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Ethan Kaplan On Origin Stories: Pedigree or Passion?

This guest post comes from Ethan Kaplan who blogs at blackrimglasses.com.

Last night at an event I had to introduce myself to a few people and as I’ve been doing since I left WMG, it goes something like:

“I worked as the head of technology at Warner Bros. Records and Warner Music Group until I left in January”

That is a pedigree origin story.

A friend who I was with admonished me however: “Tell the real story!”

Now, the real story I’ve always been a bit embarrassed by, and proud of.

I ran a fan site for R.E.M. since I was 16, and started working at their label in 2005.”

That is the passion origin story.

This begs the question: what matters most, pedigree or passion? Is it better to be defined by what you did, or why you did it?

I don’t have the answer to that.

But I suppose I’ll have to get used to answering the question of “what do you do?” with “well, when I was 16, I was really bored one evening….”


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