Go Summarize

Spotify Founder: How A 23 Year Old Introvert Built A $31 Billion Business!

The Diary Of A CEO#steven bartlett steve bartlett#podcast#the diary of a CEO podcast#life lessons#CEO
577K views|7 months ago
💫 Short Summary

Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, shares his journey from feeling empty and depressed after retiring at 23 to finding his passion for music and creating Spotify. He emphasizes the importance of working on something you care about and making an effort to strive for the great thing in life.The segment discusses the pursuit of happiness, the importance of learning from personal experiences, and the belief that practically anything is possible with the right commitment and time. It also emphasizes the need to have a support system and the ability to see opportunities and solve problems.Daniel Ek, the co-founder and CEO of Spotify, reflects on the journey of building the music streaming service, discussing the early days, personal investment, handling competition, and the importance of culture. He emphasizes the value of betting on oneself and acknowledges the need for entrepreneurs to find their own path to success.In this podcast segment, the host expresses gratitude for bringing conversations to the world and the growth opportunities it provides. An exciting new sponsor, Shopify, is announced, and its role as a crucial tool for businesses is highlighted. The host shares their experience selling a product, the DAR overseer conversation cards, on Shopify and encourages listeners to try out Shopify to take their businesses to the next level.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
The founder of Spotify, Daniel Ek, attributes his success to his strong and determined single mom who focused on his education and broadening his interests.
00:00
Daniel's mother emphasized the importance of education, being well-read, and handling challenges.
She encouraged him to pursue a wide range of activities, including the pentathlon, fencing, horseback riding, shooting, running, and swimming.
Daniel had an eclectic childhood with his mother's influence, interacting with adults and learning about life from a young age.
His mother didn't pressure him to become a specific profession but focused on him being a good human being.
Daniel comes from a musical family, with his grandfather being an opera singer and his grandmother an actress and jazz pianist.
His mother emphasized the value of effort over the outcome, constantly pushing him to realize his potential.
Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, discusses his introverted nature and love for learning, attributing his broad interests to his mother's influence.
07:00
Daniel Ek mentions that he can be projective and forceful when needed, but it takes a lot of energy as he is not naturally extroverted.
He had an easy time in school and loved learning, with a good memory for concepts.
Due to his mother's emphasis on being broad, he could fit into any social group but never excelled at one thing.
Daniel sees his ability to relate to different people as both a blessing and a curse, as he never truly belongs anywhere.
He describes himself as not belonging to any specific group, such as artists or technologists, but being a mix of different types of people.
Daniel Ek believes that the university system is not inherently good or bad, but depends on the individual and their goals. He emphasizes the importance of self-education and getting a degree in any field of interest.
15:00
The university system is not inherently good or bad, but depends on the individual and their goals.
For those who want to be entrepreneurs, studying business and getting exposure to business operations is crucial.
Working for and learning from great individuals can provide valuable experience in entrepreneurship.
Innovation is about putting existing things together in a new context, so studying diverse fields is important.
University education is valuable for those who want a broad foundation or are not sure about their specific interests.
Self-education is also important, and Daniel Ek spends a lot of time learning about various topics outside of a traditional university setting.
Daniel Ek shares his journey of realizing that financial success did not bring him happiness and how he found a new purpose by working on something he cared about, which led to the creation of Spotify.
20:00
Daniel Ek retired at 23 after his first company was acquired, but he found the experience of having lots of money and living a dream lifestyle to be empty and depressing.
He met his co-founder, who had a similar experience of not knowing what to do with life despite being very wealthy.
They bonded over their shared experience and started working on the idea of Spotify, realizing that they wanted to create an environment where they could learn from smart people and work on something they cared about.
Daniel Ek wanted to work on music, but initially thought it was a terrible idea due to the industry's challenges with piracy and regulation.
His co-founder's belief in the idea and their discussions about how to make it work gradually changed Daniel's mind, and he decided to give it a shot.
This new purpose and the potential for success with Spotify made Daniel Ek feel happy and fulfilled again, despite not initially believing they would succeed.
The pursuit of happiness often involves learning from personal experiences rather than heeding others' advice.
00:00
Does the journey to happiness have to involve personal failure before realizing the right pursuit?
The speaker had to go through the process of acquiring material possessions and status before realizing it was not the key to happiness.
Experiencing certain aspects of life up close is crucial to understanding their importance.
Two people discuss their experiences with wealth and the pursuit of happiness, highlighting the importance of genuine connections, learning, and being comfortable being alone.
05:56
Wealth and status are not the ultimate sources of happiness.
Belonging and genuine connections are more important than superficial social currency.
The ability to be comfortable and thrive in solitude is crucial for personal happiness.
Learning and having a positive impact are also essential components of a fulfilling life.
The guest believes that the pursuit of happiness is a personal journey and emphasizes the importance of learning from one's own experiences. He also discusses the need for belonging, stability, and the ability to be alone as essential components of happiness.
11:56
