Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Visionary Dead

Recently I stumbled across a fascinating article in the Atlantic on the Grateful Dead's archive, which they donated to the University of California Santa Cruz a few years ago. One of my family has supported the archive since before its inception, so I'm very pleased to see it getting such positive attention. The article points out what truly visionary business people the Dead were, with behavior that seemed crazy at the time but which is now only starting to become mainstream, and which business scholars call "strategic improvisation" (sounds like a description of John Zorn's game pieces). Creating a cohesive community without regard for geography is another example, with parallels to internet-based communities that came along much later. Regardless of how one feels about their music, the Dead are a superb example of adaptability that is missing from most of the music industry.

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