During halftime of Game 5 in the NBA Finals Samsung and Jay-Z released a commercial advertising Jay-Z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail. 58 seconds into the commercial he makes the statement “We don’t have any rules, everyone’s tryna figure it out. That’s why the internet is like the wild west, The Wild Wild West; We need to write the new rules.”
The American frontier was new uncharted territory that had no administration. There was no set government or guidelines, and as a result people were free to do whatever they wanted. It was a place where raunchy characters lived and mandated. Characters like Billy the Kid who allegedly killed 21 men by the time he was 21 years old, acquiring his first kill at the age of 17. The American Frontier built a reputation for being barbaric and ruthless, and was given the nickname The Wild Wild West.
“Mounting violence persuaded the townspeople to hire a police officer, the first one put on his badge at three o’clock in the afternoon and was dead by eight o’clock that evening.”
CANYON DIABLO, ARIZONA
We are the transition generation. We are the generation that knows the luxury in handwriting a letter to a penpal but we are also the generation that watched our inbox’s fill up with emails. We gamed with friends on our Nintendo 64’s and got to see how Xbox Live redefined gaming with friends. We know the sentimental value of scrapbooking but have seen how convenient and effortless social media has made capturing and sharing moments. We are the “village” who gets to raise this child known as the “internet”. We are the generation that gets to dictate where the internet will lead us and those in the future. Our generation is soon going to be in charge of everything and we must lay our foundations now. Things are changing radically and our thinking must as well.
Case and point.
Artist these days, due to internet, music pirates, and bootleggers, have a much harder time selling copies of their music. On average, the music industry loses about 4.2 billion dollars a year to illegal downloads. Going platinum (selling a million copies) in a week is something that isn’t seen as often and very few have done. Many artist have vocalized their frustrations and have scolded the illegal downloading community. Few artists have tried to find a new way of thinking to solve this issue.
Samsung is giving a million copies of Jay-Z’s upcoming album to Samsung Galaxy smartphone users. What this means, is that Jay-Z sold a million copies to Samsung at $5 per copy for the rights to give away digital versions of the album 72 hours before the release date. Realizing he’ll never win, instead of trying to combat the illegal downloading community he chose to find a way around it; a new way to go platinum. With a new business strategy, he found a way to get paid for his album leaking.
Einstein’s quote is often paraphrased–
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
The old ways we used to do things are crumbling under the pressure of the internet. The internet has caused an absolute paradigm shift towards everything we do. Because of how dynamic the internet is things such as marketing, socializing, and documenting will never be the same. Eventually our education system and methods of government will have to change as well. The internet is new territory and has a lot of room for creativity and freedom. It is young and in need of instruction. We as a generation will soon be in charge, and because of that there is an understanding and a mindset that we need to adopt now.
We Need to Write the New Rules.