Marcus leads the Partners & Emerging Platforms tribe at Spotify, where he and a group of 100 engineers, product managers and designers imagine and build the future of music on TV’s, in cars, living rooms, speakers and apps. He’s written code since the day he turned 11, and still longingly glances at his editor. These days however, he spends most of his time building great teams and shipping a fantastic organisation that can deliver amazing product.
Company Profile: Quickly supplanting meatballs and flat-pack furniture as Sweden’s most adored export, Spotify was launched in 2008 and has completely changed they way people listen to music ever since. By allowing users to play music directly from the cloud — rather than by downloading it first — Spotify became wildly popular, and as a startup gave entrenched music industry players like Apple’s iTunes a run for its money.
Part of the allure for Spotify’s users is that the service (currently) boasts more than 30 million tracks, and save for some high-profile holdouts like The Beatles, it has pretty much every song you’d ever want to listen to. Another attractive feature is that people can use Spotify for free.
In this session, we’ll talk about a few spectacular failures that I’ve personally overseen, as well as big bets that didn’t pan out for Spotify in general. From this, we’ll derive a framework of how to think about and evaluate what worked and what didn’t, and how to get more of the things that did. We’ll potentially be taking a few detours via Fred Taylor, Thomas Bayes and Andy Grove on the way.