Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jonathan Coulton on NPR's Planet Money

I've been listening to Planet Money since it started a few years ago. They cover a lot of subjects: most of them economic-related, some only somewhat related (their story on Myspace - to me, that's not a story about the economy, it's a story about one company's economy). One of their more recent episodes was about a musician I've been a fan of for several years, Jonathan Coulton

Jonathan Coulton on NPR's Planet Money

One of the commentators understood that Coulton is a rarity - an organic success. The others didn't seem to get it. One person said "show me how I can replicate his success. How do I get my own 'Code Monkey'?"). don't.

Jonathan Coulton probably didn't know he had his own "Code Monkey". No one knows when they have a potential success. It just happens. That's why financial success is so hit and miss in the entertainment industry. He was probably as good a musician before "Code Monkey" hit big. He had the talent to start off with, but he also had the luck of recording a song that resonated with a lot of people (tech people with probably very good incomes), and he had the luck of doing so at the beginning of online marketing. This was way before Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black

He's also probably pretty smart with his money. I doubt he's wasting it on drugs and limos. He has an apartment in New York and probably spends his money on his kids.

He's been wildly successful at selling his own music online. It's a great inspiration to other artists, but no one should expect to get their own "Code Monkey".

Jonathan Coulton's website.
Zombie song!
Jonathan Coulton's Twitter

**Updated. Jonathon Coulton posted a reply to the article. I agree that calling his success a fluke was a sucky thing to say...kind of offensive, actually.

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