Being Wrong Doesn’t Matter, Being Curious Does.
In the comments, a reader said that if I continue to make bold predictions and declare things "dead" that I'm increasing my chances of being proven wrong.
That somehow, being "wrong" is something I should be ashamed of. Notably, said reader argued I'm only helping solidify the "Hype" in Hypebot. And my answer to this is? I don't care.
Bruce and I don't publish here day in and day out because we're hoping to be right. In fact, I'd argue that there are many, many things that we hope we're wrong about. But still dear reader, I'm afraid that you're missing the point or, at the very least, misunderstanding why I write about the music industry. I understand that in order to be taken seriously as a publication that we can't constantly make bold, yet wrong predictions and declare multiple facets of the music industry dead.
This I understand. To this, I offer you this thought: being wrong doesn't matter, being curious does. I may be proven wrong about many things in my lifetime and feel foolish for ever have making such unwise, rash predictions. I may live to see that in the next thirty years that commercial radio still thrives, the major labels aren't screwed, and the CD-Release Complex remains. That's all fine with me.
I don't have anything at stake here except my name: Kyle Bylin. I don't have investments in any companies and financially I'm not set to benefit no matter what future unfolds. Do I have biases? Sure. Who doesn't? And I may have a few strong opinions too. But I don't care if a year from now someone writes a post and rubs my nose in the fact that I was wrong about this, that, or the other thing.
When I was twenty, I read the book Tribes by Seth Godin. In it, he talks about the difference between a fundamentalist and a curious person. "A fundamentalist is someone who considers whether or not a fact is acceptable to his faith before he explores it," he writes. "As opposed to a curious person who explores first and then considers whether or not he wants to accept the ramifications." Once I read that, I discovered that I was in fact a "curious person" and decided to remain one.
For nearly three years of my life, I've devoted my waking hours to thinking about the music industry and trying to understand the chaos of our times. When I write an essay or daily post, I don't consider whether or not an idea to acceptable to my faith, my beliefs, before I explore it. I just explore. Once my journey ends, I publish it for all of you to see. But each post doesn't represent different journeys, because they're all part of a much larger adventure. I don't know where I'm going or what direction I'm heading. You'll be just as surprised about where we end up as I am. Why? Because. Curiosity is the beauty of a journey that may never arrive at an absolute answer. That's what this is. Curiosity. Therefore, I hope you dear reader will ride along with me on this adventure. I can't promise that I'll be right or wrong. I can't promise that I my predictions will be correct. No one can.
The only thing that I can promise you is that if you join me on this adventure is that we're going to create chaos, challenge the status quo, ask big questions, and most of all, remain curious. I promise. Before I ask you to join me on this adventure or go full speed ahead, however, there's one final thing I should clarify.
I'm not technically qualified to lead you. I don't have a fancy degree. I don't have a proven career track. I barely even have "real world" experience. It doesn't matter.
Why? Because. I care more than you. This matters to me. The music industry just so happens to be a part of this, and I'm quite passionate about that too.
So what is this exactly?
I'm not sure. But this or it rather, is what drives me to write upwards of two to three thousand words of copy every day, put together several thousand word essays, read dozens of books, and think about the future of the music industry for hours on end. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I decided to be curious and engage in honest intellectual inquiry, which is by its nature distrustful of authority, fiercely independent, and often subversive. Maybe it's because I understand that for every answer there arises another question. And upon discovering that question, I burn down the world in hope of answering it too.
Is the answer that I arrive at always going to be right? No. But what you must understand dear reader is that I'm not done exploring yet. Not now. Not ever.
Each is essay is a journey, but this blog an adventure. Are you prepared to create the chaos, ask big questions, and be curious? Then join me. Join us.
We're not afraid of being wrong. We're afraid of not being curious enough. Being wrong doesn't matter, being curious does. Fear of being wrong hinders curiosity.
Stay curious. Create the chaos. And don't let anyone tell you different.