We had our first official meeting today with Co-Founder of Reverb Nation, Jed Carlson. For those of you who are not familiar with the company, they are the leading online music marketing platform for Bands and Musicians with almost 600,000 clients registered, to date. To find out more check out http://www.reverbnation.com/main/about.
Meeting with Jed:
Jed and I sat down for lunch at Parker and Otis in Durham, NC. If you haven’t been there, you must go, great eats! Anyways, as I conversed more and more with Jed it was easy to see the reason that Reverb Nation has been and remains to be so successful and that reason is the sheer passion that he, and the rest of their leadership, have.
They have an Artist First Philosophy which entails “If it doesn’t first help the Artist, we won’t do it.”We must dedicate our resources to the customers needs.” He went on to say that they take the responsibility of acting on behalf of all independent Artists as a real responsibility. “If we don’t see their success as our responsibility, we will fail as a company and we will violate our reasons for existing.”
The conversation then turned to what type of things should one should think about when brainstorming ideas and thinking starting a tech –based business. Jed suggested that people shouldn’t ignore “old line” businesses, in any form, and putting a tech shell on it. He also stressed the fact that a very simple business model in today’s blog-heavy world is just “becoming important.” By making a name for yourself and being easily recognizable “you can do just about anything!” This brings us back to the beauty of today’s social media, ANYONE can become important! So why not start today?
As for Reverb Nation’s outlook, 2010 is going to be a huge year. They intend to focus on bringing their bands a plethora of amazing opportunities for them to be successful. Jed went on to say, with an excited smile, “As for 2011, there are tons of new exciting things in the making, but we will keep all of that under wraps for now”
I want to end this by thanking Jed for spending the time with me, and with a quote about customer service that really stuck out to me in our conversation. No matter what business you are in, this should be something you live by.
“ Whatever it is you do, no matter what business you may be in, you HAVE to be a ridiculously over the top, perhaps even embarrassingly so, advocate of your customer.” – Jed Carlson
A little about Jed:
Jed has been an entrepreneur at heart his whole life, being influenced by his father, who was a great business man himself. He always knew he wanted to work for himself and when we asked him when he took his “pants off”, he told us “I took my pants off at birth.”
Upon graduating College he bought a failing commercial printing business with hopes to turn it around. He borrowed a lot of money. He explained the debt-financing situation as “running from a train with fear of getting caught.” After selling this printing business, Jed went back to school at Duke University to get his MBA (he got his undergrad in economics from Bowdoin College), though knowing he was never going to settle for the 9-5. Jed got the most out of the Duke MBA program because he was able to apply most of the things he learned there to his past experiences. While working toward his MBA, Jed concocted the vision for ReverbNation, although he attributes its ultimate vision to collaborating with his co-founders.