Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead: The Ten Most Innovative Lessons from a Long, Strange Trip

December 3, 2013 - Comment

The Grateful Dead is one of the most popular bands of all time and they have enjoyed incredible relevance to this day. But let’s admit it, they were not exactly poster boys for corporate America. In EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS I LEARNED FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD, Deadhead and business scholar Barry Barnes proves that

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The Grateful Dead is one of the most popular bands of all time and they have enjoyed incredible relevance to this day. But let’s admit it, they were not exactly poster boys for corporate America. In EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS I LEARNED FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD, Deadhead and business scholar Barry Barnes proves that the Dead’s influence on the business world will turn out to be a significant part of their legacy. Without intending to, the band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by American corporations. And in this book Barnes shares the ten most innovative business lessons from the Dead’s illustrious career, including:

-Creating and delivering superior customer value
-Incorporating and establishing a board of directors early on
-Founding a merchandising division
-Giving away your product for free to increase demand

Above all, Barnes explains how the Dead were masters of what he calls “strategic improvisation” — the ability to adapt to changing times and circumstances — and that their success lay precisely in their commitment to constant change and relentless variation. For an extraordinary thirty years, the Dead improvised a business plan and realized their vision — all while making huge profits. EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS I LEARNED FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD will show you how they did it — and what your business can learn from their long, strange trip.

Comments

Margaret Picky says:

Long-term success through integrity “Everything I Know About Business I Learned from The Grateful Dead” is a very easy-to-read book that analyzes the story of the musical group The Grateful Dead from a business viewpoint and pinpoints the behaviors that eventually led to their financial success. The ten lessons correspond to the ten chapter titles.What I found most interesting is that decisions were not necessarily made in order to make money and they did not always result in immediate profit. A lot of the choices were spontaneous and some of them proved costly, but they were willing to change direction and try new things over the decades.I was impressed by the flexibility they exhibited, for instance, in dealing with vendors of unlicensed merchandise or with bootleg recordings. They were able to distinguish between fans and mass merchandisers of shoddy products and deal with them on terms appropriate to their status and intent. Their attitude towards people taping their shows evolved until they…

PapaPhil says:

Who knew? My wife and I met at a Grateful Dead concert and we were married at one. All of this took place many years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, both from my perspective as a Dead Head and a current Tour Manager for a nationally touring band. I bought two copies to share amongst the band members of the band for whom I work.This is well-written, very comprehensive, and an insight into America’s favorite band (like it or not, it’s true). I learned a lot from this, both in terms of what I experienced way back when and what I am now confronting, trying to help an extraordinary group of musicians survive in today’s economy.Read this. You will come away with a smile on your face.

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