Apple's Steve Job's Wants To Free Music--But His Message Is About Freeing Consumers To Create Their Own Music.

Bruce Nussbaum

The media this morning is full of Steve Job's online essay (is this his first personal blog effort?) and it frames his agument in terms of pressuring the music industry to drop its opposition to online piracy by ending its use of anticopying software encoded in songs. Jobs argues that the technology isn't working, piracy continues and people would buy more music online if they could share. Remember, songs from one online store or catalogue often don't work on another's player.

But what Jobs is really doing is arguing for something much more important than just music. He's saying that companies everywhere have to end their command-and-control cultures that try to silo off content, products, services, wahtever and and sell it directly to customers. There is a new world of co-creation out there with people demanding that they shape their own experiences, their own products. And companies have to provide both the tools and bits and pieces of the content to help them along. Think Home Depot when it still was retail focussed, with really smart employees offering advice and selling stuff to people to help them design and build their bathrooms and kitchens.

Corporate culture is moving toward a helping, empowering culture. Think about it. And read Job's online. It's more than music.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.