Craig Newmark is a very smart man. Sure, you can be cynical and look at Craigslist as a fluke, or a ‘first-to-market’ that got lucky and think otherwise, but that would be a mistake. The guy continues to churn out one smart business change after another at the service that bears his name, and has become a featured commentator at Huffington Post, where that blog’s huge numbers give Mr. Newmark a very large platform for stating his opinions.

And wow, is he ever on the mark this week. Yesterday, Craig’s list of what he thinks is wrong with the publishing business started things off, and then he went one step further and skewered the music labels for the way they have mismanaged business change.

Have you noticed how little promotion goes into musical acts? It didn’t used to be that way, and with all respect to what even my kids agree is a relative lack of talent in their generations’ musicians relative to earlier acts it’s really about the way record labels handle artists. No, they don’t have much incentive to make big investments in acts that will get to at most three albums, but then . . . what IS their purpose?

In the era of iTunes and Internet Concerts more and more artists understand that they have no good reason to sign with a label. EVERYONE seems to understand this, except the labels, who hang onto the same old business models that used to work for them.

Lack of business change acumen will kill your business. Don’t let what’s happening to newspapers and record labels happen to you.

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