So how much do you think a world-class violinist make? AND What happens when you take away context and branding, allowing skill and innate talent to speak for themselves?
That's what the Washington Post wanted to find out.
So on January 12, 2007, Washington Post reporter Gene Weingarten conducted a social experiment in collaboration with Joshua Bell, grammy award-winning violinist.
We'll tell you later what happened when Joshua played for an hour at a local Washington DC metro. But first, do you know who Joshua Bell is?
Virtuoso and Former Child Prodigy
Born in Bloomington, Illinois in 1967, Joshua demonstrated an innate propensity towards virtuosity. His parents, both psychologists, started him on the violin at the age of four after his mother discovered that he had stretched rubber bands across the handles on his dresser in order to pluck out piano music. Today, Joshua Bell is one of the finest violinists in the world, playing to packed audiences around the globe for over $1000 a minute.
Showmanship and Branding
Along with his unique combination of showmanship and virtuosity, an intrinsic part of Joshua's public persona is his violin. His Gibson Stradivarius was built in in 1713 and is worth around $3.5 million. In fact, it's regarded as one of the most beautiful-sounding instruments in the world today.
At the height of his career, Weingarten asked Joshua to take part in an interesting social experiment. Specifically, Weingarten asked him to play in L'Enfant Plaza, a local Washington DC subway, for an hour in the morning, when over a thousand people would be walking by.
On January 12, 2007, wearing a hat and street clothes, Joshua played through his repertoire of classics with his violin case open.
And how much did the world’s finest violinist make that day? A whopping $32.17.
Yes, as Weingarten notes, people pitched pennies at Joshua Bell.
Why is that?
Apparently, Weingarten's experiment proved that you need context and visibility when you position value in front of people. And you need to position that value in front of the right people at the right time. In essence, context and visibility really matter.
Genius doesn't always make it on its own if it remains cloaked within the shadows of anonymity.
Weingarten interviewed experts to get their opinion on what happened that day in L'Enfant Plaza. They essentially confirmed that context and OVERALL visibility matter.
What does Joshua Bell have to do with Wipebook
You may be asking yourself what Joshua's story has to do with our Wipebook white board notebooks.
WELL... Using a Wipebook gives your thoughts an opportunity to evolve.
It provides a playground where you can develop your art, craft, trade, or career -- whatever it may be.
In young Joshua's case, placing rubber bands on his dresser drawer handles provided this initial playground.
It allowed an exceptionally gifted toddler to show his innate propensity for music. His parents recognized that talent, and gave him the necessary encouragement and training to reach stardom.
So explore your ideas with Wipebook, hone your craft, and make the fruit of your efforts visible.
Will you become famous and make $1000 a minute? Nobody knows for sure.
BUT WE DO KNOW THIS: You'll NEED the perfect combination of training, experience, context, and skill to in order to provide undisputed value to the right people at the right time like Joshua Bell does.
You never know though.