observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Friday, March 16, 2007

the 80/20 rule

The old 80/20 rule is today's topic.

A few years back a cat named James DL Ellison used to run our college radio department. Good guy. James used to produce the illest underground mixtapes back when the underground was as fertile as volcano soil. Anyway, one day while we were working the phones back at 194 Hancock he turned to me and said β€œ80% of all the people that call are bullshit people who waste our time.”

Truer words were never said. The number of clueless people we have to deal with on a daily basis can be staggering. From artists with an inflated sense of self worth and a loose grip on reality to executives who can't tell their ass from their elbow.

In looking at this I realized our operation actually suffers by striving for excellence. In our society and economy innovation are not valued. At most companies you go further by keeping your head down and staying quiet in meetings, especially when the boss is speaking. The ones who do step up take the ultimate risk. You are either silenced or in rare cases rewarded for not being a monkey.

We run this operation by rewarding those who try to add on. Keeping your head down will get you axed for not earning. This difference in philosophy causes more problems than I ever realized:

Our pitches come off as convoluted to those searching for the lowest common denominator.

We cut into our own margins by trying β€˜to do more.’

We lose business to competitors who wisely focus on their profile rather than their service.

It is quite frustrating but I can't roll any other way. I can't do it and I can't run a shop where mediocrity is celebrated. Where maintaining the status quo is revered over enlightenment.

Where that will leave us is anybody's guess, but I think the 20% will prevail over the 80 when the story is written.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, talk about an inflated sense of self worth and a loose grip..

March 16, 2007 1:27 PM


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