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How The Cure Taught Me to Navigate Life (and Product Management)

The Cure 1985

Picture this: It's 1989, I'm a 14-year-old with an insatiable thirst for all things goth and punk with black eyeliner and pale skin to boot. The Cure wasn't just a band to me - they were my midnight moon, illuminating my path through the shadowy labyrinth of adolescence. Fast forward to the present, and I still revel in the thrill of their music, their posters and vinyl records still have a hallowed place in my heart (and my basement).

The first time I saw them live, it was at The Summit in Houston during the 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me' tour. Oh, what a night that was! The music, the energy, Robert Smith's voice reverberating around the arena – it was like a rite of passage. This and every show after over the years has left an indelible mark on my psyche. And just last week, I experienced that exhilarating rush again, this time at Madison Square Garden, leaving me with tears of joy and nostalgia.

My devotion to The Cure was and still is a defining aspect of my identity. I scoured record conventions for hidden treasures and memorabilia, learned every word to every song, and considered each album a sacred text in the canon of my life. Little did I know that these years of gothic fandom were also subconsciously preparing me for my future role as a Chief Product Officer.


Emotionally Intelligent Leadership?

The Cure nailed it with songs like 'The Love Cats.' Robert Smith knew how to capture a mood, evoke emotions, and keep us hooked, much like how I strive to connect with my customers' feelings when designing products today.


The Cure was all about it. They refused to be boxed into one genre. From the punk-infused 'Jumping Someone Else's Train' to the goth-pop of 'Just Like Heaven', they dared to be different, a trait I embody when pushing the boundaries of product design.

Experience as an asset?

The Cure has it in spades. They've been rocking since 1978, and their longevity is testament to their adaptability and relevance - qualities that I constantly strive for in my professional life. From the stage of The Summit in '89 to Madison Square Garden recently, their performances are a reminder that age only enhances, never diminishes, your capabilities.

Dealing with challenges?

The Cure taught me how to face them head-on and with a dash of humor. When I find myself in the mosh pit of product challenges, I channel the spirit of 'Why Can't I Be You?', reminding me to confront problems with optimism and humor.


The magical synergy between Robert Smith and Simon Gallup is the epitome of effective collaboration. Their harmonious teamwork, both in the studio and live on stage, guides me in working seamlessly with my team to compose a successful product.


Robert Smith and Simon Gallup The Cure 2023 MSG

Seeing The Cure at Madison Square Garden was a jolt of nostalgia and a testament to the enduring relevance of their music. It also reminded me of the valuable life lessons that I, a goth-punk obsessed teenager turned CPO, had gleaned from their iconic songs, ethos and performances.

My lifelong love of The Cure is a testament to the power of music and the surprising lessons it can hold. And as I pull out one of my vintage Cure shirts to wear to my next product meeting, I can't help but chuckle - who knew a band could provide such a unique perspective on product leadership? It's like finding a hidden track on your favorite album. (Carnage Visors anyone?)

So, here's to The Cure - the band that taught me to navigate life, that continues to inspire me, and whose songs remain as poignant to this ahem-year-old CPO as they did to the 14-year-old goth-punk rebel within me. They were the midnight moon guiding me through the shadowy labyrinth of adolescence and now, the trusted beacon that adds an unexpected yet harmonious tune to my symphony of product leadership. Their music still echoes in the chambers of my heart, a timeless soundtrack to my adventure through life and work. This is a small ode to The Cure, the beloved band of my youth, the unexpected mentors of my adulthood, and the lifelong companions of my soul's symphony.

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