Back in February of this year, I had the pleasure to attend a lecture by Martin Atkins titled Punk Rock Entrepreneurship at the 2112 incubator space in the north side of Chicago. At first, I had no idea what the lecture was going to be about except about entrepreneurship and something about punk rock. I didn’t even know who Martin Atkins was, but I attended because I am open to hearing others talk about entrepreneurship and 2112 was hosting the event. Martin Atkins is an English drummer and session musician. He is an entrepreneur, record label owner, and teaches at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.
Martin’s lecture was refreshing, and in this post, I am going to discuss the three things I got from the lecture. The first put a connection to your product. Second, own your content. The third, start more than one business.
Martin’s first point in the lecture is to put a connection to your product. Martin was against using fulfillment processes such as Amazon because customers won’t feel a connection to the product. He discussed a story about how he used to deliver his products which would take 6 to 8-week delivery process and was taking up too much of his time. He decided to go through the fulfillment process to free up time. At first, Martin enjoyed that he no longer had to deliver the order, but then customers complained about not getting the personal touch that Martin had on the product delivery. Martin went back to delivering the products himself.
The second point is owning your content is highly important especially for artists. Another point Martin makes in this section is differentiated yourself from the crowd. With so many artists out in the world it's important to be different and make sure people notice how different you are as an artist. Martin explained the important nine points that every artist needs to make in their work: sign it, title it, date it, number it, explain it, place in a larger context, fame it, document it, list the ingredients.
The last point and this one caused back and forth discussion with the audience is start more than one business. Martin is not just the owner of a record label but also has his own coffee, sells merchandise, teaches, and publishes. Opening up one business is hard enough but opening up multiple companies is a challenge. However, Martin did make sense when saying owning multiple businesses opens up new opportunities and more revenue streams.
When deciding on a business Martin said to look at old things and make them new again, write a book, write a course and sell it, and sell merchandise. One business idea he threw out was a travel agency for rock bands. Although there are multiple sites for traveling, does a band have time to set up all the traveling logistics or what happens when the band misses a flight?
21st technology has never been greater. An individual with no name today can be a superstar tomorrow with just the click of a button and drive to be better. But starting a business is more than just clicking a button and recording. Martin’s points on punk rock entrepreneurship are valid and need to considered when launching a business: connect to your product, own your content, and start more than one business.
Dr. J Real Talk
Talking about real things that matter in life. Follow me on social media @DrJRealTalk