Interning at NARM, one of my main responsibilities is compiling information for Music Biz 2013‘s Official Guide, a comprehensive list of the convention’s schedule, speakers, programs, attendees, sponsors, and award winners. The convention will consist of over 100 speakers educating attendees on a variety of topics and issues relating to the music industry. These presenters are CEOs, presidents, VPs, founders, and higher-ups from major and indie labels, traditional and digital distributors, music services, and apps along with a plethora of other companies. I receive and edit the bio of every single Music Biz 2013 speaker. Through this task, I am learning about the paths these people have taken to success. As I aggregate information on more and more people, I have seen that a lot of the most successful people in the industry have made their own way instead of climbing the traditional ladder.

Popular applications like Shazam, Sound Cloud, and Spotify are popping up as a result of the changing nature of music. The demand for digital and mobile media is continuously growing. Bandpage and Bandsintown are both start-ups that are now some of the most used apps on Facebook. Because of the internet and mobile technology, it is easier than ever to make a web service or app. These start-ups fill needs that didn’t used to exist. These needs are being discovered all the time, launching ideas into those who are baffled by why there isn’t already a solution. Gen Y, also called Millennials,  are most familiar with the digital platforms that are popular. These two generations are the most likely to be the early adopters of new media. Because they try it out, they find the problems and create the solutions.

Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for Music features several key players in the industry along with the musicians who are honored. There is only one person on the list who isn’t a musician or part of a digital company. Because young people are most familiar with new media, they have a huge opportunity to create new ways to use new technology. All it takes is an idea and initiative. A little luck never hurt anyone, but I’ve learned from the Music Biz 2013 speakers that anyone can come up with a million (or several million) dollar idea.