In Praise of Patreon

Weekly Roundup October 12, 2018

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Anyone who knows me or who follows my podcast knows that I'm an advocate unequivocally for the free market when it comes to economics.

I know... Music and economics are strange bedfellows, right?

But we're entrepreneurs, so it's kind of important to have at least a tiny bit of knowledge on the topic.

(Mental note: Discuss economics on the podcast in the future.)

Well, one of the most popular mediums for artists to build and sustain a living sharing their art is Patreon.

Last week, Patreon announced some changes to how they would collect fees from patrons and distribute them to the artists.

I'm not completely in the know as to what these changes were because I don't use Patreon that much (I have a small account for the Cornet Revolution, but that's about it.)

But it evidently caused quite a stir among Patreon's own patrons: the artists.

So much so that they published this blog post on why they're not going to implement these changes after all. (It's a short read. I recommend reading it even if you don't use Patreon.)

I'm not trying to get on Patreon's case here. It's just a great example of how the free market works.

A business makes a change. Their customers hate it and let them know it. Said business goes back to the way things were until they can rework the plan.

When I was in the Army, the chances of anything like that happening were absolutely zero.

I remember when after years of lobbying, we were allowed to wear black socks with our fitness training uniforms. It was sold as a big deal.

If you work for a big corporation, you won't fare much better - especially when decisions of more magnitude than buying a new stapler need to be approved "by corporate."

Again, I'm a fan of Patreon. Their willingness to go back to Plan A after hearing complaints from their patrons shows that they really are customer-oriented, that they put their customers needs above their own.

So, not good on them for making a hasty decision without doing their due diligence - but good on them for seeing the need to fix it right away.

That is the kind of response we'll need when our patrons tell us what about our services they don't like.

And they will!

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