Attention is not Success

If at first you don’t succeed, just tell everyone that you meant to fail:

Jered Threatin, known by the mononym “Threatin”, is a solo artist, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Los Angeles, CA. He gained notoriety in 2018 following a publicity stunt on his “Breaking the World Tour” where he manipulated social media numbers, ticket sales, and fabricated a number of fake businesses to fool venues and music industry professionals into booking a European tour where he performed in a sequence of empty rooms. This hoax successfully displayed the music industry’s reliance on social media numbers and image. During the event Threatin released a public statement; “What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this you are part of the illusion.” The stunt became a viral sensation and obtained mainstream media coverage from The New York Times, BBC News, Variety, The Guardian, NME, Rolling Stone Magazine, and many other major publications.

That’s his version, anyhow. This is how an uninterested party described it.

The short version is this guy faked having a major band to book a “European Tour” and no one showed up. Then people proceeded to make documentaries & news stories about this once the venues were upset with being tricked. When you read his website he spins it as all a publicity stunt to “expose how venues rely on bad social media information.” A.K.A. “jokes on YOU! I WANTED no one to show up to my shows!” haha.

Now, there is truth to the wisdom in turning lemons into lemonaide. And few business plans survive contact with the market intact. One has only to consider the convoluted paths to success of Marufuku Co. Ltd., the Connecticut Leather Company, or even, on a much more modest scale, Castalia Library, to understand the wisdom of flexible ambition.

But media attention is not synonymous with success. Any natural disaster attracts more media attention than even the biggest success. The difference can be seen in whether the course has actually been changed or if it is claimed that the obviously inadvertent deviation was the original objective all along.

And if there is one thing that we have learned over time, it is that gammas are always going to gamma and their jokes are always on you.