Don’t fight pirates, learn from them

I have been meaning to read Matt Mason’s The Pirate’s Dilemma for some time now.  I finally got around to it this past weekend and the wait was well worth it.

“The Pirate’s Dilemma tells the story of how youth culture drives innovation and is changing the way the world works. It offers understanding and insight for a time when piracy is just another business model, the remix is our most powerful marketing tool and anyone with a computer is capable of reaching more people than a multi-national corporation.”

What makes this book so unique is that it combines lessons on business, marketing, culture, youth, and music into one.  All in all, it creates a read that is not only entertaining but also informative.  Here are just a few of the quotes/parts I found most interesting:

  • For more than a hundred years, capitalists have been marketing youth culture back to people, attaching cultural significance to goods and services through advertising.
  • This is the story of how pirates might save this sinking ship. Often pirates are the first to feel the winds of change blowing. The answer to the Pirate’s Dilemma lies in the stories of pirates sailing into waters uncharted by society and the markets, spaces where traditional rules don’t apply. The answers lie in the history of youth culture.
  • “Today the most disruptive voices are no longer the artists’ voices being piped over the corporate airwaves,” Marc Ecko told Royal magazine in 2006. “It’s the voice of the pirate, the pirate has become the producer. The indy-punk ‘f the man’ message is no longer a hook in a song. It’s scary. It’s hungry. It’s Godzilla. He’s knocking on the door uninvited, ready for dessert.”
  • Graffiti is the blowback from centuries of advertising and the privatization of common spaces, which has armed corporations with new branding tools as much as it encouraged people to counteract these intrusions.
  • Successful pirates adapt quickly to social and technological changes, but this is true of all entrepreneurs. What pirates do differently is create new spaces where different ideas and methods run the show.
  • Web 2.0 is all about the pirate mentality.

I highly encourage you to pick up the book yourself, either by purchasing it online or downloading it. 


2 Responses to Don’t fight pirates, learn from them

  1. Chris Wilson says:

    I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but here is a link to a YouTube video that entertainingly summarizes the book. –

  2. Brian Siegel says:

    Great perspectives, nice ‘new logo’ too! later, B

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