The guest suggests that happiness is a personal journey and that people need to learn from their own experiences.
He emphasizes the importance of belonging and stability as essential components of happiness.
The guest also mentions the need to be comfortable being alone and to have time for self-reflection in order to be happy.
The speaker shares his perspective on the pursuit of happiness, highlighting the importance of finding joy in everyday life, learning from experiences, and building meaningful relationships.
18:54
Happiness is found in the journey, not just the destination
Learning and growing from experiences is essential for happiness
Meaningful relationships and the ability to be oneself are important for happiness
The speaker talks about investing personal wealth into starting Spotify, mentioning that they invested about $10 million into the company.
00:00
The speaker and their co-founder invested a substantial amount of personal wealth into starting Spotify.
They mention that investing $10 million into a startup at that time was unheard of.
The personal implication of the investment was that the speaker gave up their financial security.
Daniel Ek discusses the launch of Apple Music and how Spotify prepared for the competition by focusing on consumer value and cross-device compatibility.
06:51
Spotify had a strategic pillar called ubiquity, focusing on the value of working across all devices and ecosystems.
They anticipated that competitors would focus on their own ecosystems and not care about the wider integration.
Spotify constantly talked to product teams and prepared for different scenarios.
Apple's music service at that time did not work on all devices, while Spotify had a better positioning and user experience.
Daniel Ek reflects on the importance of culture in business and the challenge of maintaining a consistent culture as a company grows and acquires new employees.
13:37
Culture is an underappreciated factor in business.
The culture a person is immersed in determines their behavior.
Sir Alex Ferguson's greatness was not just about strategy, but also about the culture he instilled in his team.
There is a constant tension between being innovative and responsible, which is a reflection of the company's culture.
Daniel Ek wishes he realized earlier that his superpower is being good at many things, not necessarily excelling in one specific area.
20:58
He used to think he needed to run every product meeting and be the best at everything, but later realized that he enjoys learning about a variety of topics.
Ek believes that entrepreneurs can be successful by looking inward and focusing on their strengths.
Daniel Ek reflects on his journey of self-discovery and acknowledges the changes in his perspective as a 40-year-old compared to his younger self.
28:29
Ek realizes that his perspective on work has changed with age.
He values learning about different aspects of business and life.
Ek believes that culture is about rewarding positive behaviors and dissuading the negative.
Creating an environment where people are allowed to take risks is important for fostering a positive culture.
Daniel Ek discusses the importance of culture and how it has played a significant role in the success of Spotify.
35:59
Culture is the most important thing in a company, as it determines the behavior of the people.
Culture is about rewarding positive behaviors and dissuading the negative.
Creating an environment where people are allowed to take risks is crucial for a positive culture.
The culture of Spotify has contributed to its success and is something Ek is obsessed with.
Daniel Ek talks about the culture of Sir Alex Ferguson's football team and its impact on the players' behavior.
43:28
Sir Alex Ferguson's culture in the football team was self-policing when it's strong.
The culture of a team is important in making the players gel together.
Daniel Ek reflects on the advice he wishes he had received at 21, emphasizing the importance of optimizing for strengths and being introspective.
50:58
Ek believes his superpower is being good at many things, not necessarily excelling in one specific area.
He realizes the importance of looking inward and not modeling himself on other people.
Ek values learning about different things and wishes he had understood that earlier about himself.
Daniel Ek discusses the changes in his perspective and approach as he has gotten older and more experienced.
58:29
Ek's perspective on work has changed with age.
He values learning about different aspects of business and life.
Ek believes that culture is about rewarding positive behaviors and dissuading the negative.
Creating an environment where people are allowed to take risks is important for fostering a positive culture.
Daniel Ek talks about the challenge of balancing innovation and responsibility within the culture of Spotify.
01:05:59
There is a constant tension between being innovative and responsible within the company's culture.
Daniel Ek is obsessed with the subject of culture and believes it is an underappreciated factor in business.
The podcast host expresses gratitude for being able to bring conversations to the world and the growth opportunities it provides for people.
01:24:46
The host mentions the benefit of learning from the conversations without having the opportunity to meet the individuals involved.
Bringing the conversations to the world is seen as a way to facilitate growth journeys for many people.
The podcast announces a new sponsorship with Shopify, highlighting its role as a crucial tool for businesses.
01:25:10
Shopify is described as a tool used daily for business purposes.
Shopify is seen as revolutionizing millions of businesses worldwide.
The podcast sold a product on Shopify called the DAR overseer conversation cards, which featured questions from the guests in the episodes.
Shopify is praised for making the launch of the product smooth and being a loved tool by the team.
Listeners are encouraged to try out Shopify to take their business to the next level.
💫 FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What is Daniel Ek's background and early environment?

Daniel Ek is a product of a strong single mother who was determined to show that he could be successful in her definition, which meant being well-educated, well-read, and able to handle almost anything. Despite growing up in a rough neighborhood, his mother had him participate in various activities to provide a wide education. She emphasized the importance of becoming a good human being and did not pressure him to pursue any specific career.

