Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Articles → Have someone work the inside of the industry

I prefer to ignore the music industry. But in hindsight, I think that was the biggest mistake I made with my own band.

We toured and got great press. We toured and got radio airplay. We toured and got great-paying gigs.

But nobody was working the inside of the music industry. Nobody was connecting with the “gatekeepers” that could take us to the next level. So we just kept doing the same thing for years, until we broke up.

Maybe you’re happy on the outside of the industry. (I am.) But if you want to be famous or super-successful, you’re going to need someone working on the inside. Someone who loves the industry. Someone who the industry loves. Someone persuasive and connected, who makes things happen that you probably never would.

Believe it or not, there are lots of these people. They’re mostly in the big cities, but you can meet them at conferences and industry functions.

Don’t ignore this need. Without someone pushing for mass-exposure opportunities inside the music industry, you’re not going to get as far. It’s hard work to find someone, but it’s worth it, and you’ll meet many other good people while trying.