How I Built this — Troy Carter Interview

I was chatting with a friend the other day after listening to the Troy Carter episode of How I Built This. I enjoyed this interview, in particular, because it had a different story arch than the others in this terrific Podcast. I also appreciated that Troy Carter displayed more emotion than other entrepreneurs Guy Raz has interviewed.

My friend didn’t like the interview. There was something unresolved. Lightning doesn’t typically strike twice, and Troy Carter was ditched by two very successful musicians who’s success he had helped facilitate.

I’m no music industry expert, but it doesn’t feel like we got the whole story from Troy Carter. Is it common that musicians outgrow their management when they have Lady Gaga levels of success?

There are countless stories of business and music colliding in utterly heart breaking ways. The rush of fame and money seems to have a wrecking ball strength to crush just about any relationship.

Ke$ha’s career is still a contractual mess after everything that went wrong between her and Dr. Luke. Solid reporting on that here from Taffy Brodesser-Akner

The medical and mental health challenges that nearly killed Brian Wilson were recently portrayed on the silver screen. That was messy for different reasons, but manipulative control is central to that drama.

Focussing back on this interview with Troy Carter. Lightening stuck twice and the explanation for why both Eve and Lady Gaga left him was unsatisfactory.

With his new focus as a technology venture capitalist, Carter is clearly interested in many things. Given that successful foray into the VC world, and the timeline of his exposure to Spotify (dating back to a BBQ in 2010), I wonder if Lady Gaga sensed that Carter had these other ambitions. Perhaps Carter’s attention felt too divided for her.

Clearly Troy Carter is a talented person and a hard worker. Having said that, I deeply value honesty, and it doesn’t feel like we got the whole story about why these artist dropped him.

How I Built This celebrates the failures of some our most well known “overnight” success stories. It would be courageous for Troy Carter to open up about the mistakes he made that contributed to Eve and Gaga’s decisions to find new management.

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