4 things the Ramones can teach us about business.

The Ramones! When they were making their iconic 2-minute blasts of amphetamine fueled punk rock – nobody cared other than a handful of fans in New York and London. Now they seem to be everybody’s favorite 70’s punk rock band – Sheena is a Punk Rocker just played on my morning rock radio show.

I saw the Ramones in 1977 in London and fell in love. The songs were ridiculously short, they were all introduced the same way (Wuntoothreefore!), and they were the most fun you could possibly have with your clothes on!

The Ramones on my wall
The Ramones on my wall

What do the Ramones have to do with small business? With the benefit of hindsight it’s been revealed that the Ramone “brothers” were tremendous business people (even while being addicted to heroin!) but here are four lessons we can learn from them:

Short & simple works. “I wanna be sedated” clocks in at 2 minutes 29 seconds, the aforementioned “Sheena” at 2:48. I see plenty of websites that are just full of fluff and stuff – words and images just to fill the space. Say just enough to get the person interested and then invite them to contact you – that’s all you need.

Clever shines through. The Ramones songs were dismissed as being “dumb” – yet when broken down and analyzed they were incredibly smart and very funny, just not everybody got the joke. Your smarts and expertise will shine through when presented correctly to the right person – not everyone will get it but the ones that do are your best potential clients.

The brand is more important than individuals. Only two members of the Ramones (Joey & Johnny who by all accounts hated each other) lasted from inception to dissolution – other members including founder Dee-Dee were swapped and changed with regularity and yet their popularity never wavered.  The brand “the Ramones” mattered more to their fans than the individual members. Your lesson – work hard to build your brand so that no matter who’s representing it, it remains successful.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. The Ramones were caricatures made real and they knew it and had fun with it. Bring fun into what you do every day – people will like you better and you’ll probably live longer!

Do you have any Ramone memories? Please share them in the comments below.

Posted by John Tully
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