Next week, PandoMonthly is coming back to New York, and we have one of our most anticipated guests of the entire 2012 lineup. Given we've already brought you candid conversations with Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Mark Pincus, and many more moguls, that's saying something. (If you live in LA, don't miss the reclusive billion dollar fund manager Chris Sacca later tonight!)
Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek will be joining us at our new PandoMonthly home in NYC, Projective Space on the Lower East Side. (We're hoping they'll be ready for us in a week. If not, location will be TBD.)
Spotify is one of those companies that is beloved by consumers and hated by many forces in its industry. I've never been accused of being a Spotify fanboy. I was incredibly harsh on the company early on for the less than truthful ways it dealt with the press and constant empty promises that a US launch was imminent. But even I give them credit for two things: Working within the system to revolutionize it and getting farther than 99.9 percent of music startups have since the dawn of the Internet.
People like to credit the product, but really pulling both of these two things off has been a testament to Ek's entrepreneurial chops and vision. Early on, when I asked Spotify investors why they'd invest at such a heady valuation in a company that had such astounding market challenges (and still does), they all pointed to the product, yes, but also to Ek's uncanny determination and unflappable belief that this could be done. It didn't hurt that he put his money where is mouth was, investing a good amount of his own money in the company early on.
Ek is one of those people who'd rather be busy building his company than talking about it, so this is a rare chance to hear his story. In fact, I've only seen Ek speak at a tech conference once, so I'm guessing many of you never have. It's a bargain at just $20.
Also, I'd like to extend a big thank you to Accel Partners for their sponsorship of this event.