Entrepreneurs’ Day: Daniel Ek
The music streaming service Spotify was first created all thanks to its founder, Daniel Ek, being bored.
When he was 13 years old, Ek started a business designing websites for businesses. He charged his first client $100, then $200 for his second, until he was charging $5000 per website. Soon, he was earning $50,000 a month and running a staff of 25.
His forays into the world of entrepreneurs continued into his 20s, when he started the advertising company Advertigo. In 2006, Advertigo was sold. This, as well as Ek’s previous work, made him wealthy enough that he decided to retire. However, a few months later, he became bored with being idle and realized he needed to be working on projects he was passionate with. This led to him starting Spotify.
Although Spotify didn’t launch publicly until 2008, Ek first thought of the idea in 2002, after music sharing service Napster shut down and was replaced with another illegal site. Ek realized that music piracy was a serious problem and that the only solution was to provide a service better than what could be pirated, while still compensating the music industry. Spotify became available as a peer-to-peer service in 2008, and then remodeled to become a server-client platform in 2014.
Today, Ek still serves as CEO of Spotify which has 232 million users around the globe.
“The value of a company is the sum of the problems you solve.”