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What are "the rules"?

Do you know who Alex Day is? I suspect not. Don’t worry, I didn’t either, until my teenage daughter showed me one of his videos.

Yes, it is what we used to call “bubblegum pop,” back when I worked in the music industry. Probably has the shelf-life of a five-year old’s ice cream on a summer afternoon.

But, what’s crazy is this. He’s racked up some 89 million views on YouTube and, as TechDirt notes,

“…his first two royalty checks totaled over $200,000.”

Um… wow.

This, mind you, in an age when the recording industry reports it’s lost about 8% of retail value over the last year on physical shipments and has only broken even thanks to digital [PDF link]. Yet, here’s this kid, all of 23 years old, who’s going it alone, breaking all the rules and… succeeding. Wildly.


Because he believes there are no rules. As he said in a recent Forbes profile,

“I proved you can get songs out there without any corporate involvement.”

So, here’s the question for today: What rules do you follow? The ones “everyone knows”? Or the ones you make for yourself? Do you do what everyone else is doing? Or do you truly do what you love?

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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