A. New and innovative ways to market jazz recordings
B. The successful introduction of a major product change
C. An organizational model for managers to consider
D. Appropriate standards for evaluating a musical performance
NARRATOR:Listen to part of a discussion in a business management class.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Last week we were talking about innovation in business. Remember the graph I showed you?
FEMALE STUDENT:The curve that looked sorta like the letter S?
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Right, Kathy. Let's take another look. Do you recall, Kathy, how this S-curve represents the life cycle of innovation?
FEMALE STUDENT:Sure. Starting on the left, the new innovation … let’s say it’s a new product … almost nobody has heard of it—or at least nobody takes it seriously.Then its popularity increases, slowly at first, till sales really start accelerating quickly—there where the line goes up steeply in the middle—as more and more people get excited about the product and they go out and buy it.But eventually, moving over to the right side there, interest begins to fade and the growth in sales levels off.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:At which point, the market has matured for that product.We can still sell it, and even marginally improve it. But it’s not new anymore—it no longer offers exciting growth opportunities.So a business leader might face a choice—Either stick with this old, safe, proven idea … or move on to the next big idea, a fresh innovation.But innovations are risky—they may succeed, or they may not.[Pivoting to take a new angle] OK, a case study—George, I’ve heard your Thursday night program on the campus radio station. You like jazz, right?
MALE STUDENT:[Startled] Huh? Uh,yeah, sure.But what — [interrupted]
FEMALE PROFESSOR:[interrupting] OK, stay with me here. On your program last week, I heard an old Miles Davis album. Tell us about that.
MALE STUDENT:Uh Miles Davis, trumpet. I played a CD of a jazz classic he recorded in the 1950s, called Kind of Blue.It's my all-time favorite jazz recording.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Mine too. Would you call that recording innovative -for its time?
MALE STUDENT:Absolutely. Nothing at all like what he’d recorded up till then—I mean, before that, Miles Davis played things so complex that … well, nobody could touch him.But this was something totally new.Suddenly his playing sounded so amazingly simple.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:And how did people react to this new sound of Miles Davis?
MALE STUDENT:Well, some were disappointed... even angry ... that he'd abandoned his old style.But soon, most of his fans came around, and this new style appealed to a whole new group of jazz listeners.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:I guess so!Kind of Blue became the most commercially successful album in the history of jazz.So is there a lesson here, anyone? Think of that S-curve I showed you.
FEMALE STUDENT:Oh, so his old style of jazz was actually a kind of product, one that’d been developed pretty thoroughly… and he’d taken it about as far as he could.So he decided to take a big risk and try something totally new.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Exactly. Something completely fresh and "cool" ... and people couldn't get enough of it.It was a brand new beginning that left lots of room for further development, artistically.And, as a market analyst, you could say that with Kind of Blue, he was jumping to the beginning of a brand new S-curve, with all that potential for profitable development still ahead of him.But let me ask you something else.This isn't just the music of a single performer,[downspeak] is it, George?
MALE STUDENT:Hardly. More like a group of all-stars.Along with Miles Davis on trumpet, there's Bill Evans on piano, John Coltrane on tenor saxophone。
FEMALE PROFESSOR:[Interrupting] Individually, perhaps the best in the business.But thinking of Miles Davis as the leader of this group, how did he organize and manage all this incredible talent?
MALE STUDENT:Well, he’d lay out the general outline, the theme, and then give each of these star performers, one by one, the creative freedom to really show what they could do with it on their own instrument … to improvise and add something new, but always within the same general theme.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:So Miles Davis gets credit for recruiting the best jazz talent anywhere....and getting them to collaborate on a fantastic musical product.Everyone see the business parallels here?And give each of these musicians credit for seizing the opportunity and creating great individual performances.But good jazz is more than just outstanding individual performances, isn't it?
MALE STUDENT:Definitely. Jazz musicians need to listen to each other and go with the flow.Like, one time, somebody goofed and came in a little early.But everyone else adjusted and went right along with it, as if nothing were wrong, and this mistake came out like just another … unexpected creative interpretation.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Thanks, George. Great insights... ones that would certainly apply to what we're studying here.
学生：迈尔斯·戴维斯。小号。我播了一张爵士乐唱片，是他在20世纪50年代录的，叫《Kind of Blue》。这是我一直最爱的爵士唱片。
教授：我想也是。《Kind of Blue》变成了爵士乐史上最成功的专辑（从商业角度来说）。大家能学到些什么吗？想想我展示给你们看的S曲线。
教授：对！完全新鲜的，酷毙了的事物。人们怎么听都听不够。这是一个全新的开始，从艺术角度来说，还有很多进一步发展的空间。作为市场分析师，你可以说，有了《Kind of Blue》，他跳到了一个全新S曲线的开端， 以后还有巨大的利润增长潜力。让我问些别的问题。这不仅仅是一位演奏家的音乐，对吧，乔治？
学生：他列出总体大纲和主题， 然后给每一位明星演奏家（每一个）创作的自由， 让他们展示他们能用自己的乐器表演出什么，来即兴创作和增加新元素，但总是要保持同一个总主题。
P：Do you recall, Kathy, how this S-curve represents the life cycle of innovation?
S：Sure. Starting on the left, the new innovation … let’s say it’s a new product … almost nobody has heard of it—or at least nobody takes it seriously. Then its popularity increases, slowly at first, till sales really start accelerating quickly—there where the line goes up steeply in the middle—as more and more people get excited about the product and they go out and buy it. But eventually, moving over to the right side there, interest begins to fade and the growth in sales levels off.
P：At which point, the market has matured for that product. We can still sell it, and even marginally improve it. But it’s not new anymore—it no longer offers exciting growth opportunities. So a business leader might face a choice—Either stick with this old, safe, proven idea … or move on to the next big idea, a fresh innovation. But innovations are risky—they may succeed, or they may not.（B）
P：But thinking of Miles Davis as the leader of this group, how did he organize and manage all this incredible talent?（C）