4 By Jeff Carlisi and Dan Lipson, Jossey-Bass, 224 pages, $24.95
The making of music and the making of business may not have much in common at first glance, but upon closer examination, through the eyes of authors Carlisi and Lipson, there is a whole book's worth of commonality here. It turns out good music and good business aren't that different: Both need leaders with guts and vision, dedicated followers and team players, receptive markets and technical expertise, and lots of good fortune.
Authors Jeff Carlisi, a founding member of the band, 38 Special, and Lipson, a serial entrepreneur, present each chapter as a key component of the development of a band, using each as a lesson in the building of a business.
Chapter 6, "Satisfaction: A Little Success Can Be a Wonderful Thing—But Don't Forget That a Little Success Can Be More Damaging Than None at All," has a wealth of wisdom about what can happen when the business hits a wall, as any successful enterprise eventually will. Sometimes there is a need to bring in new blood, new ideas, new processes, anything that will drive out "stale music" and complacency. Watching ZZ Top perform one night had a profound effect on 38 Special—they learned how to connect to an audience like they never had before. They learned from the competition, just as businesses do.
In the end, music and business need team members who "not only know how to play the right notes, but also where to play those notes in the context of the music going on around them." Sound advice for any endeavor.