Tag Archives: American Idol

A Riff On Transformation From AI

I’m pretty sure that each of you has a guilty pleasure or two. One of mine is American Idol which, despite its diminished viewership and declining influence, is still the only singing competition that regularly puts out talent making hit recordings. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are the two biggest musical names that also won but Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, and a slew of other musical names have come out of the show.

American Idol logo 2008–2011

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the things I enjoy most about the program, besides watching unknown singers turning into stars, are the times when a truly memorable performance occurs. Last night we had one and it actually made me think of an important business lesson.

Most of the really great performances on Idol have come when a singer takes a song and remakes it in his or her own style. Over the years, Adam Lambert took a Tears for Fears song (Mad World), slowed it down, and stripped the arrangement to feature his voice. Brilliant, although the fact that he sang it out of the park helped too! The year David Cook won, he transformed a song almost every week to make it his own. Last night, one of the contenders, a young woman named Candice Glover, did the same with The Cure’s “Love Song.” She performed Adele’s re-imagination of the song and took it to another level.  Which is exactly the business point.

While it’s hard to say, as does Ecclesiastes, that there’s nothing new under the sun (not in technology anyway), many of the best new products and services are transformed versions of things that have come before.  In some cases it’s optimizing a service or product for a digital world (for the digital voice, if you will).  In other cases, it’s transforming something altogether to make it better – mp3 players to iPhones are the most obvious examples but there are many others.

The lesson from Idol is that whatever you do, make it yours and make it spectacularly good.  Seems like some excellent business thinking as well.  You agree?

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All the prep work for tomorrow’s holiday is in full swing here at Rancho Deluxe.  The turkey stock is made (no pan drippings when you fry them, bubba), shopping is done, silver is polished, and we figured out that we can use an old set of Colorforms shapes as stickers on wine glasses to identify everyone’s drinks  without spending a fortune on those cute little charms.  It’s a lot of work that the Mrs. and I do each year and we’re happy to do so.  Having the 25 or so family members and friends around the table (more like around the room) for dinner is a highlight of the year.  Which of course got me thinking about a business point. Continue reading

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Reality Isn’t Just TV

American Idol

Image via Wikipedia

You might watch one reality competition or another. There are lots of them and I’m sure there’s one to appeal to some interest of yours – singing (Idol), dancing (Stars), Golf (Big Break), Cooking (Top Chef, etc.), business (The Apprentice) – they’re all out there.
No laughing, but I was an Idol fan. I say “was” because I’m done with it now after last week. A contestant who clearly should have been in the top 5, if not won it all, was eliminated. Lots of folks blamed lazy voters. I don’t – and there’s a business point in there too. Continue reading

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Sugar Isn’t Sweet

American Idol
Image via Wikipedia

I admit it:  I’m an American Idol addict.  I watch every week – both nights.  OK?  You’ve got my secret vice front and center.  You happy now?  Oh wait – maybe that’s not my secret vice.  Maybe it’s really that I keep finding business lessons in fluff such as Idol! Continue reading

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