Familiar Refrains

Image credit: Jay Cuthrell

Familiar Refrains ( 2010 )

#include <disclaimer.h>

[It might be my 38th birthday coming up or it might be that the echo chamber is playing back moments from my past. Lately, I seem to have a knack for seeing the same patterns emerge when industry luminaries speak.

Their word choice seems to be from a steady diet of the same mixed media. Compounding this is running into people that drop the names of those same luminaries, the same books – over and over again. But it isn’t buzzword bingo as much as it is phrases strung together and offered up as bold revelation or deep insight.

What drives someone to deliver obfuscation of lessons learned and oft repeated? What about originality and new thinking? Is there such a thing?


[Is everything in music an eventual cover song? Is everything in film a remake of the classic?


And yet…

One area that is getting hot again for discussion online outside of the normal channels is startups. Do it this way. Do it that way. Nevermind. Bootstrap it. No, keep it lean. No, make mistakes. Try new things. Be like X! No, be like Y! Take investment! No, seek angels!

Often I am left feeling like the fad diet industry has descended upon anything that looks like it might get funded. I don’t even want to link to it here. Each phrase above is a video I’ve seen, a conversation I’ve sat across from, or what is increasingly becoming the dialog between otherwise sane people.


[Seriously? Maybe I’m just missing something or I’m too tuned into what is passing as content now.

Are there that many ways to do something right? And on the subject of right one can only wonder what the angle is of those opining. What is truly in the collective knowledge of running companies that hasn’t been rendered, reviewed, and renewed?

And here’s the thing… with music, the artist typically pays respects (if not dues) for where the influence impacted them. Lately, I just get the feeling it’s pre-fab hair bands that are covering songs but trying to pass them off as their own.

Maybe those folks in Sydney are onto something…