POPCHAIN, Heap, and the Talking Heads
[POPstory 1] CEO Will Son’s "Big Question"
“Is necessity the mother of invention, or does the one who would eat the fruit climb the tree?”
No matter what the motivation is, there are people everywhere who pitch new values to the world, make a business out of it, and pursue it. The important thing is the decisive characteristic that they all have in common; as the history of mankind shows, the pioneers who invest early will triumph, while the ones who did not catch on will be lamenting, when all is said and done.
The Single Question That Captured Will Son
Will Son, the CEO of the POPCHAIN Foundation, always had one unanswerable question in his mind, which started from a deficiency in his life: a dream that he could not achieve. He played the drums in high school, and he thought that everything would work out if he could be happy playing music. However, reality always got in the way. He watched even very talented drummers who came before him worry about making a living. Eventually, he had to give up on his dream and go to college.
Industrial design was a field that fit him fine, but he could not let go of the music that he heard on his way to school. Thus, as if led by fate, he immersed himself in the hip hop scene and started playing music again. He was happy while he sang, but returned to cold reality as soon as he stepped off the stage. His colleagues left; out of the many artists who shared their joys and sorrows through music at the time, only two remain active musicians. The cold economic reality clashed with his heated passion and made him ask, “Why do we force extremely talented artists to become mere salespeople?”
Imogen Heap’s Desperate Question
At the same time, there was an artist across the continent who was preoccupied with the same issue: Imogen Heap, the first woman to win a Grammy Award solo with her 2009 album Ellipse. She was a commercially successful musician, but she did not think that the model for her success was a sustainable one. She asked in a September 2015 interview with Don Tapscott, the author of The Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World and a global financial consultant, “If my daughter were to become a musician, will there be a way for her to make a living?” She continued, “Thus, we creators need a simple and reliable platform that will allow us to make a living with only music content. For a sustainable future for creators and consumers!”[This conversation is from The Blockchain Revolution(Penguin, 2016), Chapter 7]
As is the case with anyone else, she led a difficult life before her success. She faced a dilemma when she realized that a big part of the difficulty came from a structural problem. In the same interview, she confessed, “When I first went to a record label, I received 15% of the profits, and 19% from a company I went to a few years ago.” If this is the reality for even an artist like Imogen Heap, how do less popular creators make a living? She added, “The music industry is extremely fragmented. These nightmarish difficulties exist because of structural differences.”
This nightmarish difficulty still exists in Korea, where Son gave up on his dreams of becoming a musician and tried his hand at business; in the UK, where Imogen Heap sings; and anywhere else where a music industry exists. For example, the biggest problem is probably the big corporations who monopolize record distribution, but there are also producers, studios, venues, concert tour sponsors, agents, and wholesale dealers, as well as the music copyright associations. Then how do the creators, who actually create the music, receive their share? As the Talking Heads from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame sings, “How did I get here?”
Blockchain, the Inevitable Solution
Son and Imogen Heap both chose blockchain technology as the way to overturn this unfair industry model. They thought that if a blockchain-based content platform and smart contracts were combined, a new culture platform could be born. The difference is that if Imogen Heap saw blockchain technology strictly from an artist’s point of view, Son embraced not only artists but also the consumers who sustain them and the operators of this ecosystem. That is to say, he thought of a win-win platform. (For the basic operating principles, structures, and uniqueness of the POPCHAIN platform, please refer to the first four articles on our Medium.)
David Byrne, the lead vocal of the Talking heads, was also frustrated with the irrational contents distribution ecosystem, and published an op-ed on the Guardian titled “The Internet Will Suck All Creative Out of the World.” This quote encapsulates the point he makes in the piece: “the whole model is unsustainable as a means of supporting creative work of any kind. Not just music. The inevitable result would seem to be that the internet will suck the creative content out of the whole world until nothing is left.”
David Byrne’s concern and Imogen Heap’s dilemma.
POPCHAIN started at the same problem as they did, but we are advancing our business in a different way, and our own unique technology supports this. (Please refer to our fourth article for a detailed explanation about this.) If we can ignite a revolution in content distribution through POPCHAIN–that is, if a platform is established where the creator, the consumer, and the operator can share and enjoy content together on the POPCHAIN platform with POPCHAIN CASH (PCH)–and the platform reaches a point where the foundation no longer has to manage it, we will say farewell and leave.
This is because our sole goal is the establishment of a platform that gives an intact, fair reward to every participant: no more, no less. What’s more, most of the members of our foundation, including Son, have directly suffered from the aforementioned deficiencies.
“POPCHAIN History,” the Prelude
From now on, we will deliver news from the field as our members’ concerns are addressed, one by one, through the POPCHAIN Project. Ultimately, the main focus is the story that is told when humans meet technology–the “POPCHAIN History.” or “POPstory.” Stay tuned!
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* POPCHAIN Korea Official Telegram : https://t.me/popchain_kr
* POPCHAIN Global Official Telegram : https://t.me/popchain_global