Hitsville USA

During the 1960s, the record label, Motown records, dominated the charts [1]. Many top artists came from Motown: The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross to name a few. The nickname Hitsville USA was given to its first headquarters.

The model that Motown used was inspired by Henry Ford and the assembly line. They wanted to manufacture hit music tracks just like Ford produced cars.

Thus they churned out music, a lot of music. They didn’t know which one was going to become a hit, but they made it anyways and they tested it on the market. And the thing is, Motown was defined by their hits, no ones remembers the busts.

I think this model is applicable to art and entrepreneurship. Say Becky lived an entire millenia and started 100 companies. She tried her best for each company and she learned more after each one. The likelihood of her succeeding increases after every company. Because she’s getting better and better. Thus, it’s only a matter of time until she makes a hit.

In a way, I’m making my own Hitsville USA by writing everyday. As long as I show up, and try to be better than I was yesterday, some pieces will be a bust but some will stick too. And at that point, people will only remember the hits.


[1] My favorite Motown song is I Want You Back - Jackson 5”. What a pleasure it is watching a young Michael Jackson.

April 3, 2020

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