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Bright Ideas

Monty Python to Broadcast its Last Show

In July, the legendary comedy troupe will provide another hint to the live entertainment industry about what the future could look like by broadcasting The Last Night of Monty Python from the O2 Arena in London to theaters all around the world.If you are still wondering whether the business model-broadening powers of live broadcast aren’t real, here’s the key piece of the article I just linked: “Originally, members John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones had...

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Innovation

Jazz at Lincoln Center to Become a Global Brand

We love a good success story, even better when it started with a bit of a risk. Jazz at Lincoln Center began in 1987 and after many successful years it's poised to become a world-wide phenomenon. The Economist looked at the history of the production and where it plans to go in the future. You can read the full article here.

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Innovation

Never Use Apple as an Example

Do you read business books? I go through phases, but every time I read a few, I’m eventually reminded of why I stopped: most of them are useless. And dull.What happens to me is that I stumble across a good one, and I tell myself there must be “more like this out there.” My quest begins, and if I’m lucky with one or two more, I keep going. Eventually, my luck runs out. The law of averages kicks in,...

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Innovation

The Renewal Curve

Patterns can be powerful. When you see a pattern that occurs again and again, you could look at that as a window into the design of nature itself.One of those patterns is something called the S-Curve, which looks like this:The idea is this: Something starts out, and if it's successful, it grows. This growth is rapid at first, and for a good, long while it gets bigger, or better or larger or makes more money or whatever. At some...

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Innovation

A Cultural Force That’s Bigger Than You Think

Perry Farrell (of Jane's Addiction fame) is developing an immersive, EDM-based musical in Vegas. In addition to being a magnet for more hashtags than a NASCAR has ads (I count Vegas, musical, EDM and immersive), it's also pretty intriguing. I'd go.Keep an eye on this! The evolution and maturity of EDM (electronic dance music) as a cultural force is going to have a big impact on the world of the near future. Just as rock 'n' roll and later...

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Innovation

No Breakthroughs Without Risks and Failures

London seems to be leading the way in shows that very actively engage all five senses. First, there was the fireworks show, and now there are the BitterSuite symphonies.It's a classical concert that makes you smell, touch and taste things as part of the program. Lindsey Winship of The Guardian (UK) describes it like this: "The audience were blindfolded and fed different sensory experiences in parallel with the music: fizzy pop and cola bottles for the effervescent second movement...

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Innovation

Will Green Cars Make Formula E Racing a Hit?

I learned about Formula E from this article, which describes how the owners of the Boston Celtics have made an investment in the new sport. It's a worldwide racing circuit that uses environmentally friendly electric cars.There are 10 races in each season, and two of them will be in the United States. I was also fascinated to hear that promoters of the race circuit expect the sound of these cars to be one of their main draws, because they...

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Innovation

The Next Step After Immersive Theater

This is a very strong idea. According to this Wall Street Journal article, people in China are enacting real-life versions of a popular type of Japanese online game known as Takagism. They're locking themselves in converted bomb shelters, residential apartments and office complexes, and they must escape by solving riddles and brain teasers.It takes the idea of immersive theater, like Sleep No More and Here Lies Love, and makes it not just immersive but participatory. Note that there is...

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Innovation

Dull Is Dangerous, Sharp Is Safe

Back in the days when I trained teenagers to cut bagels for living, we had an expression about knives: Dull is dangerous, sharp is safe. Basically, what that means is that a knife that isn't properly sharpened has a tendency to snag or to cut a person's hand in a way that's much worse than a sharp blade.I really enjoyed reading Isaac Butler's piece about the supposedly safe course pursued by some venues in programming familiar material in their...

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Innovation

Aspen Live: Great Minds Spark Ideas in Great Outdoors

This week, I’m sadly missing the Goldstar holiday party, but there’s a pretty good reason.I’m heading off to Aspen for a live music industry conference called Aspen Live. Created and run by Jim Lewi, this show has been going on for a couple of decades. I first went a few years ago, and what a first year at Aspen it was! Most of the conference happened in the lobby of the St. Regis, where the comfy furniture, easy access...

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