Same Process: Business Model & Song

Earlier today I thought about an article I read a few months ago.

It talks about how record labels are loosing their significance in the music industry because artists are becoming more independent. The writer also makes a connection between artists and entrepreneurs and this quote from Paul-René Albertini, CEO of Sushi Venture Partners and former Chairman and CEO of Warner Music International, stuck out to me:

“The energies and engines behind technological innovators and artists are very similar… Both groups of people are trying to push out their vision and understanding of the world through highly specific languages, be that music or code or both. The present challenge is to bridge the gap between the languages of art and business. A new business model is not the same thing as a new song.” 

Read that line?

A new business model is not the same thing as a new song.

Just before, he said the energies and engines of artists and innovators were similar. Doesn't that imply that the process is similar too; the engine?

I think so.

So, I’d like to think about this idea from the perspective of neuroscience because although there are differences that pertain to the inputs and outputs of cortical networks relative to these sources of information, the process is the same.

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex:

is working on explicit information, that is information derived from our special sensory systems, our memory, and from other aspects of cognition that we can access with our language systems. We can talk about this information, give it names, and express it clearly; leaving nothing implied.

In addition, the orbital and medial sector of the prefrontal cortex seem to be operating principally on implicit information derived from emotions that are informed by our visceral senses.

Information united through these prefrontal networks, with faculties that are involved in planning for the future, are being motivated by implicit sources of information that are more difficult to describe.

Consider the challenge of articulating in verbal terms the content of an emotion such as anger or happiness. I can do a much better job describing, for example, the texture, the dimension, the color, of my computer than I can use my verbal faculties to reveal for you the content of the twinge of anxiety I may be feeling at this very moment. So the orbital medial prefrontal cortex engages during the processing of emotion then integrates that emotion with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and other PFC faculties necessary for accessing language systems, reasoning, making decisions, and planning for the future, in short term as well as long term.

It is this future thinking aspect of processing in the prefrontal cortex that leads to advantageous decisions, or perhaps disadvantageous decisions if our motivations are simply driven towards short term gains; no matter which task we do. Part of what the orbital medial prefrontal cortex does is suppress the impulses that might lead to the acquisition of short term gain at the cost of a more long term strategy that would lead to advantage, be it in the domain of design, social relations, in business matters, or whatever dimension of life we might want to consider.

So although we aren’t employing the same cortical networks relative to each source of information(a business model, a song) we are still giving rise to one process which allows us to perceive, cogitate, and perform each task.

This is just one possible way to prove the similarities between artists and innovators and there are other ways Albertini’s statement could be interpreted. Please share your thoughts to keep the conversation going…