Why Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”Â is the Greatest Album of All Time
It’s true. Some of you may not want to admit it, but the fact remains so.Why? Two reasons: Innovative use of Video and Redefining the ExperienceMusic videos were in their infancy at the time, and the slick productions of Thriller brought it right to the forefront. This visual component made the music all the more resonant and impactful. The innovative use of the video played a big role too, as past videos were mainly simple concert footage. However, the “œBeat It” video moved the medium into one that told a story, and later,”Thriller” introduced a long-form version of music videos, making the length and production value more akin to a movie than an afterthought. This resulted in brilliant appeal, as I remember the buzz at school be all around what times the video were to be shown on some new channel called MTV and around how well you could mimic the dance moves (Say what you will about Mr. Jackson, but man could he ever dance-I practiced the moonwalk for hours and Mike Kisch from our consumer blog can still do a mean”praying mantis swing” from the Thriller video-)This visual pairing of the music and dance, redefined the experience of the popular music for a generation if not more, and the result was record setting sales – more than any album the Beatles, the Eagles, or any other artist had or has accomplished since. In fact, that experience prompted me to make Thriller the first album I had ever purchased.So maybe that is more detail than you wanted to know about my childhood, but what does this have to do about Service Provider? In addition to being the subject of impassioned debate amongst a group of us at Cisco last week, it represents the same ideals we’ve been speaking of about in terms of the service provider transformation to becoming experience providers – innovation is key, as providers won’t thrive if they stick to the same business models and methods of delivery that they’ve used in the past. It’s not just what they are delivering but how, adding in some new twists to existing services. These services need to be wide ranging, some big, some small-some targeted at the whole market and some targeted to very specific niches or demographics-and all of them delivered quickly and cost-effectively. To do that, they need a flexible IP Next Generation Network, and at Cisco, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with hundreds of providers worldwide to help them achieve just that.Secondly, the focus needs to extend beyond the service”offer” and more towards the end experience. Video changes everything and is core to moving beyond offering one-way or staid transactional activities to more rich, interactive experiences found in a Connected Life whether the user is at home, at work, or on the move. This not only helps the providers increase their relevance in their customer’s daily life but also helps them increase their margin because the value of what they are delivering is expanded.I don’t expect everyone to fess up to owning one of the 40 million copies of Thriller, nor do I expect the one-glove look to be the rage at any upcoming service provider conference, but I do hope that lessons learned outside of telecommunications can be applied to the benefit of this great industry, too, and help providers achieve some new records of their own.