When I was a teenager, I suffered from the ubiquitous raw vulnerability that is endemic to that time of life. It was felt in all things, but perhaps more so in my musical activities. I knew that, lurking behind a frail facade of some bit of “talent,” the imperfect reality of my true self and its uneven technical skill might be exposed to public view and derision at any moment.
Peter Drucker, the father of modern business management philosophy, once said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” What he meant by this is, the purpose of a business is to create a product that people have never seen before, but once they know what it is, they instantly decide they have to have it. That’s what it means to “create a customer.” We all know of the constant struggle to acquire government funding for arts and arts education, so maybe it’s time to do a fundamental re-assessment. It may be time to think less like a government lobbying group and more like Peter Drucker, and ponder “How can we ‘create a customer’?” Wouldn’t it be nice to be more concerned with how to meet growing demand than how to create it?