See 2:40 for Open Source Band clips
See 3:45 for Tom Conrad, CTO Pandora, receiving the Technology All-Star Reward on behalf of Pandora. Thanks Tom for including me in your acceptance speech.
Purchase $5 off tix at http://svrocks2010.eventbrite.com/?discount=osb5off
The Open Source Band is
Andy Barton — Vocals
Greta Boesel — Vocals
Larry Marcus — Drums
Alison Murdock — Vocals
Chris Pan — Guitar
Andrew Stess — Bass
Jay Webster — Guitar
Randi Zuckerberg — Vocals
not pictured is Tim Chang (Guitar) who is taking an OSB sabatical.
The band is all "tech" people from Facebook, Silicon Valley Rocks, Quova, Walden Venture Capital, AmpliFIND Music Services
A detailed profile of the band is here or visit the Open Source Band on Facebook.
See a video of Open Source Band '09 here
The full line up for the evening is:
The Hot Toddies— Oakland’s sweethearts, The Hot Toddies mix 1950’s beach pop with indie rock riffs, a bottle of whiskey and a dry sense of humor. Tech affiliations: SAY Media (formerly VideoEgg/Six Apart).
Open Source Band— SV’s original cover band featuring special guests Randi Zuckerberg, Chris Pan Andy Barton, Jay Webster, Larry Marcus, Andrew Stess, Greta Boesel, and Alison Murdock. Tech affiliations: Facebook, Quova, Walden Venture Capital, AmpliFIND Music Services.
Lucid Mechanism — A sonic experience that gracefully abuses the preconceptions of live electronic music. Tech affiliations: Pyramind, Ex’pression College, Apple (Genius Bar).
Ingar Brown and the Future Funk— Funk, hip-hop, soul, dance and R&B all wrapped up in an eclectic box that’s ready to get any party started. Brown was on the short list for a Grammy nomination in 2009. Other Mashery players include Roger Plotz, currently the lead guitar player for The Memphis Murder Men and members of the SF Bay Area award winning coverband Busta Groove. Tech affiliations: Mashery.
Coverflow: eergetic and fun cover band who has made the tech-party circuit from TechCrunch to The Lobby. Tech affiliations: Mayfield, Facebook, Blippy, Dropbox.
Keep music in schools
All proceeds for Silicon Valley Rocks! will be donated to Music in Schools Today (MuST). MuST is the Bay Area’s answer to the crisis in music education. Despite extensive research indicating that music instruction supplies intellectual, emotional and physical components critical to children’s development, music and arts programs are often the first victims of budget cuts. MuST advocates for, supports and develops integrated, accessible, sustainable and measurable music-in-education programs that improve student achievement.
See the full article HERE. Here is an exerpt:
By BOB TEDESCHI
Published: November 10, 2010
You won’t see Twitter, Slacker orFacebook, among others, on this list. Although I find them indispensable, the services aren’t unique to a mobile phone. To make my Top 10, an app must deliver an experience you couldn’t find on your computer — something, in other words, that exemplifies the smartphone at its best.
SOUNDHOUND (FREE AND $5) You’ve probably heard of Shazam, the app that identifies songs. SoundHound is faster, and it offers a broader range of ancillary features. You can hum a tune into the phone and it’ll find the song, look up lyrics and run YouTube videos of song performances. The $5 version lets you identify an unlimited number of songs. Users of the free version get five tags monthly.
apps he profiled in the article: Google, SoundHound, Hipstamatic, Evernote, Angry Birds, Urbanspoon, Starwalk, FireFox Home, QuickOffice Mobile Suite, RedLaser, Quick Calls.
B Bank of America* / BART
D DMV / Dictionary
J Jet Blue
O Orbitz* / Outside Lands
R REI / Ross
U USPS / UPS / United Airlines
• for “B”, BART- Bay Area Rapid Transit was 1st result. Substituted #2 (Bank of America) to override local result
• for “K”, Kaiser, hospital/health care organiztion was 1st result, KTVU local TV affiliate was 2nd. Substituted #3 (Kayak) to override local result
• for “O”, Outside Lands was 1st result. Substituted #2 (Orbitz) to override local result
Very surprised about Target beating Twitter. I’d expect that one to change. Also Amazon beating Apple. What surprises you?
A special thanks to Drew Marcus for inspiring this list when he called me to let me know that Pandora was the first on the list when you type a P.
Here’s the phonetic alphabet tables for NATO and Western Union
I was recently asked how they differ. Pandora is Internet radio. It's amazing at taking the haystack of music and throwing the needle (song) out that is appropriate and joyful to your listening experience. It's a lean forward experience with rich information about songs that are playing but somewhat passive in nature in that it brings the music to you versus actively having to hunt for it.
SoundHound is the inverse. It's mobile music search, possessing the ability to reach into the haystack to tell you what the needle (song) is. Use it any time you want to conduct a music search for songs, bands, or lyrics. Then indulge in detailed, browsable results including listening and watching. In addition to text search, it enables use of the mic as a search input: voice (say it), singing and listening to the music. You can even launch a Pandora station from a search result.
