Over at GigaOM, Michael Wolf says 2012 will be the year the artist-entrepreneur.
Headlines look great with declaratives in them, but the truth is artist-entrepreneurs have been doing quite well for a whille now. In 2007 Radiohead circumvented the middle men and told people to pay what they want for their album, In Rainbows, directly from their site. Prince made a similar move in 2007 with his album Planet Earth and again in 2010 with the album 20Ten. In both these cases though, he gave away his album for free in national newspapers in the UK.
You might say Radiohead and Prince are big names so they can get away with bold moves like this. And this is true. You could also say this about the recent
experiment Louis C.K. did by selling his latest stand-up special, DRM-free on his website for $5, grossing him over one million dollars in a few weeks.
But what about the artist-entrepreneur nobody knows? The guy or girl with an idea, who executes the idea and then gets people interesting in backing it and ends up raising thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars?
Wolf doesn’t address this group and it’s unfortunate, because I think it’s one of the most exciting areas on said topic. How he managed to not at least mention Kickstarter in his article boggles my mind.
I’m not saying this because I happen to have a project on Kickstarter. I originally wrote about Kickstarter and Craig Mod’s inspiring story in November 2010.
I’m happy Michael Wolf wrote his piece. It’s important to see prominent individuals taking this DIY approach, I just wish he showed this approach can work all the way down the spectrum.