A Candid Interview With Pandora Founder and CEO Tim Westergren
For years now, Pandora has been helping music lovers listen to their favorite artists via the company’s streaming and automated music recommendation service. Powered by the Music Genome Project, this service plays both mainstream and independent artists from specific genres based on the user’s selection, and gives those users the ability to rate the music. The feed back then determines which artists get played within specific genres or stations, opening up opportunities for independent artists to reach a larger audience, while helping mainstream artists get more “spins.” This unique model has made Pandora a powerhouse in the streaming music marketplace, reporting close to 250 million registered users and 1 billion in earnings in both 2014 and 2015. The company has also supplied over 1,300 people with jobs.
During this interview, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the Founder and CEO of Pandora, Tim Westergren. Listening to him discuss the driving factors behind Pandora’s success, music consumption in a shifting marketplace, and his feelings on the power of humility is inspiring. Below are a just a few takeaways that I feel had a direct impact on the level of success both Pandora and Tim Westergren have achieved.
- If you have a great idea, and you have the tenacity to make it a reality, you will eventually get somewhere
- Have a clear mission and a specific set of values associated with that mission
- Assemble a group of mission driven people that are unwavering in their belief in the idea succeeding
- Give those people genuine ownership of the company and their roles.
- Reward and empower those working toward making the company a success
- Learn how to survive as a business even when nobody thinks you can
- Believe that you will find a way to cross the chasm
- Constant learning, adapting, and being able to change direction quickly is key
To listen to the interview in its entirety, click the image above. For more information on Pandora, The Music Genome Project or Tim Westergren, click here.