Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Grateful Dead: Captains of Industry

I had the pleasure of meeting Barry Barnes at the American Culture Association meeting in San Antonio this year. Fanatical readers of this blog will recall that I attended a dozen or so academic panels devoted to the Grateful Dead, and Barry was one of the speakers. He's a business professor, and he has a new book out: Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead. Check out the Boston Globe article here.

This book wasn't an easy road for Barry. After he presented his book idea at a previous meeting, two marketing guys rushed out a similar title, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead. That book received some attention at the Atlantic and elsewhere. But Barry's good standing in the Deadhead community helped him land a deal at Grand Central Publishing, a very respectable division of the Hachette Book Group that's helping him get the word out. Kudos to Barry!



At 4:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only because your post made me think of it, I can't wait to get my hands into the Grateful Dead archive at UCSC. In addition it is great to see California Culture and other blogs devoted to California available to the public. I myself am hoping to get more of California history and the West into the digital realm by my blog . Again, its great to have some California reading material.

At 3:23 AM , Blogger David Meerman Scott said...


For some reason Barry Barnes seems to be badmouthing the book that I co-wrote with Brian Halligan.

As Barry's fans have pointed out in hurtful comments on Amazon reviews of our book (some without even reading ours), Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead is very, very different from Barry's.

Brian and I are not academics like Barry. We wrote a practical marketing book that is lighter than an academic work. We did not write a general business book but rather a *marketing* book. There is a distinction.

Brian and I are both marketing professionals, not academics. Brian is CEO of HubSpot, a very successful 300+ employee marketing software company. I am a top marketing speaker.

We are both authors of previous marketing books and between us we have written or produced a dozen titles including my worldwide bestseller The New Rules of Marketing and PR, now in its third edition, with more than a quarter million copies sold in over 25 languages from Arabic to Vietnamese.

Just like the jam band world does not treat Phish as a Grateful Dead copycat I really wish that you and other people would not assume that our book is one.

We worked hard on our book which was a direct result of blog posts that we both wrote going back years. We both had talked about the Dead in our presentations for years. The ideas in our book were not "rushed" out but had been percolating in our mind since my first show in New Haven in 1979.

We believe that the more people who are exposed to the Dead's ideas around business and marketing the better for all of us who study these ideas.

What would Jerry say?

David Meerman Scott
co-author of Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead


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