Yesterday we brought you Keith Arem, video game developer and media expert at PCB Productions, who discussed why companies need to match their product with their audience. (If you missed Keith, go back and listen here.)
It’s no secret the most successful people get help, and Keith is no exception. He explains how he looks to innovators like Steve Jobs and music mavens like Dennis Sutton to inject some flair and creativity into the serious world of business.
1) Steve Jobs
To me, Steve Jobs is a shining example of how leaders can blend their creative passion with business savvy. He never stopped hustling, and his commitment to perfection showed in Apple’s simple, yet elegant products.
In my own career, I try to match the creative components to the needs of my audience as best I can – not always to the extremes Steve Jobs did, but I like to use him as barometer.
2) George Lucas
I look up to George Lucas not only for his hugely creative film career (Star Wars and Indiana Jones) but also for his business foresight.
When people nudged him to negotiate for higher writing fees for Star Wars, he said no and casually asked for all licensing rights, which FOX happily gave away. Lucasfilms has since earned far more from Star Wars-themed toys and t-shirts than the one-off increase Lucas would’ve gotten.
3) M. William Krasilovsky
Co-author of the industry bible, The Business of Music, M. William Krasilovsky reminds me how producing a creative work needs the right platform if it’s going to engage an audience.
I’m always trying to better monetize my work, and Krasilovsky helps me get there. Not everything you produce deserves people’s money, but sometimes you have to take a risk and hope they’ll like it.
4) Derek Sutton
Derek Sutton is best known for managing The Styx. In his early years, he got huge amounts of experience learning the “strings of promotion” for live shows, with bands of all different genres that were playing to the same markets.
Sutton is an inspiration because he knows the music business inside and out, from managing and promotion, to publishing and recording.
5) J.J. Abrams
Writer, director, and producer J.J. Abrams is a source of inspiration for me because he captures a fun and addictive sense of mystery in all his works. He uses unseen elements to his advantage to make the viewing experience constantly engaging, and these are things I try to bring to my work.