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David Bowie once said, “Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.” Can you hear it coming? Or are your ears still ringing from the aftermath of your latest quarterly results? What about your teams?

Give this song a listen with me as we celebrate FIFTY years (not Five Years) since Ziggy Stardust was recorded… wow… and see what the experts are saying.

Accounting for the Future – It Ain’t Easy

I had a conversation with a client the other day and found myself talking them out of expanding programs in favour of a longer-term and more measured approach. And then I read this very timely blog post of Seth Godin’s that really hit home – people always address ‘now’ problems before they work on ‘later’ problems:

On one night in 2004, you might have had two choices. You could go out for a fancy dinner with friends, or you could buy one share of Google at their IPO. A couple of decades later, your dinner is forgotten but the shares are up many times.

Of course, some people did buy that stock. That’s not because they encountered an opportunity to save for their retirement 18 years later. It’s because they told themselves a story that people in their shoes sent money to the market that day. They turned a problem in the future (retirement) into a problem for the now (I’m a loser if I go out to this dinner instead).

All problems are short-term problems if we tell ourselves the right story. But we usually don’t, because we discount the future significantly. A grilled cheese sandwich today is more important than two grilled cheese sandwiches next week. Unless we tell ourselves a present and urgent story about what it feels like to ignore the future.

Not only do we need to tell ourselves the right story, but we need to tell our buyers the right story. You need to hang onto yourself if you’re going to expect anyone else to. How else can we get them to trust their budgets with us and make potential career-impacting bets on our solutions?

Bowie Bonds

If you’ve been following this sort of financial transaction, you’ll know of Bowie Bonds which were issued in 1997. Bonds totaling $55 million USD were sold, backed by the revenue generated by Bowie’s songs from his 25 albums recorded before 1990. Bowie then used a portion of that cash to buy older recordings of his music. Ten years later, those bonds matured and the rights to all the songs reverted to Bowie. It was a shrewd, risky, but ultimately successful financial ploy – at least for Bowie.

And earlier this year we learned that Warner Music Group acquired the global music publishing rights to Bowie’s entire musical catalogue for a rumored $250 million.

Who says you can’t be an artist AND a business person? I think Bowie has shown us that you can be shrewd in how you manage your intellectual assets – and it’s not always rock ‘n’ roll suicide to try and manage your assets well!

Click here to see a running list of catalogue deals to date.

As always, don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello.

Looking forward,

Rick Endrulat, President | ricke@v-causeway.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat