Technology

What You Should Know when Forming Your Own Rock Band, Part 1

Did you know that forming a rock band is almost the same as any other entrepreneurship venture? Throughout my career as an artist, I have developed many connections in the music world, and have been fortunate to see the process of forming a rock band, from beginning to end.

What I noticed, was that many of the steps followed, were either the same creative process for any other artist, or the same failure-proof procedures that succesful entrepreneurs have followed and perfected.

Let’s talk about the creative process. Forming a rock band is not about immediatly creating the hit single or the bestselling album that will put your name in the history books. As with any other venture, it is about putting the foundation, the first bricks, the basis of your entire adventure. In this case, you must begin with identifying your sound, your influences and abilities, and defining what it is exactly that will make you stand out in the genre of music. It might also be a good idea, while you are at it, to make a clear list of who you do not want to become, what kind of music you would never play or listen to, and your weaknesses.

Second, develop a support system, or a team. Whether or not they are your playmates, or even if they have no idea about music, your support team is almost as important as who you will be playing with… why? Because you will run to them crying when it all goes bad. Simple as that. Developing a support system will give you a base to create your project, and they will serve as mentors and advisors throughout the process of your band’s creation.

Third, find your sound. If you already know how to play an instrument, then grab a recorder and start fooling around with some notes. Make some samples. Record some mp3s. Don’t be afraid to hear your own voice on a recording, with today’s technology it can be modified and beautified… however, if you already know that your voice could be improved, sign up for some classes… learn another instrument… read about other musicians, and how they started too.

Once you have created a few demos of what it is that you want, think of a name for your project, and the position that you wll be filling in your band. Will you be the frontman/frontwoman? Will you be the manager? Who will take care of the bookings? Are you looking for collaborative sounds? Are you willing to play other people’s songs, or just your compositions?

Create a “Media Kit” of sorts. Just google that word and you’ll find plenty of samples. Yes, your basic contact info, a picture won’t hurt… a little bio that states who you are, what you do, and why you should keep going. It doens’t have to be absolutely serious, but show some credibility. Add a CD with your demos, and a 2 paragraph description of your band. This will all serve as a proposal. Make a list of who you are looking for, what you are looking for, and how others can support you, and give it to your support system (don’t forget to spellcheck!). Drop it off at bars, local libraries, music stores and caf├ęs, and places where you know that other music fiends gather.

You Need Professional Help – Find a Great Web Developer!

Web sites are becoming more and more important to all businesses each day. Many businesses, however, find building web sites very frustrating. This is for two reasons. First, most businesses are doing things that they have never done before with their sites. Second, many companies do not have the employees that they need, or do not have established relationships with experienced partners that can help them with their web development needs.

As a result of this situation, most web sites are full of major problems. You will find even find that this is the case with major sites by large corporations. Many of these sites are hard to use and unreliable.

How can a business avoid this? The best way is to have clear ideas for what you want to do with your site, and find the best people you can to help you with it. Here are some traits that you should look for when considering a candidate for a web development position, or when looking for an outside web consultant:

  • The candidate should understand and be interested in your business goals.

    This comes first, because you don’t want to be working with someone that doesn’t grasp your business and care about it like you do. For some companies, this will mean working with niche companies that specialize in your area, or looking for very specialized talent. This is also at the top because you shouldn’t look for help unless you know your goals for the site!

  • They should work with your choice of technology and complement your company’s skills.

    Every developer has tools that they are most comfortable working with. It is important that the people you choose work with tools that are compatible with your company’s. You will want to be able to control the site, and if you are dependent on your developer’s skills, you will have a major disadvantage. For example, Iceland travel site Iceland in 8 Days ensured that any outsourced development work was performed by competent individuals more than capable of getting the job done.

  • Anyone you hire should bring new ideas to your project that work with your business plan.

    To be successful, your site must be fresh and you need to be as open to new ideas as you can. You must be able to react quickly to Internet trends, and be able to move to take advantage of them. Someone that can bring new ideas to your project can help you look at your site in ways you may not have thought about, and give you the flexibility that you will need to succeed.

Forget About the Shortage of IT Workers!

Attracting and retaining skilled IT (information technology) workers is becoming one of the key factors to many companies’ e-business success. If your business is like most, you are having trouble getting enough talented help to fill your positions. This means that that you may be delaying or even losing e-business opportunities.

The standard advice won’t work
Unfortunately, most companies are getting inadequate advice on how to solve their IT staffing problems. The standard advice is to hire people away from your competitors, and do everything you can retain your IT employees. For most companies, these tactics won’t do the trick. Why? Because your competitors are following the same exact advice. They are are hiring away your technology workers and will do their best to retain them.

Most companies look at this problem as a shortage of skilled workers, and attempt to solve that problem. Trying to solve the problem of too few workers usually is impossible, because there are just too few good people to go around. At best, this strategy will allow you to tread water.

Forget about the people shortage
Successful companies must look at the problem another way. Yes, there is a shortage of skilled IT people. But this also represents an excess of IT work. Companies need to look at the problem of eliminating some of this excess work. This may be the most important and effective strategy in combating the shortage of people.

At first glance, it may seem like it is impossible to eliminate your needs for computer people. Businesses are becoming more and more computerized and every day e-commerce becomes more important. How can one reduce the need for IT people in an environment like this?

10 Ways to Reduce Excess IT Work

  1. Improve your project efficiency
    There are several ways to reduce your need for more IT staff. One of the first things you should look at is the efficiency of your IT projects. About half of all IT projects fail to meet their goals, budget and schedule. Most of the time these projects fail because of business, not technological, issues. One of the reasons many IT projects fail is because they don’t start with clear business goals. Few projects can succeed without these goals. Make sure that any IT project you start on has clear business goals, and well-defined specifications on how the resulting system should work.