OK, I'm getting pretty tired of all Michael Jackson all the time too, but Umair Haque of the Harvard Media Lab has an excellent post on the Harvard business blog today relating MJ to investment bankers.
Essentially, the argument is that MJ is reported to have made about $300 million in royalties from Sony Music over the last 25 years. Sounds like a lot, right? But it averages out to about $12 mill a year. For the King of Pop? Only $12 mil a year after all those sales?
And that's the problem with the Zombie Economy, as Umair so uniquely puts it. The rest of the money went to the record company, who certainly didn't reinvest it in new products. It all went to Sony shareholders.
Now if you figure that the best and brightest minds that we have to offer have been going into investment banking for the last few decades because they can make 10 or 20 or 30 times what MJ could, and all they did was essentially move assets around instead of actually making something, that's why the US economy is currently in the state it's in.
In order to grow you have to make things, to produce, to nurture, to create. But when you simply recycle assets, the rich just get richer and everyone else just stagnates.
Sure sounds like the music business today, doesn't it?