Let me first describe a distinction between the Monkees and Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan gets laughed or booed off the stage every ten years, whether he wants to or not. He got booed off the stage when he went electric and again when he went gospel, and most recently with his horrendous Christmas album. The Monkees never get booed off stage, because the Monkees play "Last Train to Clarksville" exactly the same way they did it 30 or 40 years ago. Here's the thing: Bob Dylan keeps selling out stadiums and no one goes to see the Monkees, because the Monkees aren't doing anything worth noticing. There are people who have succeeded who just keep playing the same song over and over again, whatever that is that they do.This got me thinking about adaptation and fitness landscapes and all sorts of other interesting topics but before I get into that I really should take a moment to point out that, like so many examples from business gurus, this is complete bullshit.
Big stadium shows are dominated by heritage acts singing decades-old songs. Almost none of these acts have done significant work recently; many of the biggest (the Stones, the Police) haven't even released a full studio album in the past decade. Dylan is an tremendous anomaly here. He's not quite unique (Neil Diamond also recorded some of his most critically and commercially successful material in the past decade), but he is spectacularly unrepresentative.
Just to sum it up:
1. Loads of acts from the Sixties,Seventies and Eighties are selling out concerts;
2. Two or three of them are trying something new;
3. All the rest are coasting by on greatest hits.
From this Godin implies that the key to success is not repeating yourself.