Time Magazine's 2010 Time 100
Thinkers: Tim Westergren, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Pandora
By Kurt Andersen
If Pandora, the service that allows users to create their own Internet radio stations, is the little music search engine that could, then founder Tim Westergren, 44, is its quixotic engineer. A former rock and jazz musician, Westergren had a big idea in 1999: the Music Genome Project, a typology for categorizing any piece of music according to nearly 2,000 traits identified by Pandora's experts. As a user, you start with, say, a Brian Eno song, then receive a stream of "genetically" related music — Four Tet, Harold Budd and other artists you'll probably like.
For years, Pandora chronically verged on failure. But thanks to the iPhone, 15 million of which carry a Pandora app, it has finally made it over the top — and Westergren and his hybrid of human discernment and digital power are successful as well as cool.
Andersen is a novelist and host of public radio's Studio 360
See the full Time 100 and read more including a great photo of Tim here
I realize that the most important reason I love my iPad is that I fundamentally spend way more time consuming content than actually creating it. Sure, I write some emails and these blog posts (using my desktop now... though I could be using the snazzy yet heavy keyboard peripheral (shown above); however, most of the time, I more passively consume rather than actively creating stuff like email, web, models, presentations, docs, board packs etc. And then there's all the entertainment stuff that is pure consumption by definition: movies, TV, books, music, and the wonderful world of apps. With an iPad, all that entertainment is just plain stellar. The iPad sits on the tray table in a plane more easily and comfortably than I would hold a book. It's a better video display than the one built in on the seat backs of Virgin America or JetBlue. It's more enjoyable to sit on a couch or chair with an iPad than a computer. Do I miss the tactile keyboard? Sure, and that's why I have the peripheral as a type of dock; however, the typing is tolerable and brevity is always appreciated. Heck, Twitter only gives you 140 characters. So is an iPad a laptop replacement? Depends on how much you need to produce versus consume. The real question is how much more easily and pleasurably do you want to consume and be entertained? The apps add another dimension to the utility and fun factor of the iPad. That's just something that a desktop can't compete with. My biggest beef is the lack of flash support for web surfing, but the upside of the device working so well without it is worth the trade off. Hopefully websites will adapt appropriately over time. What is your experience?
Gizmodo published a great list of essential iPad apps. Includes both Pandora and SoundHound and some of my other favs: Netflix, Flight Control, Kayak, WSJ, NYT. Looking forward to trying Magic Piano by Smule, Wolfram Alpha and others.
Full Article from Gizmodo is here
Excerpt from Gizmodo:
Pandora's free music discovery app isn't overly ambitious in its transition to the iPad, sticking to its basic customized radio feature, while presenting artist info along your playlists. Still though, the music is free and unlimited, and exceedingly well chosen. (Algorithmed?)
SoundHound: IDs any music that's playing with a seriously fast recognition engine, but doesn't stop there: It does lyrics, music discovery, charts (based on what people are IDing, not buying) and full playlist playback. $5
Another great article from Mashable on Pandora as a "lean-in" experience. Time to mount an iPad on my wall next to the stereo as the dream controller? full article here
We are looking for great services to invest in that can leverage the iPad and it's ilk. Any ideas? email me at Larry@waldenvc.com. follow me on Twitter at @cyberlar
Two on the list are Walden Venture Capital portfolio companies: Pandora and Glam. Congratulations to the management teams for the recognition. The article continues: "VCs are having a tough time these days, but many of them are still nurturing inventors and entrepreneurs." Walden is grateful to be in the later group and will soon be announcing the addition of some promising companies to our portfolio. Hopefully they'll appear in this list some years down the road.
From The Wall Street Journal: Sizing Up Promising Young Firms
By COLLEEN DEBAISE And SCOTT AUSTIN
Venture capitalists, the investors who supply start-up money to promising young companies, are always looking for the next big thing—whether it's a hot new gadget, game or medical breakthrough...
Here's the complete article
Here's the complete list of the top 50
Click here for the full New York Times Article
How Pandora Slipped Past the Junkyard
By Clair Cain Miller
Published: March 7, 2010
OAKLAND, Calif. — Tim Westergren recently sat in a Las Vegas penthouse suite, a glass of red wine in one hand and a truffle-infused Kobe beef burger in the other, courtesy of the investment bankers who were throwing a party to court him.
Tim Westergren says the recent success of his Internet radio service, Pandora, feels a bit surreal.
It was a surreal moment for Mr. Westergren, who founded Pandora, the Internet radio station. For most of its 10 years, it has been on the verge of death, struggling to find investors and battling record labels over royalties.
Had Pandora died, it would have joined myriad music start-ups in the tech company graveyard, like SpiralFrog and the original Napster. Instead, with a successful iPhone app fueling interest, Pandora is attracting attention from investment bankers who think it could go public, the pinnacle of success for a start-up.
