for Budding Entrepreneurs:
Update August 2014
Without question an ironic, tragic and complex turn of a case
On May 13, nine days after a lawsuit was filed over the royalties in Searching for Sugarman, the director of the documentary reportedly stepped in front of a speeding train in Stockholm. Weeks later, Rodriquez was sued for breaching his songwriting contract back in the 1970’s…for the music he never knew was selling in South Africa.
Evaluating Material from Reliable Sources
Government, academic, and other authoritative sources rank high on the list of resource providers that offer credible information, but consider the following examples:1. Rodriguez: The rock star who didn’t know it 60 minutes reported on a 70-year-old laborer living in poverty in Detroit last Sunday, except this wasn’t your typical day laborer… an informative segment that takes a strange twist: Consider:
Several years earlier, a cash-poor Swedish independent filmmaker becomes fascinated by the folklore of a deceased Latino musician with a cultlike following in South Africa. He bootstraps an independent project using an Apple app to create a film that costs a few dollars.
The filmmaker discovers that the musician, long thought dead, is alive and living in Detroit… a musician more popular than the Beatles in South Africa during the apartheid revolution, according to 60 minutes.
An amazing story, but with a gaping hole: Who exactly profited from the musicians talent, and who was responsible for his overall marketing while he sold half a million records in South Africa? 60 minutes failed to explore this topic, merely noting that Rodriguez didn’t receive any royalties for his early work…
2. U.S. Small Business Book on home-based business published by the U.S. Government: Excerpt:
“Do you close deals with a handshake rather than insisting on written contracts and guarantees?” Good entrepreneurs are often comfortable with something less binding than written contracts….”
The paragraph also noted that, for many entrepreneurs, honoring a handshake is a matter of honor… Really?
3. Excerpt from a business book published by a leading Publisher:
“Get, borrow or steal your startup idea, it doesn’t have to be original…” Really?
4. Entrepreneur Magazine published a print edition last year entitled Bootstrap Your Business. It was then placed online with a different title: How to Bootstrap Your Business.
An informative article, if you didn’t mind learning how the CEO of an online babysitting co-op freelanced as a management consultant while waiting for her startup to become profitable. Two other companies were mentioned in the article with descriptions of their progress, but the overall content would not inform readers how-to bootstrap a venture.
Conclusion: content from highly credible sources doesn’t necessarily mean the content is 100 percent complete or reliable; sometimes, content from a highly reliable source misses the mark completely.
60 minutes has a reputation for investigative, expose journalism, but that slant was not included in their segment on Rodriguez.
The paragraphs listed in the government publication and the business book are recipes for disaster. And, although Entrepreneur Magazine offers a lot of good content, the article mentioned based on the misleading title is lemonade.
Goodman, M. (November 2011). How to bootstrap your business. Entrepreneur Magazine.