Showing posts with label spotify. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spotify. Show all posts

Thursday, March 09, 2023

9: News Bulletin

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang's big bet on A.I. is paying off as his core technology powers ChatGPT
Spotify is revamping its podcaster tools, including Anchor, and is partnering with Patreon
The New Bing and Edge – Progress from Our First Month
Apple to Shake Up International Sales Operations to Make India Its Own Region
Google One brings VPN to $1.99/month plan, adding dark web info monitoring

Chinese AI groups use cloud services to evade US chip export controls
Uber Is Considering Spinning Off Freight Logistics Division
New Low: Monthly Funding Dips Below $20B As Funds Continue Record Raises
Consensus raises $110M to inject automation into SaaS product demos
Microsoft, Google-Backed Group Wants to Boost AI Education in Low-Income Schools

Coinbase announces Wallet-as-a-Service product to simplify web3 onboarding
DuckDuckGo Releases Its Own ChatGPT-Powered Search Tool, DuckAssist

Friday, March 23, 2018

Direct Listing

The idea of a direct listing is intriguing.
Music streaming service Spotify, valued at roughly $19 billion in the private markets, has also filed for a direct listing and will debut on the NYSE on April 3. ....... A direct listing lets investors and employees sell shares without the company raising new capital or hiring a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite the offering.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday, April 06, 2012

AirTime's First Big Mistake


AirTime is not out yet, so I have not seen what it is like. But early word is Sean Parker is building AirTime to rest on the Facebook platform. I believe that is a fundamental mistake. Facebook mapped the social graph of people you know. The random connections space, by definition, is a different animal.

Sean Parker has been so close to Facebook for so long it seems he is incapable of escaping Facebook's gravitational pull. Every startup he has been associated with post Facebook has clinged to Facebook. Causes and Spotify come to mind.

I get the impression AirTime is going to be born with a handicap.

Excited About A New Space

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Manick Bhan: The BhanMan Of TicketMonkey

Image representing Spotify as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseI met Manick at a Spotify event, my second Spotify event. I looked at his name tag and said, "That's an Indian name!" (Spotify Now Advertising On Netizen, Spotify Vision Specialist: A No Go, The Spotify CTO Talk, The Spotify Event Was Great, Sean Parker's 2009 Email To Spotify)

The guy impressed me immediately. Not all fast talkers are smart, but this one was out of the ballpark. I could tell. Immediately. He was a high energy packet. If you can deal with people, if you can make decisions on the fly, if you are a quick study, you are CEO material. This guy is.

Duke to Goldman to startup. They work out of an apartment not far from the Port Authority bus terminal, or Penn Station, for that matter. The view out the window is beautiful.

I have offered to shift the office to some garage, and put them on noodle diets. They order in lunch, good stuff.

I am always looking for projects for my tech consulting operation. And so I thought I might insert one of my techies into his operation. Other than that it was just going to be nice knowing him. He was to go on my to watch list.

TicketMonkey "Monk-A-Thon": I showed up for this. It was a nice opportunity to get to know Matt.

But Manick got me on board before he would even look at my techie. By now it looks like my tech team that I am keeping warmed up to launch my own microfinance startup later this year might play a pretty prominent role in TicketMonkey itself. We have been exploring options.

TicketMonkey hopes to take selling tickets to a whole new level. You make your name on platforms like Spotify and you make money through live performances. I think that is going to be a dominant business model for music bands. And TicketMonkey could end up to selling tickets what Yipit is to daily deals: an aggregator.

Many of the leading ticket selling sites are like malls. They show you those two things you maybe maybe might be interested in, and then they show you 100 other things as if to distract you. TicketMonkey will be a more personalized experience.

Manick, a self taught programmer, has this beautiful, beautiful landing page. The site is pre launch. He has also been doing a lot of back end work. My lead techie is about to step in and help with launch.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Spotify Vision Specialist: A No Go


My pitch two days ago (over email) with Spotify has ended up being a no go, and that's okay. One has to be Vision Specialist to one's own startup. For me that is microfinance. I am thinking six months. Max six.

