So you think the pace of your industry changes fast?
Try being a rock star.
You write a great song. It’s four minutes long.
Now do it again, but different.
Now do it ten more times so that you have an album.
Now, as soon as your album is a hit, start working on a follow up.
While you do all of that, watch as tastes evolve and styles change. Watch as social media accelerates these changes. Watch as technology makes it possible for people to avoid paying for your album and that same technology makes it possible for far less talented artists than you to go viral.
When change hits your industry, you have two choices as I see it.
The obvious one is to adapt with the times. This is what nearly every expert says you need to do. Embrace the new technology! Change what you do to match the evolving tastes! Evolve or die! Sometimes it works, and sometimes it is like KISS going disco with “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”. When it works, it is Apple evolving from a computer company into a technology company… or Old Spice changing from your grandfather’s cologne into your kid’s body wash. When it works, it is glorious and profitable.
The less-obvious choice is to intentionally avoid changing. Often not changing fails, and you appear out of touch with the times and irrelevant. But consider The Rolling Stones. The Stones are celebrating 50 years together, yet they’ve only recorded four new albums in the past 25 years. That means that they made nearly every memorable piece of music in their first 25 years! Then, they decided not to change, and they became a very wealthy nostalgia act. When it works, it too is glorious and profitable.
Neither choice is right or wrong.
The only right thing to do is recognize the changes around you and formulate a conscious plan to deal with them.
It isn’t so much “Change, or die”… it is, more accurately, “Be aware of change, or die”.