Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to make friends (and just enough money to survive) and influence people

What can a punk rock musician teach us about business psychology and practices? When that punk rock musician is Steve Albini, the answer is: quite a lot.

In an interview with clinical psychologist Michael Friedman in which he namechecks both record label Touch & Go and Dutch anarcho-punks The Ex, the Shellac frontman and recording engineer (he pointedly refuses to call himself a producer) talks at length about his business philosophy - essentially, be inclusive and treat people equitably; do what you can yourself; and ensure live and work within your means, making the most of what you've got.

Albini describes the profit motive as a "pathology" and declares that he has "no respect for greed". He stops short of condemning those who work in corporate circles, though, claiming that it's conventional business practices that are to blame and admitting "I can’t really say that there’s any moral or ethical purity to the way I do things" because ultimately it's just "a practical manifestation of getting by day to day".

The comment that "Efficiency is extraordinarily important to us" raised a smile - Albini may have been talking about the fact that no money is wasted on "administration" (booking agents, managers and so on), but it's also true that there's not an awful lot of inefficiency to be found in a Shellac song...

(Thanks to Pete for the link.)

No comments: