What Arts Entrepreneurs Can Learn From the Grateful Dead

There’s a fascinating article up over at the Atlantic today on how the Grateful Dead were utilizing many more contemporary business tactics before they even existed.  Things like allowing their fans to tape and share live shows, social networking and more.  For independent producers, freelancers and our ilk, the idea of giving something away to encourage greater profit in the long run is a very hot topic these days, but the Dead were proving long ago that it’s actually viable.

Check out this quote:

According to Barnes, the decision [to let fans tape shows] was not entirely selfless: it reflected a shrewd assessment that tape sharing would widen their audience, a ban would be unenforceable, and anyone inclined to tape a show would probably spend money elsewhere, such as on merchandise or tickets. The Dead became one of the most profitable bands of all time.

It’s inspiring stuff, and shows that a little bit of innovation (and goodwill toward your audience) can go a long way.  I’m not even a Grateful Dead fan, but I think I might be now.  Full article is in the link below.

Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead [The Atlantic]

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