The book, by Dan Kennedy (who also contributes to McSweeneys), chronicles Kennedy’s time working in marketing for a major record label at a time when the record business is struggling to maintain its power position in an era of peer-to-peer file sharing. It’s about how Kennedy was finally going to realize his childhood dream of being a part of the big rock’n’roll machine, how he was going to be in the heart of it all, and the ultimate disillusion of the dream that occurs after an Iggy Pop concert. But I’ve probably told you too much. You should purchase this book and read it, not only for entertainment, but for the cautionary tales it offers all of us in marketing, management and leadership.
I agree with Seth’s view (may I call you Seth, Seth?) that Rock On is a very funny book. It isn’t laugh-out-loud Chuck Klosterman funny, but it’s funny enough, tinged with the kind of hipster irony and aloofness that anyone who’s ever droned their days away in a cubicle wondering what it all means can appreciate. But beyond the humor, Seth and I both appreciate the cautionary tale the book brings to marketers. Go read Seth’s entry about it and you’ll see what I mean. But then come back here and leave me a comment so I’ll feel even more validated about my blogging existence.
While I’m here, I should also say that I’ve been a pretty big Seth Godin fan since Purple Cow came out. In fact, we used the concept of the purple cow with our student design teams, and that helped to build our name recognition among engineering-oriented universities. (Of course, that was before we changed our name from UMR to Missouri S&T. Now we’ve got to do some different things. But our design teams are still our purple cow.) The dude is prolific, insightful, knows how to market, and even when he stumbles (with a book or idea that doesn’t quite wow us like Purple Cow did, knows how to get back up, get out in front of us again and stay there.
I hope Seth feels validated now, too.
P.S. – No Friday Five this week. Unless I decide to do one later. But it’s St. Pat’s Week here on campus, and we’re busy blogging about it and having all sorts of mischievous Irish-inspired fun. Play the Dropkick Murphys link below for some Irish-inspired punk.