how to fail at e-business
This scathing column at globetechnology.com provides ten handy tips by which any industry can dig its own grave the way the record labels seem to be doing.
Ignore the Internet: If you can't imagine any way of making money on-line, then no one else can either. Act surprised when the Internet starts to carry multimedia. Cry, "Who knew?" and insist the whole multimedia thing was invented only to ruin your business.
Be sanctimonious: Claim to be more concerned about the artists than about your profits. You are selfless; your only interest is paying the musicians, without whom you would be nothing. Pray that nobody remembers countless rockers who signed away their souls on recording contracts and were dumped the moment their sales started slipping.
Misunderstand your market: When you count the songs being swapped on peer-to-peer networks, do not notice that most are moldy oldies. It's still theft, you argue, even if you yourself stopped paying royalties for those songs in 1961. Blame piracy, not taste, for your inability to sell new songs that no radio station will play.
Lie: Go on Kazaa, count the MP3 versions of songs you produced, old and new, and multiply that number by the current retail price of a CD; howl that you are losing a fortune. Forget that a Buddy Holly album sold for $2.95 in 1958; you sell records for much more now, and that's the price you use when calculating your losses — it's more impressive.
Kill it: Hollywood failed to make the VCR illegal, but you're going to succeed with peer-to-peer technology. Spend millions on lawyers to sue Napster and Scour into oblivion. Sure, paying lawyers has suddenly become more important than paying your artists, but so what? Hedge your bets by setting up your own Web site, offering songs that aren't selling well in stores. When your e-business proves to be less than a thundering success, blame it on the pirates — meaning all your customers.