Clarence Clemons

Image by AWKWORDrap via Flickr

Sad news this morning about The Big Man, Clarence Clemons. Reports are that he had a stroke over the weekend and isn’t doing well. This got me thinking about The Boss, of course, and another article from Rolling Stone (thanks Phil) that a friend posted in their Facebook stream about some great musical collaborations Bruce has had. In my mind, none is better than that with Clarence (OK, maybe with Steven too) and I’m hoping this illness is just a bump in the road.

Of course, the collaboration article got me thinking about business and let’s see if you agree.

The notion of collaboration is absolutely fundamental to business.  After all, no matter what we do we need others.  It’s pretty obvious if you sell anything that you need customers.  If you create content, even if it’s digital, you rely on others to make distribution channels possible (you’re not your own internet, are you?).  You get the point.

We all need to learn how to “play nice” with the other kids.  When one kid decides to be a bully, the focus can turn from working with that company to limiting your exposure to their shenanigans.  The best example I can think of at the moment is Apple.  Obviously their ecosystem has provided incredible opportunities for developers and content companies.  Their tactics, however, sometimes leave something to be desired with respect to collaboration.

You might know that Apple demands  a 30% cut from subscriptions sold in iOS apps along with a few other onerous conditions for publishers to have access to their distribution system.  While a lot of  publishers have agreed to this, not all did and instead they spent time figuring out how to bypass Apple.  It worked:

Apple has backed down from its requirement that content and subscription providers who offer their wares through the Jobsian App Store must charge the same or less for that content when it’s offered from a provider’s own website.

Cupertino has also axed their requirement that content providers must offer the same content and subscriptions in their iOS apps as they do from their own services.

We all need to collaborate to succeed.  Hopefully we can look to the great partnerships like Bruce and Clarence and the others in the RS piece (I love the Neil Young and Tom Morello pieces) to provide examples.  Now, let’s collaborate on some good thoughts that The Big Man recovers.

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