The Wired 100 number one spot has been revealed and they have chosen the co-founder of Spotify, Daniel Ek. Daniel co-founded Spotify in 2006 alongside Martin Lorentzon and the company has grown from strength to strength, this year Wired magazine consider Daniel to be ‘Europe’s greatest digital influencer’.
Daniel was born in Sweden and continues to work from his office in Stockholm, he began his digital career at the young age of 14 when he launched a website-building business. At 23 he sold his online advertising company to TradeDoubler for millions. However he wasn’t content with his millionaire lifestyle and decided to join forces with Martin Lorentzon, TradeDoubler’s chairman ‘to build a credible alternative to music piracy.’
According to Daniel there were two big problems that Spotify took on ‘first, creating the actual service and getting users to love it. The other problem was getting the music industry to change their ways from using physical discs to ‘selling access and access by proxy means being a utility.’
Daniel and Martin started off with no investors ‘because no sane investor would invest before we had the deals. But eventually the labels got it...Now we’re in 55 markets around the world.’ When he was asked by Wired magazine where Spotify will be in 10 years, Daniel replied; ‘It will be this platform that allows artists and musicians to experiment and reach their fullest ability as artists. Not limited by any constraints, by formats, by the audience, by funding.’
Daniel has chosen to structure the Spotify offices in a way that encourages innovation and gives employees and enjoyable office experience. He also ensures that they do not just hire people from different educational background because they want ‘diversity of thinking and incomes’ too.
When asked what he would say to other European entrepreneurs who are hoping to build the next global tech company, Daniel stated ‘you’ve got to do what no one else is expecting you to do, even when all the odds are against you, because they are going to be. But if you truly believe in what you’re doing, just keep fighting for it.’
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Copyright Speakers Corner 2016