What I Learned About Making Team Changes From Bruce Springsteen

The Boss is the boss of his company, er, band. Are you ready to make the necessary changes too?

As I was growing up in the Philly suburbs in the ’70s, Bruce Springsteen became that one voice that cut through all the clutter and talked directly to me. Years later, most people know him as one of the world’s biggest rock stars. But it didn’t start that way, and at one point early in his career, he had to make two serious changes to his team.

Springsteen was signed by Columbia records in 1972, and over the next two years released two albums that generated average sales. He relied heavily on his New Jersey musician friends when it came time to record those albums. These were friends he had played bars and clubs with, and some had toured relentlessly with him. By 1974, however, he was desperate for that breakthrough album that artists hope for.

As he began to imagine his third album, he heard a sound in his head that was bigger and more powerful than what he had recorded to date. And to achieve his goal, he needed new bandmates. Out went good and loyal musician friends–but less appropriate–drummer Vini Lopez and keyboardist David Sancious. In came Max Weinberg and Roy Bittan.

Does this feel like a startup business to you?

You have to click through to the rest of the article to see how I compare a startups to Bruce Springsteen’s early years.  How could you not?  Just click through to INC.com here.

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

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