Impossible Cultural Infrastructure

Or, why everyone wants to build a better music and books startup

I was a mentor for seedcamp - an accelerator and one of the startups was building a books social network. When we spoke I told them I too had a books startup! This energized them and we had an excitable conversation about this idea that had captured both of us.

In reality, meeting someone who’s had the same idea as you and failed should be dishartening. Especially when you bump into them. High-density-failed-ideas. These cultural plumbing ideas that never work.

Two ideas that everyone has had, that also never work:

It’s 2019 and there’s still no way to convert playlists between Spotify and Google Music. I think there’s a “market” for this idea but there isn’t. Why not?

Cultural markets. Markets for culture.

And yet.

Spotify could build cultural infrastructure. A playlists app.

I built various things here.

7books FY Spotify

Books list on my new wiki Music list on my new wiki Gdocs playlist scraper / converter

These ideas are doomed. This path is littered with bodies.

Sonny - vinyl subscription Brian - record night

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This post was written by Tom Critchlow - blogger and independent consultant. Subscribe to join my occassional newsletter: