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The musical equation of business success

Insights -> Trends and News

Much of the current software trends such as industrialization of development, automation of Testing, Continuous Integration, objective measurement of productivity, automated deployment, and software factories, hide a common reality: they limit our creative vocation, our ingenuity.

However, many of the professionals in the Information Technology (IT) sector are called "Engineers".

If we dig into the roots of the word engineer, etymologically we find a certain historical paradox: engineer is associated both with the ability to operate machines and the ability to create them.

This is our paradox:

An engineer can

develop, build, operate or maintain what has already been created,

or on the contrary, you can create, design, innovate.

In other words, much more creative, more musical:

An engineer can both interpret and compose.

Therefore, in this sector we are all musicians, who are torn between the mechanical task of interpreting something already created, and another if possible more "cruel" task, the task of composing. Continuing with this metaphorical journey and applying it to business management, we could say that the company's strategy defines and marks the style of music to be produced. On the contrary, the interpretation of the music and the assigned interpreters - in the defined style - make up the business tactic.

In short, each company chooses how it wants to address the market (strategy = musical style), and relies on interpreters to do so (tactic = interpretation). There are many ways to go to the market, and it is desirable to have a staff of interpreters (Orchestra) of various types for this.

Thus, the musicians that make up the Business Orchestra could interpret:

  • Simple, but effective melodies, successful for many years thanks to a recognizable interpretation.
  • Complex melodies, very technical and loaded with virtuosity. But probably without success.
  • Still unfinished melodies, perhaps laying the groundwork for future hits.
  • Innovative melodies with success, or without success.
  • And a long etcetera ... The list is endless, this is the greatness of the music and the capacity of the Orchestra.

In the end, the company, when “producing” music, what it wants is to be successful …… .. how obvious! Truth? But si define success as recognition (or influence) in life, and that it is sustainable, then the philosophical burden of our simple definition of business success runs much deeper.

La business success equation It is a combination of several variables: getting the musical style right (strategy), finding the balance between resources dedicated to interpretation and composition; And, of course, it depends on the melody itself and the motivation with which the musicians interpret what is established. You may not be innovative in musical styling, but a musician who interprets a piece, if he does it without passion, without honesty and without motivation, it will end up noticing. If it is not played with motivation, with "duende" in interpreting what is already recognizable, it is on the way to failure. Therefore the equation needs to develop equally in all respects.

Then, How is it possible to be successful in business in today's times?

Where are we headed?

Let's see it with a graphic example. The initiative of Google -Music Timeline- It consists of the representation in a timeline of the most relevant (influential) musical works throughout history. And the different genres and styles that make up his particular vision of the history of music overlap.


The graph proposed by Google in its Music Timeline is, in short, perfectly comparable to the evolution of our sector. Where do we go, if we apply the same musical metaphor? These are my reflections:

  • Impact of globalization. We are in a much richer, more diversified context, with much more specific styles (strategies) that are the embryo of new melodies that will bring future success. We are currently experiencing a true revolution in musical styles, embryos of influence and recognition. Today's spectrum is much richer and more competitive than 25 years ago.
  • Will the “traditional” styles that we have been interpreting continue to be successful?? It seems that music performed by "traditional" musicians will continue to have its audience, but for how long or in what way?


  • Renewed or die. Will the market be able to absorb the entire population of musicians of the “traditional” style (predominant in the last 25 years) to adapt to a market with more diverse tastes and less faithful to a single style?
  • Prejudices. The great gurus of emerging styles are or have been great musicians mastering “traditional” techniques. However, the vast majority of "traditional" musicians do not recognize the value or authenticity of the success of emerging musical styles. They ignore and despise a whole new generation of new instruments and ecosystems to compose; They repudiate them for moving away from the classical, from the "artisan" - "artistic" conception of music.

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  • Culture of the new generations of musicians. On the contrary, nowadays, with very little ingenuity and little training, anyone can think that they are capable of making music. It is true, the development of technology has demystified the musician, but regardless of style, interpretive honesty, innate vocation and creativity will always be determining factors of differentiation.

With the game board already raised and with music as the guiding metaphor, I invite you to deepen your reflections. And I include some questions that generate curiosity and need:

What music, what style do you think is played mostly in your well-known business environment?

Are sufficient means and resources in place to compose influential music in the future in that environment?

How do you think the described "musical revolution" -particular to our sector and our environment- is being faced?

Is it possible to fight for success in the coming years by exclusively maintaining the current interpretive formula?

Are you aware, as "musicians" living in the current era, of the change in which we are already immersed?

As Plato induced in his work The Myth of the CaveAre we left with personal curiosity to recognize the change and continue learning?


It may be true that after all any melody is written with 12 notes. But we will tell about this in a next post 🙂



Pablo rivera

Pablo rivera

Pablo is Director of Operations and co-founder of Panel Sistemas. You can contact him via e-mail at this address.



  1. Miguel Angel

    Congratulations Pablo! The Google Music Timeline has been a discovery for a musical illiterate like me ... and the parallelism that you have drawn, vertiginous, without more.

    I have a bittersweet feeling left after reflecting on your article. In the IT sector, I see people proposing (and executing) new ways of "touching" (?) But the sacred cows, those companies with thousands of employees and elephant inertia, do not convey that same feeling to me. I also find your final revelation about an old myth disturbing ... I am left with the fact that -the thought- breaks the wall.

    By the way, you leave us with duties of the type: «think and clarify, curves are coming», but I would like to know your point of view. Although I am willing to wait for the promised next article and resist the temptation to assault you in the aisles.


  2. Antonio Manuel Martinez Heredia

    I liked the post, I think that both on a musical and business level we are doomed to fusion. That is to say, every day it will be necessary to include different styles, disciplines, professionals in order to achieve the objectives.


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