well with your project.


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