Would you rather sell the best product or the cheapest product?
A song I listened to again many years after it made the waves inspired this post.
The song is Fast Money by 2Shotz and AY.com. At the time, I cared more for Terry G's production than for the content of the song.
This time the last line in one of 2Shotz verse caught my attention. He said: "We no fit sell hardcore for this country men".
The song addresses the debate with commercial songs on one side and hardcore songs on the other.
The artistes say there aren't enough people who are willing to pay for hardcore songs. The consumers say there aren't enough artistes willing to put out hardcore songs.
Like most complex debates, both sides are right. One thing is certain, The Market will always get more of the behaviour it rewards.
Are artistes incapable of creating hardcore music? Is The Market incapable of buying hardcore music?
Would anyone sell the best product if they can't make any money doing so?
What is the definition of "best"?
Who defines what the "best" is, The Market or the Seller?
Should the Seller provide the "best" or whatever The Market is willing to pay for?
These are essential questions anyone who plans to deal with The Market must answer.
What customers say they want and what they're willing to pay for often differ.
It all boils down to deploying the right strategies suited to your situation. Commercial songs are great for making a living, but are not likely to earn you Grammys.
Hardcore might bring you critical acclaim and respect. It also increases your chances of being the stereotypical starving artist.
Back to 2Shotz and AY.com. Their stated goal was sales, or to "make owo fast fast" in their words. They focused on commercial sounds instead of the hardcore sounds. It was obvious they were more likely to achieve their goal that way.
Terry G was a good but unknown RnB singer who went on to achieve fame and success when he "went commercial".
The end determines the means.
History teaches us that the best does not always win. King Solomon echoes the same lesson in Eccl. 9:11 and the popular parable of the Tortoise and the Hare.
Vinyl vs Diamond Discs, Betamax vs VHS, Zip vs Floppy disks, MS-DOS vs CP/M, WordPerfect vs MS Word etc prove the point.
In these cases, the failed options focused on being the best on technical metrics. They should instead have focused on being the best The Market was willing to pay for.
Always look at your products through the eyes of The Market.
Incompetence is not always the reason Businesses are not providing the best product.
The Market does not cares about the technological marvels bundled in your product.
It is more important to do the right things rather than doing things right.