Spotify Now Advertising On Netizen
+ 20-25 hours a week, rare week 30, 6 months
+ $100 per hour plus an equivalent in equity, 5K sign up bonus
+ 20 hours of face time with the CEO, 1-2 hours at a time, spread over
the final 4 months
+ 10 hours each with the top 10 people in the company - face time (not
phone, not Skype)
+ A few trips to Sweden in Spring/Summer
+ Interacting with as many employees as possible mostly in party settings

Vision Specialist
Spotify right now is headed to becoming a mid-tier company.
Noone thinks of it as a future Google/Amazon/Facebook.
My job would be to create that vision and inject it into the company.
I think Spotify could end up a truly big tech company.

Hardware (IBM) -------> Software (Microsoft) --------> One Site
(Google/Facebook) -----> Content/Mindfood (music/movies/books)

I hope to launch my own microfinance startup later this year.
http://technbiz.blogspot.com/2011/02/googlefacebook-of-microfinance.html
That is why I never thought in terms of going full time with you guys.
Otherwise it would have made tremendous sense to do so. You guys are
pre-IPO.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Spotify Now Advertising On Netizen

Image representing Spotify as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseThis blog just landed its biggest advertising deal ever. Spotify is going to place two text link ads at this blog for $598. Two text link ads for a year. The space is going to be used to place job openings.

I just helped Spotify land a superstar developer, and the text link ads followed.

The Spotify Event Was Great
The Spotify CTO Talk
Sean Parker's 2009 Email To Spotify
Sean Parker: Mystery Man

They might even have a consulting gig for me in a few weeks. Their guy I need to have dinner with - "Dinner is on me" - Howard Smith, Chief Recruiter, Spotify - is in Europe and
Cropped image of Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify tal...Image via Wikipediahence the delay. He should be in town in two weeks.

Howard first wanted me to come in full time. I said I can't do that. I have a few balls in the air I can't drop. The idea was that I'd get into some kind of a full time Chief Evangelist role. I said I could do that or I could come in as a Vision Specialist, for about six months. I think Spotify has what it takes to become one of the truly big tech companies in the world. For me it is the most exciting tech company in New York City in terms of how big it could grow.

And so we are talking.
Sean ParkerImage via Wikipedia
And I have a hidden agenda: I am trying to get to Sean Parker. (My Take On AirTime (4)) If Sean Parker is as excited about Spotify as I am, we got a few things in common.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Spotify Event Was Great

Spotify LogoImage via WikipediaThe Spotify CTO Talk

Spotify is in the same building as Google. I show up and there is Melissa. She is with Barnes & Noble. They are also in the same building. I did not know. I met her at a NY Tech MeetUp after party a few months back.

Free pizza is a great start to an event, I think. Good thing I don't drink beer. Otherwise they had plenty of those too.

The CTO Oskar Stal - who I got to talk to at great length after the formal event was over - started the talks. It was amazing to me how he was obsessed with company culture. He wanted Spotify's engineers to feel like there were many small team startups inside of Spotify. That seemed to be his number one concern.

Later I asked during the question answer session: "Should you not have the Chief Culture Officer title instead?" He said he did culture and many other things.

Henrik Landren gave a great talk - replete with great slides - on all the immense data Spotify collects. I got to see a side of Spotify I had not seen before. Artists get to see where their fans are. That would really help them plan their tours. Magic. Hadoop came in handy.


That made me think. Otherwise I told Oskar, I feel like Spotify is a finished product. What is there to add except more songs and more countries? He is like, oh no no no. There is so much to do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Spotify CTO Talk

Gaga performing on The Monster Ball Tour in Bu...Image via WikipediaSpotify USA, 76 9th Ave., Suite 1110, 11th Floor, New York, NY
Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 6:30 PM

Have you been wondering where Spotify's going both technically and as a tech organization? How do we get the music tracks to play so quickly? What's up with Spotify's data analytics and the data processing stack? What are Spotify's general architectural principles?

Come and hear about the 'big picture' of Spotify from the guys running the show. It's not often that they're all in town from Stockholm!

