Signal vs. Noise reader and JobChoy founder Mark Meeus writes:

I’m not sure if you know Rodrigo and Gabriela and their story, if you do you can stop reading right now ;-)

I want to tell you briefly their story because it is a good example of Getting Real applied to something else than webapps.

Rodrigo and Gabriela started out as heavy-metal guitarists in a band in Mexico City. Their goal in life was to do nothing but music, but it didn’t went well. They both failed to enter the conservatory in Mexico City and their band wasn’t going where they wanted it to go.

So they decided to sell all of their stuff and just keep their acoustic guitars. They moved to Dublin where they started to play in bars and busking on the streets and in metro stations.

In the beginning they played Metallica covers, but soon enough they got bored and started to write their own songs.

They needed the money so they had to ‘optimize’ their music. They would write a song, tested it live to see how much money they got, rewrote it a bit, see how much they got, rewrote it a bit, …. (A/B testing on music.)

After a while they managed to save some money and started to move to other cities, along the way they gained a bigger audience and became ‘known’ in those cities.

In 2006 they released an album (Rodrigo y Gabriela) which took the Irish hit charts by storm, the first instrumental band ever to do that.

Now what’s so ‘real’ about this story?

They didn’t listen to all those people telling them ‘just 2 guitars’ will never work

  • A team of 2!
  • No outside money (with todays technology that’s not so uncommon, but they did it before 2000).
  • Just 2 guitars, underdoing the competition
  • Passion
  • Constraints: no money, no other instruments
  • They hired the right audience and focused solely on them
  • Their music is opinionated
  • Race to live music/testing in the wild, composing a song and immediately playing it at the street.

Apart from all this, their music is really great, but that’s a matter of taste isn’t it?