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Tech folks can learn from rap stars about social media

At least, this one did.

I am just finishing watching this hour long interview with Chamillionaire, (found via Both Sides of the Table).  It’s long, but worth listening to.  It is very interesting to see some of the patterns that arise in entreprenuership, venture capital, and the music industry. The key takeaway for me is that the rise of the internet means you are not limited to going through gatekeepers like you used to be (and this is true for entrepreneurs and musicians–check out this interesting company I found out about at Boco last year for a nice intersection of the two).

This isn’t strictly due to the internet (Chamillionaire started with mix tapes), but the internet radically increases the scope and breadth of our reach.  All you have to do is put in the time, blood, sweat and tears, and you can build your audience.  And, most importantly, you can take that audience with you wherever you go (Chamillionaire will when he leaves Universal, and Dion Almaer will as he leaves Palm).

Other highlights/takeaways:

  • control your image–even when you hire or use other people’s services, it is still on you maintain quality
  • you have lots of gifts to give–find out what people want and will pay for
  • go beyond your normal boundaries–when promoting one of his hits, Chamillionaire searched out rappers from beyond the mainstream (NZ, Greece) and leveraged their talents, rather than sticking with pop
  • the best presentation in the world fails if you don’t hold the microphone correctly
  • quora sounds like a useful, for pay, collection of questions and answers

In addition, lots of echos of Gary Vaynerchuk’s great video on building personal brands (cursing).  The user questions (the host took 5-10 during the hour) added a nice touch.  This is the first time I have watched ‘This Week in Venture Capital’ and I found the ‘sponsor breaks’ to be a bit abrupt, but I suppose the host has to pay the bills.