Speakers:

Oskar Staal - Chief Technology Officer
Mikael Krantz - Chief Architect
Henrik Landren - Head of Analytics
Wouter de Bie - Team Lead, Analytics Infrastructure

Agenda

6:30pm Mix and Mingle
7:00pm Presentations
8:00pm Q&A


GigaOm: Pandora: Spotify is our friend, not a competitor
Vimeo: Spotify – the story
The Register: Spotify looks for local spin guru: They really must be launching downunder
ZDNet: Spotify tops the charts for multi-platform support
TechNewsDaily: Spotify Hands-on: Worth the Hype?
Global Post: Swedish tech has its ABBA moment
Time: Today in Least Necessary Purchases: ‘Spotify For Dummies’
TechCrunch: Spotify Lands Major Studio Deals, Prepares To Launch Movie Service
Forbes: Facebook To Launch Music Service With Spotify
AllThingsD: Spotify’s U.S. Score So Far: 1.4 Million Users, 175,000 Paying Customers
Mashable: Spotify Eyes European Expansion [REPORT]
The Next Web: Spotify Opens for Business in Belgium and Switzerland
Mashable: Spotify Comes to Facebook [PICS]
LifeHacker: Spotify Is the Best Desktop Music Player We’ve Ever Used
New York Times: Spotify Loss Widens Despite Higher Revenue Its subscriptions, which cost about $10 to $15 a month, brought in $71 million, and the company also had $28 million in advertising. But its losses for the year totaled $42 million, up from $26 million 2009...... pays labels each time a listener streams a particular song. That system brings in lower royalties per song than downloads, but with a large enough listener base could in theory bring in substantial amounts ..... The company was believed to have more than 10 million total users.
TechCrunch: Welcome To Belgium, Spotify. (And To Austria And Switzerland)
Reuters: Spotify now has 250,000 paying U.S. users: sources
Forbes: Spotify Tries To Soothe Angry Users Over Facebook Conditions
AllThingsD: When Will Spotify Finally Come to the U.S.?
CNN: What's this Spotify thing all about?
ReadWriteWeb: Here's What Spotify's New Facebook Integration Looks Like
BusinessWeek: Record Sales Rise as Lady Gaga, Adele Find a Future With Spotify Music lovers are doing something they haven’t done in years: They’re buying more albums...... The number of albums sold this year has increased for the first time since 2004 .... Industry wide, sales of record albums, which include digital downloads, compact discs, some vinyl LPs and cassettes, are up 3 percent ...... Consumers who over the last several years rejected album prices of $14 to $15, and purchased singles instead, are now coming back to albums at lower prices. ..... “There is a significant market for the download of a total album for $9.99” ...... Levy and other industry executives see the pricing strategy as an investment. By making it easier for customers to buy albums they hope to gain market share and generate more interest in the music, eventually allowing them to profit from sources such as digital music platforms, merchandise, and concerts. ...... Adele’s “21,” for example, has so far sold 4.3 million copies in the U.S. this year, more than any other artist. ...... “An album like Adele’s is a concept album, enjoyed when the songs are not disaggregated,” Donio said. “She is doing well selling individual songs, but in cases like hers, the album is a work of art.” ...... Single track sales are up 10 percent to 1.055 billion so far for the year ..... When Lady Gaga released her second album, “Born This Way,” in May, Amazon.com held a one-day 99 cents sale that was so popular it overwhelmed the company’s Web servers. ....... Consumers also discover music through the growing popularity of services such as Rdio and Spotify. Though consumers can get music for free from these platforms, the services engage consumers and encourage them to make purchases, making them less likely to take part in illegal downloading ...... The Spotify service, Parks said, is helping to turn one- time music pirates into paying consumers. ....... “What Spotify has done is re-energized the base of music lovers,” Parks said in an interview. “Data shows that in all of the markets where Spotify operates, digital music sales have grown. We’re generating a lot of revenue for the industry from a generation that wasn’t buying music.”
NPR: How Spotify Works: Pay The Majors, Use P2P Technology
LA Times: Spotify's plan: get users hooked, then ask them to pay for music
Spotify - Wikipedia
Chicago Tribune: Spotify killed the radio star?
GigaOm: Indie labels stage another Spotify walkout

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All The Talk Is On Television

the boy who played alone on the beachImage by jesuscm via Flickr
The Napster corporate logoImage via Wikipedia
The TV is in vogue. Everybody is talking about the TV.

