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Motown

2019 was the 60th anniversary of Berry Gordy’s founding of the Motown record label. 

During the 1960s and 1970s, Motown was one of the most successful recording companies in the world, with artists including Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, and Martha and the Vandellas.

Why was Motown so successful?

Gordy credits his business model to his experience working on a Ford assembly line, and the impression it left on him. He said, “Every day, I would watch a bare frame rolling down the line and come out as a new car.” He said, “Maybe I could do the same with music. Create a place where a kid off the street could walk in one door an unknown and come out a star.”

Gordy built processes to train the artists, to write songs, and to record them. He also set a goal to have at least ten songs continuously on the Billboard 100. Berry Gordy understood the power of having a process. He founded the Motown label with $800, which he borrowed from his family, and sold it for $61 million in 1988.

Processes are so critical in building a successful business but are often overlooked.  The process concept applies to many things, including sales. The right process can be the difference between success and failure.