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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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Innovation

The Hottest Season Ticket in Town is For a Restaurant

Next is a restaurant in Chicago that serves several different meals in the course of a year, each one running for three or four months at a time. It’s molecular gastronomy, which means that it takes an extreme amount of preparation and skill, so the menu is the same for everyone and changes infrequently.Over the course of the year, these different menus are what the restaurant calls a “season,” and if you want to go to each of the...

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Innovation

To “Educate,” Entertain First

I was reading this article on the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young People’s Concerts. The series arose, apparently, when the younger brothers and sisters of the kids who showed up for the famous Young People’s Concerts got a little rowdy. Rather than giving those kids their first experience getting tossed out of a venue, the NY Phil did something much more wonderful, which was to create a series of concerts designed to entertain 3 to 6-year-olds.It’s very cool.What I...

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Innovation

Breaking the Frame: Nothing is Too Bold to Be Unacceptable Now

For some reason, this phrase keeps popping into my head lately: Breaking the frame.What I mean by this is that something -- possibly a building or a show or an approach to marketing -- escapes the container in which it's normally held. For example, when Hotmail first launched (in 1995, I think it was), it was a frame-breaker. It was email, but on the web. It doesn’t sound all that impressive, but at the time, it was. It spread...

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Innovation

Broadway Should Encourage Risk Tolerance of Innovative Shows

If you missed it, last week the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark announced that the show is closing on Broadway and moving to Las Vegas.I've heard talk from all the way back when the show opened that a Las Vegas production was in the cards, but the goal presumably was to run two versions of the show, not to move it. I think the Vegas show makes a lot of sense and will be extremely popular. Vegas...

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Innovation

YouTube’s New Music Streaming Service Not Too Different

YouTube's going to be offering a service that replicates what's available from services like Spotify, Rhapsody and others that to me, with a few quirks of user interface preferences, really doesn't differ much for the consumer.But I have a hard time caring much about this. The established principle here is that there is a business model for the streaming of music online in which musicians and rights holders get paid, but what they'll get paid is pretty minimal.Why is...

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Innovation

Find Something Great to Do Anytime, Anywhere

Recently, Bloomberg asked me to talk about the impact of mobile adoption on live events, and some of you may have seen that segment.The reason they were interested in having me there is that over the last couple of years, Goldstar has put a tremendous effort into understanding and being part of the platform shift currently happening among consumers toward mobile devices. As a veteran of the original World Wide Web explosion of the late '90s, this mobile transition...

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