The Next Big Thing For Apple
Seven Screens

Basically what you want is a Spotify for TV. You want gigabit broadband for everyone. This is not about TV as it has traditionally been understood. This is about the video format. People should be able to watch anything, anywhere, anytime. This is primarily a business paradigm challenge. Look at what has happened to music since Napster and you get an idea. Something similar has to happen to the video format, to what has been known as TV shows. Will the networks play ball? I doubt things will be smooth sailing.

Once you thus "free" the content, then software magic can happen. The TV knows who you are, what you like, how you like your news, what shows you watch. You will probably have an app on your tablet and/or smartphone that is your "remote."

Down the line your TV is coming through the Internet. I say free up the spectrum for wireless broadband.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sean Parker's 2009 Email To Spotify

The Napster corporate logoImage via WikipediaImage representing Spotify as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
----- Original Message -----
From: Sean Parker
To: Daniel Ek; Shakil Khan
Sent: Tue Aug 25 13:49:35 2009
Subject: thoughts

Daniel/Shakil,

I've been playing around with Spotify. You've built an amazing experience. As you saw, Zuck really likes it too. I've been trying to get him to understand your model for a while now but I think he just needed to see it for himself.

Facebook has been in partnership discussions with various companies to fullyintegrate music download with the Facebook profile. Most of these deals would have resulted in the wrong user experience and I've done my best to stop them where they didn't make sense. In particular, there's no way that iTunes could enable the right experience on Facebook. Business development teams have a bias for working with the top player in a given market, especially when they don't understand that market. Unfortunately, partnering with iTunes would not only have created the wrong user experience, it would have had disastrous consequences for the emerging digital music industry.

I'm looking forward to meeting you guys sometime in early September, though I'm pretty excited about what you've done and I can't resist sharing some of my thoughts with you here first.

Your design is clean, elegant, tight, and fast. While it's clearly lacking some important features (the social stuff you alluded to, etc), I think you've done a great job with sequencing. You nailed the core experience around which everything else can later be built.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sean Parker: Mystery Man

