1. “I had a group, I was the singer, I was the leader,” John Lennon said of The Quarry Men, the band that evolved into the Beatles. So, when Lennon considered the talented Paul McCartney as a potential bandmate, he had to choose between improving the group and holding on to power.
LESSON: Put your ego aside.
2. In June 1962, the Beatles earned an audition with producer George Martin, signed a demo deal with EMI and became the talk of U.K. music circles. Two months later, they fired their good friend and fan favourite, drummer Pete Best. The reason: Best just wasn’t that good.
LESSON: Make the toughdecisions about your staff before it’s too late.
3. Listen to the Beatles, and you’ll hear the influences of everyone and everything from Bing Crosby and the Everly Brothers to Broadway musicals and baroque composers (although Lennon once quipped, “I wouldn’t know a Handel from a Gretel”).
LESSON: Borrow the best ideas.
4. Lennon and McCartney formed the most formidable songwriting duo of the 20th century. How? They complemented each other well: McCartney was an optimist who liked show tunes and sang like an angel; Lennon was a gravel-throated rocker and a pessimist.And they collaborated brilliantly, while continually trying to outdo one another.
LESSON: Find the right business partner.
5. Musical magicians? Yes. Financial wizards? No. The Beatles left their early money matters to band manager Brian Epstein, whose only business experience had been running a record store. As a result, the group probably sacrificed more money than they made.
LESSON: Have good financial advisors.