The Beatles and Economics


Why The Beatles?

The Beatles (1960-1970) is considered the most influential popular music act of the 20th century, widely recognized for its influence on popular culture, revolutionizing popular music, and reshaping the industry. In fact, their more than 200 studio recordings contributed to 60 distinct music genres and sub-genres. As the number one selling popular music act, the members of the Beatles have iconic status and an unparalleled global fan base. Their influence, and the inability of other bands and artists to replicate their success, has prompted questions such as: How did the Beatles become so successful? What factors contributed to their success? Why did they break up? Would the Beatles ever re-unite as a band? Would their innovative ways continued if they stayed together? Could another band ever replicate their success?

This book will answer those questions and more using the lens of economics and entrepreneurship.

For something a little closer to our times, check out my review of the movie "Yesterday."

A sneak peak of my book...

The Beatles and Economics will help us answer several controversial questions that have dogged popular discussions of the Beatles since the band’s break up in 1970. Using the lens of economics this book will explore how...

  • The emergence of the Beatles was not serendipitous, but instead a logical (although not inevitable) outgrowth of the economic and social conditions of the post-War generation.
  • The Beatles’ artistic impact was tenuous until 1966.
  • The Beatles’ artistic impact was virtually assured after 1966.
  • The Beatles break-up was inevitable, logical, and rational.
  • Their artistic influence was not contingent on myth and legend built after the tragic death of John Lennon in 1980.
  • Another Beatles-like phenomenon is unlikely to occur again short of a catastrophic social and economic shock, perhaps larger than the one that engulfed the world during World War II.
  • The Beatles phenomenon, while revolutionary, did not represent a “black swan event” in popular music and the industry. In fact, it was an organic, evolutionary building reinforced by entrepreneurial pivoting in music and leveraging the wealth of its brand through incremental innovation.

Preliminary Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. The Black Swan of Popular Music?
  • Chapter 2. Hamburg Start up
  • Chapter 3. The Growth Mindset
  • Chapter 4. How Capitalism Enables Sgt. Pepper's Band to Play
  • Chapter 5. Breaking Up is Hard to Do...But Inevitable
  • Chapter 6. A Second Coming?
  • Chapter 7. Epilogue: Thoughts From the Afterlife.

*  Note: these are subject to revision.  


A Few Pre-Existing Thoughts On The Beatles

This section includes a few articles and downloads on the topic of the Beatles that might interest (or provoke) visitors to my website!

  • Commentary on the astounding achievement represented by Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Presentation at the Association of Private Enterprise Education, April 2018 (pdf)