Image representing Sean Parker as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBaseForbes: Agent Of Disruption
Sean Parker rocked the music industry with Napster and unleashed viral marketing with Plaxo. His vision shaped Facebook; so did his paranoia. Now 31 and worth $2.1 billion, he's just getting started. ...... one pale hand on the wheel, the other toggling through thousands of songs uploaded on the car's sound system. ..... Over the last ten hours he's interviewed two potential VPs for his new video startup, answered hours' worth of e-mails about the music platform he's backing, Spotify, and met with a potential CEO for his Facebook charity app, Causes. He's also booking bands and wrangling vendors for his engagement party, scheduled in New Jersey the same night Hurricane Irene looks to hammer the Northeast ...... breaks from work to dine with Jack Dorsey ...... By the time he drops me off at my hotel, it's 11:30 p.m. Parker's day is about half done. ...... For the next six hours Parker fires off e-mails, then turns to his private Facebook page. The previous afternoon--or earlier the same day, if you're on Parker's body clock ...... Around 6 a.m. Parker posts this Schopenhauer quote: "We can come to look upon the deaths of our enemies with as much regret as we feel for those of our friends, namely, when we miss their existence as witnesses to our success." It immediately leaks. Gossip site Gawker accuses him of dancing on Jobs' grave. He e-mails Gawker that the quote was a tribute to Jobs--his longtime idol and more recent rival (iTunes versus Spotify). Just before 7 a.m. he goes to bed. ........ Four hours later he's up ..... Flighty, manic and unpredictable, Parker grates on investors--he's been jettisoned from the three companies he helped create, soon after they lifted off. "He's seen as an unknown quantity, and VCs love for things to be very much in control" ....... But VCs also love big ideas, and Parker has those in spades--LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman calls him a "big-ass visionary." And in terms of boardroom scheming, he's nothing like his fictional portrayal in The Social Network. "The movie needed an antagonist, but that's not what he was," says former Facebook growth chief
Sean ParkerImage by cattias.photos via Flickr Chamath Palihapitiya. "He's really the exact opposite of his portrayal in the film." ...... a human accelerant, an idea catalyst who, when combined with right people, has fueled some of the most disruptive companies of the last two decades ...... At just 19 he blew up the record industry as the cofounder of the music-sharing site Napster ...... 24-year-old president of Facebook ...... He's also hunting new startups as general partner at venture firm Founders Fund and reuniting with Napster's Shawn Fanning to create Airtime, a live video site. ....... His personal network is astounding, a combination of foresight and fate. Starting as a teenager, when he interned for current Zynga Chief Mark Pincus, Parker has teamed, in one way or another, with the men who now control the modern Internet: Mark Zuckerberg, Mike Moritz, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, Yuri Milner, Dustin Moskovitz, Adam D'Angelo, Daniel Ek, Ron Conway, Ram Shriram and Jim Breyer. ....... "Parker has access to trends and signals that are invisible to many people. For him it's like hearing a dog whistle." Parker doesn't disagree: "I find a lot of things relevant that aren't necessarily relevant to the world when I'm thinking about them." ....... Parker is drawn to big, universal problems and spends years looking for them. ...... his recently purchased $20 million Manhattan town house ...... "The transition strategies are more important than understanding what the outcome state will be." ...... Parker put himself in position for the string of blockbusters that his critics blithely attribute to sequential luck. ..... "He thinks about where he perceives the world to be going," explains Spotify founder Daniel Ek. "If he doesn't think there is a company that will win, then he builds it himself." ....... Ask Parker about the genesis of his former company Plaxo and he starts with theories of how real viruses spread across populations. Before he shares the name of his favorite sushi restaurant--prior to one dinner we had in New York he called five to find out which chef was cutting the fish that night--he discusses rice density and the ideal geometric shape for sushi cuts (trapezoids). Question the audiophile about the best brand of headphones and you first learn how sound waves are registered by our tympanic membranes. As the expression goes, ask him for the time and he'll tell you how to build a watch. ........ "We talked for what I originally scheduled for an hour, ended up being three hours," Reid Hoffman recalls about their first meeting back in 2002. Twitter founder Dorsey had the same experience: "It's rare to find someone who can have those kinds of conversations. ... I appreciate any conversation where I can walk away questioning myself
MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 23:   Sean Parker, m...Image by Getty Images via @daylife and my ideas." ........ Parker's life becomes impervious to time, a subject friends and business partners acknowledge with a defeated laugh. Peter Thiel calls it Parker's "absence of dramatic punctuality." Ek manages Parker by telling him there's a meeting at 11 a.m. and informing others it starts at 1 p.m. There's even a name in Silicon Valley for this phenomenon: Sean Standard Time. ...... When focused on a task, he blocks everything else out and works himself into a trance. The outside world fades; time slips away. "It requires a lot of rescheduling, but I try to focus on things that are the highest value and get those done perfectly." ....... Parker's definition of "done perfectly" is extreme. ....... He's trying to lose weight and is eating only vegetables. ...... After hundreds of photos in four locations around the house, the shoot is finished. It's now 2 a.m.