Opportunities for performers and content creators who can truly stand out from the pack have never been greater. Available audience is so much bigger than ever before. So, how do you cut through the clutter of so many performers and creators flooding the market with their ideas? The beginnings of your answer can be found by thinking about a train trip.
Think about this question: how do you make a relatively comfortable, if slightly long, train ride better? I’m guessing that Rory Sutherland sees things differently than you do. You and I would do well to learn a few lessons from him.
Rory’s solution? In talking about the Paris To London Train, he observes that a team of engineers, asked how to improve the trip, suggested spending £6 billion on building new tracks that would eliminate 40 minutes from a three and a half hour trip. His solution: “What you should in fact do is employ all of the world’s top male and female supermodels, pay them to walk the length of the train, handing out free Chateau Petrus for the entire duration of the journey. Now, you’ll still have about three billion pounds left in change, and people will ask for the trains to be slowed down.”
You can see his entire speech at the bottom of this post. I don’t go a month without watching it again – it’s that good. Do yourself a favor and give it a view. It’s hilarious, and it’s loaded with stories of creative problem solving from throughout history, including nutritional problems in 18th century Prussia, 19th century war financing, an early 20th century anti-prostitution campaign, and modern-day unsafe driving. If you can deal with learning that Fredrick The Great was as great a creative as you are, the video will really open your mind.
My advertising friends will want to catch the segment that starts at 11:56; it’s the funniest part of the whole video, and it shows you a brilliant solution to an advertising problem.
We’re all creatives!
All of us. Whether we’re performers or writers, lawyers or advertising sellers, we must all be creative in order to succeed. Yet, we frequently fail to act like it.
Question for my attorney friends: how many times do you find yourself looking for just the right strategy to reach a deal or avoid/survive a potential litigation matter? How often do you find yourself working to find a creative solution that executes that strategy? For my advertising friends, what are the two words that describe the best sellers? Yep, the winners are “relentless” and “creative”.
So…how often do you ignore your true creative side and look for the same old solutions? How often do you look for talent in the same old places, instead of looking somewhere new? How often do you think of something as a “feature film” or a “television series” or even “webisodes”, rather than simply creating and then figuring out where what you’ve created fits?
Before I was anything else, I was a radio broadcaster. 30+ years later, in addition to everything else I do, I’m still a broadcaster. Like anything else in entertainment, radio gets into your blood and it never leaves.
It’s that way for users of radio too. That’s why radio’s reach is still stunning – along with television, is there another medium that well over 90% of all Americans use daily? (Hint: the answer is an unequivocal no.) Yet, daily usage, while still substantial, continues to decrease. What do you think is more responsible for causing that decrease: competition from so many new sources of entertainment or issues with radio’s products?
The correct answer: it doesn’t matter. All that matters is what radio broadcasters, individually and collectively, do about it. What matters most for you is what you do about it.
More broadly, whether you’re a writer, actor, broadcaster, seller, or anything else in any part of entertainment, what are you doing to take advantage of the great opportunities now before you?
Sutherland ends his performance – and like any public speech, his is a performance – with a G.K. Chesterton quote that says so much about the state of the radio business: “We are perishing for want of wonder, not want of wonders.”
What are you doing to create a sense of wonder?