The 3 Habits of Highly Effective Business Pirates
Can pirate mentality and pirateer’s approach to conducting business help YOU?
Is your mainstream education stifling your success in today’s Copyleft-ed mindshare?
Can I squeeze more buzz words in the first paragraph?
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While pharmaceutical companies are fighting the generic drug market, and the Record/Movie companies are fighting the proliferation of freely downloadable music and video via Bit Torrent , we are collectively forgetting that America (the most vigorous heavyweight in the fight against piracy of the non eye-patch wearing variety) was in fact founded on the very principals of piracy.
Here is an excerpt from the most excellent work on this issue written by Matt Mason, the author of The Pirate’s Dilemma (aff)
During the nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution, the Founding Fathers pursued a policy of counterfeiting European inventions, ignoring global patents, and stealing intellectual property wholesale.
And from another source.
Lax enforcement of the intellectual property laws was the primary engine of the American economic miracle. Writes Doron S. Ben-Atar in Trade Secrets (aff)
The United States employed pirated know-how to industrialize.
Americans were so well known as bootleggers, Europeans began referring to them with the Dutch word “Janke,” then slang for pirate, which is today pronounced “Yankee.”
This goes right along the lines of that other old chestnut. One nation’s terrorist is another nation’s freedom fighter. Or to put it in another way. One man’s copyrighted, super-smash hit that’s making a killing at the box office is another man’s $5.00 DVD at the Canal Street right outside the PATH entrance.
I hope we can put morality aside and take a rational look at the pirate’s way and see if we can learn any useful lessons.
1. Pirates Look Outside of the Market
Entrepreneurs look for gaps inside the market. Pirates look for gaps outside of the market.
- There was no market for Hollywood films until William Fox established the Hollywood movie industry in the territory that was outside the reach of the copyright laws of the day.
- There was no market for commercial radio in Europe until pirate DJs (and stations) became well known and started selling legitimate ad space on their programs.
- There was no market for wine enthusiasts to share their passion and profit from it until Gary Vaynerchuk did it with Wine Library TV
Pirates have proved that just because the market won’t do something, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.
2. Pirates Create Their Own Vehicle
Once pirates find a space the market has ignored, they park a new vehicle in it and begin transmitting. Sometimes this new vehicle becomes more important than the message it carries; or as Marshall McLuhan put it, the medium becomes the message.
- We could even say the platform that pirate DJs created was more important than rock ’n’ roll itself.
- The idea of the “blog” had a much greater impact (as we can now see in retrospect) than the picture of Cary Grant dropping acid on Justin’s Home Page. (widely recognized as the very first blog est in 1994).
- We could say that yet another shoe company would receive 0 coverage from the media unless that shoe company had altruism at the core of it’s business model. Google TOMS shoes.
3. Pirates Harness Their Audience
When pirates do something valuable in society, citizens support them, discussion starts, and laws change. It’s the supporters (the audience) that pirates attract that enable them and their ideas to go legit.
- Kiss FM (started out as a pirate station) got a license thanks to its listeners.
- Roh Moohyun (who had 0 chance of getting elected) became the president of Korea thanks to citizens using the pirate mentality on his behalf. (a kind of grass roots Social Media effort a la Obama presidential campaign run)
- Entire nations are supporting pill (generic drugs) pirates because they (pills and Pirates) save lives.
Pirates and Social Media
I find it amazing how neatly pirate mentality fits under the Social Media umbrella.
- Blogs –and this is only one example- have defined the “Outside the Market” mantra.
- Youtube has enabled countless comedians, actors, artists and even wine connoisseurs from Jersey to create their own vehicle.
- New technology has enabled people to turn their passions into global good.
Does engaging in Social Media make you a pirate? Maybe not, but it helps to have the pirate’s mentality.
So do you?
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