“It was almost the song that didn’t happen.”
“Nobody could see this record.”
“We were tanking.” – Shaggy
Looking back it’s hard to believe the chart-topping, mega-hit, “It wasn’t me,” almost didn’t exist.
Considering, at one point, it was selling HALF A MILLION records a day!
It didn’t start that way.
This post recaps Shaggy’s journey and extracts 6 key lessons you can apply to your entrepreneurial journey—right now!
It has SO MANY entrepreneurial gems!
- (GEM #1) SEE an excellent illustration of the full entrepreneurial journey
- (GEM #2) UNDERSTAND how different cultures collide for innovation
- (GEM #3) PREPARE for when inspiration strikes—at any time!
- (GEM #4) OBSERVE exactly what product market fit looks like instead of guessing
- (GEM #5) GRASP how “happy accidents” are in fact part of the creative process
- (GEM #6) REALIZE Shaggy is a business process automation expert
Entrepreneurial Gem #1 : An Excellent Depiction of The Arduous Entrepreneurial Journey
As a budding entrepreneur, you simply don’t understand what the journey looks like from start to finish.
Shaggy song It wasn’t me is a PREFECT example of the end-to-end journey.
Just follow the narrative arc:
“Shaggy had just been dropped from his previous label.”
“The Senior Executives Thought the record was a pile of junk.” [15:05]
“No Resources. No Promotions. No Posters. Nothing.” [16:30]
“Get this guy on a cruise ship doing limbo lines. [16:52]
“Um. Depression” [16:55]
“People were waiting in line for us”
“Half a million records sold a DAY.”
“11 people bought homes and started their lives because of that album.” [23:44]
It doesn’t get clearer than that.
You understand the entrepreneurial roller coaster here.
Entrepreneurial Gem #2: Creative Collision of two different cultures
Part of creativity and innovation is bring it to different different things together.
Having them creatively collide!
Arthur Koetsler coined this creative collision “biosciation.”
Biosociation explained by the inventor himself Arthur Koetsler:
I have coined the term ‘bisociation’ in order to make a distinction between the routine skills of thinking on a single ‘plane,’ as it were, and the creative act, which … always operates on more than one plane. The former can be called single-minded, the latter double-minded, transitory state of unstable equilibrium where the balance of both emotion and thought is disturbed.
In the case of It Wasn’t Me, the bisociation was amongst the following:
“You gotta have enough english on the record for it.”
“Then you gotta bring it back to the authenticity. straight HARDCORE DANCEHALL.”
“You’re not gonna understand what the fuck it is but it’s gonna sound great.”
Entrepreneurial Gem #3: Creativity can strike anywhere (and lead to non-linear results)
Inspiration can strike anywhere, anytime!
You just have to be prepared for it!
Eddie Murphy’s standup comedy was the inspiration behind the song.
For Shaggy, the inspiration for It wasn’t me was Eddie Murphy’s Raw Standup. [7:42-7:56]
Who would think that watching an Eddie Murphy special would lead to an iconic MULTI-PLATNIUM mega-hit?
“Why don’t we just write that?- Shaggy
Although it may seem like Shaggy was wasting time during a writing session watching Eddie Murphy.
It was the spark for the hit song you and I know today.
When you think you are wasting time, you may be exactly where you need to be—for inspiration to strike.
Entrepreneurial Gem #4: Crystal clear product-market fit.
The number one problem I’ve seen for startups, is they don’t actually have product/market fit, when they think they do.Alex Schultz, VP Growth @ Facebook
Product market fit is absolutely critical to a startup’s success!
HOWEVER, for such a mission-critical concept, it’s hard to wrap your head around.
Because the definitions tend to be sooo ABSTRACT!
Here’s an example definition:
Product/market fit… is the degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand.
INSTEAD, if you are like me, you want a CONCRETE examples that you can PICTURE!
Leading indicator: just ask users “how would you feel if you could no longer use the product?” and measure the percent who answer “very disappointed.”
The clear indicator of the product market fit for ‘It Wasn’t Me”, was the callers into the radio station at Oahu.
All six of them [phone lines] were going off. [19:40]
> ‘Hey Brotha, who this right now on the radio?’
This song reached everybody on the island of Oahu [20:01]
It was number 1 in every country. [22:01]
If the listeners are CALLING IN and asking for the name of the song, you did something right!
They’d be “very disappointed”, if they didn’t know the name of the song.
Functionally, the listens calling in was the equivalent of the “survey” where they were saying they’d be very disappointed if they didn’t show up.
Click the the video between Product market fit. 19:20 – 20:15
The second you SEE IT, you get it!
Bonus Gem: Synchronicity
“Looking back now, the story of ‘It Wasn’t Me’ is just a series of happy accidents.” [24:09]
Steve Jobs in his infamous graduation speech claimed:
“You can only connect the dots looking backwards.”Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech
I believe you can connect the dots going FORWARD—using synchronicity and coincidences!
[NOTE: There is a Stanford Trained Psychiatrist (and Synchronicity expert researcher) supports this idea.]
Just like Shaggy’s creative path, unfolded, through a series of “happy accidents.”
Had the manager not ACCIDENTALLY heard the song…the song wouldn’t have been on the album.
Had the DJ not ripped “that shit off Napster in Hawaii.”
Had none of that occurred, had they not MADE (and finished the song).
HOW THIS RELATES TO YOU
If you a stuck or feeling on the “fence” about releasing a creative idea you have, do it—Connect the dots going forward!
If you want to learn more about how to take your personal journey and turn in it into success by working with me 1-on-1 click here.
Bonus: Business Process Automation.
Shaggy is CLEARLY a business automation expert.
Afterall, the entire hook of the song was “if-then” logic flow control!
Here’s what the loop looks like:
He had made ONE decision that removed multiple decisions.
“I always brag and say, 11 people bought homes and started their lives from that album.”shaggy
A successful venture can change the lives of the people around you.
Stretching the definition of a venture in many ways:
- A successful startup
- A Powerful Non-Profit
- A HIT SONG !
As you listen to Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me,” now you can see the entrepreneurial journey he went through to reach this success.
Now follow suit and do the same!