Lady Gaga, Business Models & Disruptive Innovation

I wrote about Lady Gaga and her business model some time ago. Her disruptive businessUSA Today photo. model accomplished in 18 months what it took Madonna a decade to do.  Today I read an article that said she and her creative director, Laurieann Gibson, had parted ways. Is Gaga following the same path as most maturing business models or is disruptive innovation about to take place… again?

Most businesses (celebrities included) follow a very common lifecycle – start-up, growth, maturation/plateau, and eventually, decline – albeit some businesses remain “mature” (read ‘flat) for years.  There’s even a course at Harvard where students can study “strategic marketing in creative industries” including the likes of Gaga, LeBron James and others.  But the common path for businesses is to “manage risk” and take a normal path of business sustaining innovation.  Only infrequently does a mature business model (e.g., Apple) not only continue its sustaining innovation but also invest in a strategic disruptive innovation approach.

I don’t know if the parting of ways between Lady Gaga and her creative director (who’s been with her from the start) is a strategic move intended to plot a new course and disrupt the industry yet again like she did when she first came on the scene. I doubt it. It was probably a relationship issue just like the news and tabloid entertainment media says.  But if she’s a smart business woman (and she may be), she’ll put together a disruptive innovation strategy that once again separates her from all the rest, something very few in the entertainment world (including Madonna) have been able to do… or businesses in general, for that matter. But those that do, like Apple, break away from everyone else.