Spotify is undergoing another incredible metamorphosis today. Some have said that it will become the Instagram of music. It is still an idea of founder Daniel Ek. Since 2006, he has convinced music labels and artists that the future of music would be on his streaming platform.
Spotify was created as an antidote to music piracy.
However, there was a phase in his life when Daniel fell into a very dark tunnel. While he struggled to get out, he learned a very important life lesson.
This is why I am telling his story. It teaches us all something basic, to have a peaceful life and maybe one full of successes. I’ll share this with you at the end.
Today Daniel is 38 years old. He is still very young. Spotify is crushing the numbers.
Ad sales in 2021 increased 75% to nearly $375 million. Active listeners grew by just under 20% to exceed 380 million. The subscribers are more than 170 million. The stock on the stock exchange is worth about five billion dollars. It has a market capitalization of over $50 billion.
Let’s discover the phenomenon that created this company with the great capacity for vision and innovation.
When a Super Tech Company Rejected Him, He Started Competing With Them
He had a passion for the guitar and for the football videogame, Fifa. But, it was the music that led him to success.
Daniel Ek was born in Sweden in 1983. He got his first guitar at four and his first computer at 5 years old.
He grew up in Ragsved, Stockholm and immediately starts building websites. He also occasionally teaches his peers how to use Photoshop and how to program.
He earns more by doing websites than his father, a mechanic, and his mother, a nanny.
“He hasn’t graduated, but decides to apply for a position with Google, the search engine that would later become influential. They rule him out. They reject it “.
“At that time I was quite rebellious and didn’t take no for an answer. So I decided that I would compete with him. Obviously this turned out to be much more difficult than I thought, ”he said.
So he initially moves to London. Where he would have more opportunities.
In fact, he enrolled in university but decided to abandon his studies in 2004. He began to churn out entrepreneurial projects.
First, he founded Advertigo, an advertising company. Between 2005 and 2006 he is the CTO at Stardoll, a fashion community for girls, and Tradera, one of the most popular online sales services in Sweden. In 2006, the turning point in Ek’s life arrived: Advertigo was acquired by TradeDoubler and Tradera by eBay.
At this point, he starts working on the Spotify project in Stockholm. He also acquires a mood disorder.
In 2008 Spotify is released publicly. Free accounts were only available through an invite and included paid subscriptions.
The three or four years later, saw a continuation of changes in plans and options for the techies, problems, and a hefty loss of 4.4 million euros.
Let’s look at the exact moment when Daniel decides to throw himself into this new project.
From the sale of the marketing company Tradedoubler he had earned over a million dollars .
So at just 22, Ek already had a Ferrari, attended VIP parties, dates beautiful girls, and enjoys life as a rich man. But…
“Life as a rock star was very depressing for him. In fact, he ended up in a state of mind that bordered on unhappiness and the lack of meaning in life. He was sad despite all his material possessions.”
So he decides to move to a cabin away from everything to focus on improving the world of digital music.
In 2006, he began a collaboration with the co-founder of Tradedoubler, Martin Lorentzon, who would become, co-founder and director of Spotify, which today has assets of 5.8 billion dollars.
Ek was intrigued with how Napster worked. It was the first video and music file-sharing service.
Daniel Ek decides to go out on his own and found Spotify, together with his friend and colleague in innovation Martin.
He wanted to apply that model to the radio. In order to overcome the problem of music piracy and be able to accommodate users’ preferences. Ten years ago, Daniel Ek had to get labels and artists’ permission to stream the songs on Spotify.
In short, he asked them to participate in a historical revolution in the world of music.
Keep in mind that when Spotify arrived in the US in 2011, streaming was a $600 million business (4% of the record industry’s global annual revenue).
“In 2020, streaming services generated $13.4 billion in sales or 62% of the industry’s revenue.”
In this way, he was the hero in the revitalization of the music industry.
It came a time when peer-to-peer services were losing a mountain of money to an industry on the black market for music files.
It’s no coincidence that Spotify was born in Sweden; this state had broadband before the United States and this quickly changed consumer habits.
When he found himself in the middle of the tunnel, Daniel realized it was time to fix some things about himself.
“I had no idea how I wanted to live my life,” he said later.
Thus he got rid of his material goods. He sold his car and apartment and moved to Ragsved, where he grew up.
To help him on his path of growth and rebirth, was his friend, an entrepreneur Martin Lorentzon. Talking with him was very important.
He understood that:
“Being successful is different than having success.”
It is wrong to think that if you have something (tangible or a job position) then you can act in a certain way and have success
Of course, If you feel a person is successful then you will act in a way that will take you to get real success.
To understand this profound lesson, he had to hit bottom, and then isolate himself to find himself.
Then, he started being who he wanted to be and having the right attitude. In fact, he found his way back to his main passion, music. Do you remember that they bought him the guitar when he was four and he always loved songs?
Thus he was also able to maintain the success he achieved over time, not temporarily. As it happened in the first part of Ek’s life.
“Because being successful means feeling good, not being stressed, enjoying what one has achieved. Do not take drugs and throw away everything you’ve built “.
There is no worse condemnation than being successful without having success.
In this way, he got the right result for the value he had once again gained. He focused on being, so that he started feeling right, and then he achieved success with happiness.
It is not easy to understand certain processes. Even I, who today am an almost millionaire Italian entrepreneur, have struggled to understand certain ideas.
By the way this below is me …
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