2. How did Daniel Ek view education and music in his upbringing?

Daniel Ek's mother considered education important but not in the same way as other families. She focused on broadening his education and particularly emphasized music, coming from a family with a background in opera and theater. She believed in showing effort, and Daniel felt he had an easy time in school but constantly pushed himself because his mother valued realizing one's potential.

3. What was school like for Daniel Ek as an introverted child?

Daniel Ek enjoyed learning and had an easy time in school due to his ability to memorize concepts easily. He was also able to fit into various social groups but felt he didn't excel in any particular area. He describes himself as an introvert who can switch on extroversion when needed, especially through his experience in theater.

4. How does Daniel Ek define ambition and its significance?

Daniel Ek considers himself ambitious in the sense of striving for great things and maximizing potential. He believes that many people are more afraid of failure than success, which hinders their ambition. For his children, he advises a path of self-discovery and exploration, acknowledging that the university system is not the only way to achieve success.

5. What advice does Daniel Ek give to young people about choosing their path in life?

Daniel Ek suggests that the choice between joining a startup or pursuing higher education depends on the individual's interests and goals. He believes that exposure to different paths and the opportunity to work with great individuals are essential for personal growth. He emphasizes the value of education, whether through formal university studies or self-directed learning, and encourages young people to explore their interests and pursue their passions.

6. What were the symptoms of drifting down the wrong path that the person experienced after nine months?

The person felt a subtle growing emptiness in their chest, which in hindsight, was a feeling of loneliness. They also realized that they were not learning or forming genuine connections with people.

7. What are the core components of being sufficiently happy according to the person?

The core components of being sufficiently happy, according to the person, include learning, belonging, being allowed to be by oneself, having a positive impact, and having fun while doing it.

8. Was there a time when the success of Spotify seemed impossible?

Yes, there were many times over a two-year period where the success of Spotify seemed impossible, and it was incredibly demoralizing for the speaker. However, the speaker's co-founder remained upbeat and supportive, believing that they would figure it out.

9. How did the speaker start a healthcare business despite not figuring out a solution for a decade?

The speaker started thinking about the healthcare business in 2008 but couldn't figure out a solution until 2018. They spent a decade understanding the healthcare system and its various aspects before starting the company.

10. What does the speaker believe is the most important thing for humanity, and why do they believe we are capable of practically anything?

The speaker believes that the most important thing for humanity is the belief that we are capable of practically anything. They think that having high-quality people spend thousands of hours on a problem can lead to finding new solutions.

11. How did Daniel Ek build relationships with influential people in the music industry?

Daniel Ek built relationships with influential people in the music industry by demonstrating consistency, being easy to deal with, and showing up with no notice. He invested personal capital into starting Spotify, which also helped him gain the respect and attention of industry leaders.

12. What was the personal implication for Daniel Ek of investing his personal wealth into starting Spotify?

The personal implication for Daniel Ek of investing his personal wealth into starting Spotify was the potential need to go back to having a job if the venture had not been successful. He took a significant risk by betting on himself and his idea for Spotify.

13. How did Spotify handle the competition from Apple Music?

Spotify anticipated the competition from Apple Music and focused on its strategic pillars, such as ubiquity and integration into various devices. They believed in the value of their service working across all ecosystems and focused on maintaining a superior user experience.

14. What did Daniel Ek learn about culture from Sir Alex Ferguson's football team?

Daniel Ek learned that culture is about rewarding positive behaviors and dissuading the negative. He realized the importance of creating an environment where people are allowed to take risks, but also balancing it with responsibility, especially in a large organization.

15. What advice does Daniel Ek believe is important for those who want to invest in startups?

Daniel Ek believes that investing in oneself and betting on one's own abilities is crucial advice, especially for those who want to invest in startups but may not have a lot of money. He also emphasizes the value of working for startups and taking more equity in the company.

16. What is the new sponsorship announcement on the podcast?

The new sponsorship announcement on the podcast is about Shopify, highlighting its role as a crucial tool for businesses.

17. How does the podcast host describe Shopify in the sponsorship announcement?

The podcast host describes Shopify as a tool that is used pretty much every single day for businesses, revolutionizing millions of businesses worldwide.

18. What example is mentioned to showcase Shopify's effectiveness in the podcast sponsorship?

The podcast mentions selling a product on Shopify called the DAR overseer conversation cards, which featured questions from the guests in the episodes, and highlights Shopify's role in making the launch of the product smooth.

19. What is the recommendation given to the listeners in the podcast sponsorship announcement?

The listeners are encouraged to try out Shopify to take their business to the next level.

20. How does the podcast highlight the role of Shopify in business and its importance as a tool?

The podcast emphasizes Shopify's role as a crucial tool for businesses, stating that it is used pretty much every single day and is a total Game Changer that makes life incredibly smooth when it relates to business.