I’m really happy for young Carly Rae Jepsen. The nice kid from Canada (Mission, British Columbia to be specific) now has the #2 song on the legendary Billboard “Hot 100″ chart with “Call Me Maybe“. And on the digital download chart, the song is already #1.
The story behind her success is pretty cool, and embedded within the story are several powerful business lessons.
“Call Me Maybe” might be a light, catchy pop song, but it actually began it’s life as a folk song. Her producer felt that one particular lyric from the original folk song could be the anchor for a new song altogether, so they started from scratch and built a new song around the single line “call me maybe”.
Lesson #1: Your next great idea might come from an unexpected place. Plenty of great things came out of other ideas, like Viagra, the microwave oven, and Post-It Notes. Oh, and penecillin… which probaby trumps Viagra. Never throw away an idea.
The song came out last year in Canada, and became a hit on the Canadian pop charts. But despite the song’s success in her home country, it went pretty much unnoticed everywhere else in the world. “Call Me Maybe” was destined to be a nice regional hit for Carly Rae… until fellow Canadian Justin Bieber came home for the holidays and heard it on the radio. Biebs was so impressed with the song that he tweeted about the song, and made sure that Jepsen was signed to his record label. Within a few weeks, Carly Rae went from local success story to massive worldwide superstar.
Lesson #2: Who can help you catapult your great idea into the stratosphere? Network, connect, and interact. The next person who hears about you could be the person who makes magic happen. But magic will never happen in a vacuum. Almost every business success story includes a mentor or a heartfelt “hand up” along the way.
So with her debut song peaking at #1 in numerous countries around the world, what comes next for Carly Rae Jepsen? Can she possibly repeat the runaway success of “Call Me Maybe”?
Lesson #3: Once you’ve established expectations, the pressure is on to live up to them. If your customers expect something – and you don’t supply it – the consequences can be fatal to your business. The moment Chipotle is no longer “food with integrity” is the moment the brand dies.