Monday, July 25, 2011

Cut The Middle Man

Fred Wilson pointed to a blog post by Mark Suster, who is also a VC.  The post is a warning not to ceed too much control to the middle, whether it be a lawyer, PR person or your banker.  You are the one who should be pitching the deal/story.  You should be negotiating or setting the terms of the deal you want. 

How true is this for the musician?  No one should know the music better than the musician themselves.  I've heard many a musician claim that they are misunderstood.  More times than not it was because they had someone else lay the groundwork for them.

I'm not saying that musicians shouldn't hire people to do PR, manage them, etc.  In most cases it's more than necessary to have these people on your team. It's important that everyone is one on the same mission with the same message. The musician is the one who needs to make sure that is the case.  Don't lay back and let the chips fall where they may.  Don't think that just because you pay these people they're doing your work.  As Mark points out, they have many other clients and sometimes their long term goals are not the same as yours.  Make sure that they are.  Pay attention.  Take the time to looks at contracts. 

Perfect example of this came out last week when Arnold Schwarzenegger asked the courts to not grant his ex-wife Maria Shriver spousal support.  He also asked that attorney fees and legal costs be jointly paid. Now according to TMZ:  sources said that although he signed the divorce docs he never read them, partly because he was dealing with a family medical crisis -- Christopher's boogie boarding accident ... and partly because he relied on his lawyer.  He is going to refile amended papers today. 

Perfect example of why you don't rely on the middle.  This of course could be an excuse by the ex-Governor to cover up his audacious first filing after he once again, got slammed in the media.

Make sure you are the one driving your ship.

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