Pandora’s 48 million users tune in an average 11.6 hours a month. That could increase as Pandora strikes deals with the makers of cars, televisions and stereos that could one day, Pandora hopes, make it as ubiquitous as AM/FM radio.
“We were in a pretty deep dark hole for a long time,” said Mr. Westergren, who is now the company's chief strategy officer.. “But now it’s a pretty out-of-body experience.”
At the end of 2009, Pandora reported its first profitable quarter and $50 million in annual revenue — mostly from ads and the rest from subscriptions and payments from iTunes and Amazon.com when people buy music. Revenue will probably be $100 million this year, said Ralph Schackart, a digital media analyst at William Blair.
Pandora’s success can be credited to old-fashioned perseverance, its ability to harness intense loyalty from users and a willingness to shift directions — from business to consumer, from subscription to free, from computer to mobile — when its fortunes flagged.
Its library now has 700,000 songs, each categorized by an employee based on 400 musical attributes, like whether the voice is breathy, like Charlotte Gainsbourg, or gravelly like Tom Waits. Listeners pick a song or musician they like, and Pandora serves up songs with similar qualities — Charlotte Gainsbourg to Feist to Viva Voce to Belle and Sebastian. Unlike other music services like MySpace Music or Spotify, now available in parts of Europe, listeners cannot request specific songs.
Though Pandora’s executives say it is focusing on growth, not a public offering, the company is taking steps to make it possible. Last month, it hired a chief financial officer, Steve Cakebread, who had that job at Salesforce.com when it went public.
It is all a long way from January 2000, when Mr. Westergren founded the company. Trained as a jazz pianist, he spent a decade playing in rock bands before taking a job as a film composer. While analyzing the construction of music to figure out what film directors would like, he came up with an idea to create a music genome.
This being 1999, he turned the idea into a Web start-up and raised $1.5 million from angel investors. It was originally called Savage Beast Technologies and sold music recommendation services to businesses like Best Buy.
By the end of 2001, he had 50 employees and no money. Every two weeks, he held all-hands meetings to beg people to work, unpaid, for another two weeks. That went on for two years.
Meanwhile, he appealed to venture capitalists, charged up 11 credit cards and considered a company trip to Reno to gamble for more money. The dot-com bubble had burst, and shell-shocked investors were not interested in a company that relied on people, who required salaries and health insurance, instead of computers.
In March 2004, he made his 348th pitch seeking backers. Larry Marcus, a venture capitalist at Walden Venture Capital and a musician, decided to lead a $9 million investment.
“The pitch that he gave wasn’t that interesting,” Mr. Marcus said. “But what was incredibly interesting was Tim himself. We could tell he was an entrepreneur who wasn’t going to fail.”
Mr. Westergren took $2 million of it and called another all-hands meeting to pay everyone back. The next order of business: focus the service on consumers instead of businesses, change the name and replace Mr. Westergren as chief executive with Joe Kennedy, who had experience building consumer products at E-Loan and Saturn. Pandora’s listenership climbed, and in December 2005, it sold its first ad.
But in 2007, Pandora got news that threatened most of its revenue. A federal royalty board had raised the fee that online radio stations had to pay to record labels for each song. “Overnight our business was broken,” Mr. Westergren said. “We contemplated pulling the plug.”
Instead, Pandora hired a lobbyist in Washington and recruited its listeners to write to their representatives. “A lot of these users think they’re customers of the cause rather than users per se,” said Willy C. Shih, a professor at Harvard Business School who has written a case study on Pandora. “It’s a different spin on marketing.” The board agreed to negotiations and after two years settled on a lower rate.
Some music lovers dislike Pandora’s approach to choosing music based on its characteristics rather than cultural associations. Slacker Radio, a competitor with three times as many songs but less than a third of Pandora’s listeners, takes a different approach. A ’90s alternative station should be informed by Seattle grunge, said Jonathan Sasse, senior vice president for marketing at Slacker. “It’s not just that this has an 80-beat-a-minute guitar riff,” he said. “It’s that this band toured with Eddie Vedder.”
Yet in 2008, Pandora built an iPhone app that let people stream music. Almost immediately, 35,000 new users a day joined Pandora from their cellphones, doubling the number of daily signups.
For Pandora and its listeners, it was a revelation. Internet radio was not just for the computer. People could listen to their phone on the treadmill or plug it into their car or living room speakers.
In January, Pandora announced a deal with Ford to include Pandora in its voice-activated Sync system, so drivers will be able to say, “Launch my Lady Gaga station” to play their personalized station based on the music of that performer. Consumer electronics companies like Samsung, Vizio and Sonos are also integrating Pandora into their Blu-ray players, TVs and music systems.
“Think about what made AM/FM radio so accessible,” said Mr. Kennedy, Pandora’s chief. “You get into the car or buy a clock for your nightstand and push a button and radio comes out,” he said. “That’s what we’re hoping to match.”