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You Cannot Change The Wind

Hey there!

When someone responds to me in a particularly wise way, I try to capture that moment.

I got a note back from a potential user of my app, Rehearsal, who unfortunately didn’t have an iPhone or iPad.

(He’d just purchased a Samsung phone, and was wondering if the app was available for Android devices. It isn’t.)

Sometimes, I get very angry and aggressive responses from people when they are told they can’t use Rehearsal on Android phones.

This writer was much more thoughtful in his response. And it’s a useful response for all of us to take full advantage.

He wrote:

I see! Thanks for the reply!

I’ll have to consider getting an iPad to go along with my Galaxy phone. After all, you cannot change the wind, you can only change your sails.

I thought that phrase, you cannot change the wind, you can only change your sails, was great. And really thoughtful.

As artists, we can fall into the trap of thinking we have to reinvent everything.

Or that the way others do it is, unfortunately, their way, and we need to do it our own way.

Or to fight incessantly against what we perceive as the horrors of the way our business works.

Or insist on being “creative” with our resumes, demos, headshots and other tools, railing against industry norms that actually work in our favor.

Or reject a useful tool, like an iPhone or iPad, because we don’t ever go with the flow, and are coolly counterintuitive, and buck the trends, in favor of a less useful, lower quality, lower-priced tool, like Android phones.

All of those moves are attempts to change the wind.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t investigate options, like my potential user did.

And I certainly don’t want you to spend money that you don’t have.

And I certainly want you to change the world with your art (in fact, I’d like to help you).

But when you’re looking at the most successful people in the world, both as artists and as businesspeople, there’s a reason they use best of breed, world class tools and process.

And why they “change their sails” to make those tools the most efficient they can be.

Because it works. And it doesn’t just work, it works well, time and time again.

Remember that the next time you don’t get a call back. Or you are given direction in the booth. Or you send me your demo and I offer the advice that it’s not competitive.

Change your sails. Tack against the wind. If you’re becalmed, get out the oars.

Do what it takes to make things happen. And let me know if I can be one of your crew members.

Hope this helps.

David

11 Responses to You Cannot Change The Wind

  1. Linda DeMetrick January 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

    David, I LOVED this!!! And, such perfect wisdom for the start of a New Year!!!! Thank you so much!!!

  2. Sara Morsey January 6, 2015 at 5:09 am #

    Thanks for this. I do not read your posts everyday. I want to, I just get caught up in the swirl of life. I’m glad I read this one. I certainly admire your career, appreciate your advice, and follow faithfully.

  3. Stu Norfleet January 6, 2015 at 6:30 am #

    David,

    AGAIN, sage and thoughtful advise!

    Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Stu Norfleet

  4. Lori J. Moran January 6, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    David,

    You are so smart and wise. What you have to say is so relevant. I always read it follow your advise.Thank you.

    Lori J. Moran

  5. marlon braccia January 6, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    Hit’s home, David. I’m aware that the same independent spirit that makes me a “never climbed in the box,” inventive creator, brave ‘n courageous seeker/non-conformist can also work against me.

    It doesn’t diminish the strength of our traits for any of us to also examine how those very traits that got us so far in our paths, also have a shadow side that can prevent further development in our lives. At the onset of the new year, it seems a good time to take stock of that to which we may on too tightly. (That’s anything we think of as “that’s just who I am”) Shall we vow to relax it? Apply it judiciously, not automatically? Ha! Who’s with me on this one?

    Lovingly,
    Marlon

  6. Debby Barnes January 6, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    You’re ACE, DHL XVII. I’m so pleased you used this particular quote to stir us. I always appreciate what you have to say and the way you say it! :)

  7. John Bilar, Jr. January 6, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    “Change the sails”..a thought elegantly put to words.
    Beautifully articulated, David. Well Done… thanks for your contribution.
    Best wishes for a safe, prosperous and happy new year.
    Kind regards,
    JB

  8. Rob Marley January 8, 2015 at 6:01 am #

    I like the saying, but this post comes across like an informercial for Apple. Why design an app that only works on one platform? Wouldn’t it make more business sense to reach a bigger audience? Seven Android devices are sold for every 1 IOS.

    Instead of changing sails, why not build a boat that can accommodate more passengers?

    • David H. Lawrence XVII January 8, 2015 at 11:50 am #

      Now you’re talking about my wind, not his. Unfortunately, overall popularity does not equal compensation or business intelligence, nor does it equate to specific penetration in the acting/performance market. Believe me, I’d love to have a sustainable product for Android, but it’s not really possible.

      Here’s the full response I send to anyone who asks why I don’t have an Android version of Rehearsal. I’ve chosen not to send link after link from the development and app marketing community showing how it’s next to impossible to make money with a paid app on the Android platform.

      NAME,

      I appreciate you writing with your request. Unfortunately, we do not currently have a version of Rehearsal for the Android platform, nor do we have any plans to create one.

      We certainly understand how popular the Droid OS is, and how popular the devices that run them are for the general public, but it would be far more difficult for us to produce one single app for all the different Android devices and OS versions than it is for the very stable, very closed, very standardized world of iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch development. These Apple devices are far and away the most common devices carried by members of the casts and crews working on network TV and studio films, which is our target market.

      We are watching the marketplace, and if that changes, and if the development for various Android devices with all their different screen sizes, all their different control surfaces, all their different power levels gets easier and more manageable, we’ll be right there. But for now, there is a very strong correlation with iOS and professional entertainment – the number of professional apps for iOS is staggering, and is changing the way Hollywood makes their product.

      Apple’s iOS adoption rate for iOS7 is around 93%, and adoption for 8 is on a similar steep trajectory. But the various flavors of the Android OS in use, some earlier versions of which we couldn’t program for, is much more fragmented. According to Google itself, KitKat, the latest version, is used by under 10% of Android owners. Jelly Bean, the previous version of the OS, is only used by about a third of the user base, split amongst three sub-versions. Over half of the users use a version older than Ice Cream Sandwich (4.03 and 4.04) and more people use Gingerbread (2.3.3+) than any other version of the OS. That would be like having most of your users still on the iOS 4.

      In addition, and this is the biggest barrier to entry for us, the piracy rate in the Android space, because Google refuses to police it, is by some accounts as high as 95% on paid apps such as ours. That makes it even more unattractive to us as a marketplace – to spend 10s of thousands of dollars to develop something, only to have it cracked and made available for free everywhere.

      By some estimates, it takes mere hours before a paid app like ours is cracked once it enters the Google Play store. That’s not a market I want to be in.

      Finally, the development costs on the Android platform are far more expensive than for iOS. In one economic analysis we did when we put out for bids, the costs could be as high as 400% more for the developers, and there are no development tools that will create efficient code for both platforms at once.

      Should Android begin to crack that market and correct the piracy situation, and if development costs become reasonable, we’ll be there with an Android version of Rehearsal. But until then, I have to be very careful how I spend what money comes in from this app, and I’m choosing the best route for the largest portion of my customers.

      I hope this makes things more clear – I don’t harbor any ill will toward Android, but I need to be a prudent business person, just like I am in my acting career. And that has served me very well.

      David

  9. Dale Waddington January 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    “you cannot change the wind, you can only change your sails”. Love it! Reminds me of the serenity prayer. I appreciated both of your thought out responses David. Nicely done.

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