--perfect, calibrated Sean Standard Time. ........ Two nights later I arrive at his house at 11 p.m. A chartered G450 is scheduled to fly to San Francisco from Teterboro, N.J.--wheels up at midnight, sharp. Parker is out meeting Spotify's Ek. When midnight hits and there is still no Parker, I get a little nervous. Everyone else yawns. Parker struts in at 2 a.m. He still has to pack and shower. At 3:30 a.m. a Cadillac Escalade is loaded with luggage and take-out fried chicken from Blue Ribbon, a late-night New York chefs hangout, and across the Hudson we go. ........ We take off at 4 a.m., a half hour before FAA fatigue laws would have grounded the pilots. When I awake to a view of the California desert outside the plane window, Parker is sitting across from me, snacking on a piece of fried chicken, his veggie-only diet already over. "Did you sleep well?" ....... his father, Bruce, formerly the chief scientist at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association, taught him how to program on an Atari 800. He was in second grade. ...... At 15 his hacking caught the attention of the FBI, earning him community service. At 16 he won the Virginia state computer science fair for developing an early Web crawler and was recruited by the CIA. Instead he interned for Mark Pincus' D.C. startup, FreeLoader, and then UUNet, an early Internet service provider. ......... Parker made $80,000 his senior year, enough to convince his parents to let him put off college and join Shawn Fanning, a teenager he'd met on a dial-up bulletin board, to start a music-sharing site that became Napster in 1999. ....... "I kind of refer to it as Napster University--it was a crash course in intellectual property law, corporate finance, entrepreneurship and law school," says Parker. "Some of the e-mails I wrote when I was just a kid who didn't know what he was doing are apparently in [law school] textbooks." ........ by that time Parker had already been exiled by management and was living in a North Carolina beach house. "I didn't understand at the time that when someone asks you to take an extended vacation that's basically a prelude to firing you." ........ While at Napster Parker met angel investor Ron Conway, who was funding another company in the startup's building in Santa Clara. Conway has backed every Parker production since. ....... Napster was less a company than an all-hours circus, a strange tangle of people who thought they joined a renegade social movement rather than a startup. ....... "So much of what I learned at Napster was learning what not to do," says Parker, as Conway scribbles on a notepad. He learned to listen to Parker the hard way. "When Sean became president of Facebook, he called me and said, ‘You have to look at this company.' The killer is that I could have been Peter Thiel," says Conway, referring to Thiel's investment in Facebook that made him a billionaire. "But I said, ‘You have to clean up the issues at Plaxo, so don't introduce me to this Facebook thing.' " He sips his wine, shakes his head and laughs: "These are painful memories." ......... Plaxo was Parker's first attempt at creating a real company--an online service that aimed to keep your address book up to date. It sounds boring compared to Napster and Facebook, but Plaxo was an early social networking tool and a pioneer of the types of viral tricks that helped grow LinkedIn, Zynga and Facebook. "Plaxo is like the indie band that the public doesn't know but was really influential with other musicians," Parker says. ........ "In some ways Plaxo is the company I'm most proud of because it was the company that wreaked the most havoc on the world," says Parker. ........ There are diverging stories about Parker's swift exile from Plaxo. His take is that Ram Shriram, a former Google board member recruited to help manage the company, conspired to throw him out and strip him of his stock. "Ram Shriram played this very vindictive game not only to force me out of the company but force me out broke, penniless, impoverished and with no options." ........ cofounders Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring share a different story: that Parker was essential in creating the company strategy and raising money but grew bored with the daily grind of running it. Masonis claims that Parker was often absent, and when he was around, he was distracting: "It was the sort of thing where he doesn't come to work, but then maybe if he does it's at 11 p.m., but it's not to do a bunch of work, it's because he's bringing a bunch of girls back to the office because he can show them he's a startup founder." .......... Whatever the motivation, Parker's removal was messy. He insists investors hired a private eye to build a case. ........ Parker was on his own, isolated from his cofounders and close friends. "I felt a complete loss of faith in humanity, impending doom, a sense that I couldn't trust anybody," says Parker. ....... shown Facebook by a friend's girlfriend (versus the one-night stand depicted in Aaron Sorkin's screenplay) he was already a social networking veteran, both because of Plaxo and, more directly, as an advisor to Friendster, the ill-fated Facebook forerunner he stumbled across when reporters asked him if it was connected to the similar-sounding Napster. ........ He wrote to Facebook's generic e-mail address and later met Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin over a Chinese dinner in Manhattan in the spring of 2004. ........ A few weeks later, by chance, he ran into Zuckerberg and crew on the streets of Palo Alto and shortly moved into Dustin Moskovitz's room at the rented Facebook house. "It's the only thing the movie got kind of close to right," deadpans Adam D'Angelo ......... Just 24, Parker was Facebook's business veteran. He helped the collegeaged Facebook founders network around Silicon Valley, set up routers and meet benevolent investors like Thiel, Hoffman and Pincus. ........ "Sean was pivotal in helping Facebook transform from a college project into a real company," Mark Zuckerberg says in an e-mail. "Perhaps more importantly, Sean helped ensure that anyone interested in investing in Facebook would not only buy into a company, but also a mission and vision of making the world more open through sharing." ........ D'Angelo credits Parker for recognizing that design was as vital as engineering. ....... Together with Aaron Sittig, an early Napster friend who would become Facebook's key architect, Parker helped drive Facebook's minimalist look. He was adamant that the site have a continuous flow and tasks like adding friends be as frictionless as possible. "We wanted it to be like a telephone service," says Sittig. "Something that really fades into the background." Later Parker helped push Facebook's photo-sharing function. It would be one of his last acts as Facebook's president. ........ In August 2005 Parker was questioned in North Carolina after cops found cocaine in a beach house rented under his name. He was never arrested or charged, but the incident swiftly kick-started his downfall at Facebook. ....... Accel Partners resented him because he forced the VC to invest in Facebook at a then high $100 million valuation ..... He had been pushed out of his third company in five years. He moved to New York in the fall of 2005, crashing with Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow, a friend from the Napster days. ....... was a strong outside influence in the development of Facebook's "Share" platform, which allowed users to upload news articles, video and other third-party content. ....... his greatest contribution to Facebook was his creation of a corporate structure--based on his Plaxo experience--that gave Zuckerberg complete and permanent control of the company he founded. ........ Parker's plan fortified Zuckerberg with supervoting shares that resisted dilution during fundraising and armed him with enough board seats to stay in power for as long as he wanted. ...... At Plaxo Parker had endured in real life what the fictional Saverin suffered in the film. "I don't mind being depicted as a decadent partyer because I don't think there's anything morally wrong with that," says Parker, quickly adding that the partying was exaggerated, too. "But I do mind being depicted as an unethical, mercenary operator, because I do think there is something wrong with that." ......... "I was a mess at that point because the movie had hit, the depiction of me was so far from reality I was having a hard time psychologically dealing with it," Parker says. "I was all bummed out, I had just broken up with my girlfriend of four years and I just had knee surgery, so I couldn't walk." ..... a mutual friend introduced him to his future fiancΓ©e, the 22-year-old Lenas, a singer-songwriter. ........ remains a hacker at heart, motivated less by money than the drive to disrupt. ..... he never stopped thinking about Napster. Eight years after it had been sued out of existence he was still searching for a company that could fulfill Napster's promise of sharing music ...... Two years ago a friend told him about a Swedish music site called Spotify that offered unlimited, legal songs. He scoured his network for an introduction, and without seeing the product in action, blindly e-mailed founder Daniel Ek, outlining his ideal music platform, hoping Spotify fit the description. ......... Ek had been a huge fan of Napster, and Parker's suggestions caught his attention: "This was someone who had spent more time thinking about this than I had done myself." After a series of e-mails and a test drive of the platform, Parker was sold and tried to invest. Armed with a cash infusion from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, Ek wasn't looking for any more. Parker would have to prove his way into the company. He introduced Spotify to Mark Zuckerberg (a Facebook integration plan was scheduled to be introduced shortly after this article went to press) and helped open doors at Warner and Universal, winning over Spotify's board: He eventually invested about $30 million. ......... communication and sharing in real time--something he thinks is underserved on the Web ...... "My pitch is eliminating loneliness," Parker says. There's also a random video chat function similar to last year's voyeuristic flameout, the now defunct Chatroulette. ......... He flies in a monthly loop from New York (base) to Los Angeles (music executives) to San Francisco (Founders Fund), then Stockholm and London (Spotify). In my last meeting with him I asked where he files his taxes. "That's a damn good question. I don't even know." ....... "I actually couldn't honestly tell you whether we've been here for two hours or 20 minutes." ....... Spotify and Airtime, that may yet again redefine life on the social Web.
Slate: Lunch With Sean Parker

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Early Stage Idea

Sean Parker talks in this video of a time when "four people" believed in Facebook. That was early, but that was not so long ago. The guy spotted Facebook early, and became a billionaire in the process.



I guess you have to be in the right place at the right time and in the right mindset. To be able to grab the opportunity.

A Facebook size opportunity does not show up every month. But plenty of mid level opportunities do. Maybe not every month. But often enough.

Sean Parker, Billionaire, Was Really Poor Once

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Music Places



Recently I have taken to listening to a whole bunch of music on Tumblr.

The Music Tag On Tumblr

Some great places to go for music are these, in no particular order.

HypeMachine
Last.fm
Pandora
World Singles Chart
Shuffler
Soundtracking
Spotify
ViddyJam
Song Of The Day
SoundCloud

Two Hall of Famers would be Soraya Darabi and Fred Wilson, people who stand out in the NY tech ecosystem regardless, but I don't think that is accidental, great thinking in tech seems to go hand in hand with voracious consumption of good music. So listen: listen. They have great taste. They are both addicted to music.