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An econ lesson I never taught

One reason I didn't teach it is because I hadn't seen this video:

Watch it. It will lift your mood!


I'd heard "Play that Song" on the radio, most recently on the way home from LA while my wife and I listened to The Blend on SiriusXM.


But the lesson isn't in the music. It's in the video. As you can see, for most of it, Train frontman Pat Monahan pleads for the DJ at radio station KTRN (clever), to play his song. When the unseen DJ does, Monahan and his support group celebrate.


That's the way it used to be. If you wanted success, you needed to win over a gatekeeper - a DJ, a publisher, a studio exec, a hiring manager...


If you could convince a DJ to play your song, it had a good chance to become a hit. If a big publishing house bought your book, you won. If ABC or Warner Brothers liked your script, you could make your pilot or film. And if you impressed a hiring manager enough, you'd get the job. But if you couldn't convince a gatekeeper to let you in, your dream was locked out.


Now, when the main gate is locked, you can slip through a side door. You can upload your song on Spotify, self publish your book on Amazon, create a YouTube channel or start your own company. The challenge is immense - you'll have to market your work yourself - but there are ways to keep your dream alive.


For most of us, what happens in the video is a notch below fantasy. The real KTRN lesson?


If the gatekeeper won't play your song, find a way to play it yourself.













Next up: How the shrinking role of the gatekeeper harms us.



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