The usual protocol for the PandoDaily staff at our events is to liveblog and livetweet the best nuggets of wisdom. But for Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, that just didn’t seem like it was enough. So we’re also “live-songing” the event with a rolling Spotify playlist capturing the big moments from tonight’s events. If you’re watching the livestream or here at the event, please Tweet us with your suggestions and why you chose them! You can also use the comment section below.
1. ABBA – “Take a Chance on Me”
Daniel Ek is Swedish so what better way to kick things off than with Sweden’s most legendary band? And the lyrics to “Take a Chance on Me” fit in nicely with Ek’s philosophy of trying impossible things.
2. The Who – “The Kids Are Alright”
Growing up, Daniel Ek discovered he had a gift for Web development. Unfortunately, he was a lousy designer. So he would teach his classmates how to use Photoshop and then give them electronics or other goods in return for helping him build Websites. His wild band of developers was raking in $50,000 a month at one point.
3. The Kinks – “Sunny Afternoon”
The IRS however was not so happy about his little child labor endeavor: “I built all of these things, and then I got a letter from the Swedish version of IRS saying that I owed them a couple hundred grand of taxes, and I had no idea how I did that and how I would pay that.”
The Kinks said it best: “The tax mans taken all my dough / And left me in my stately home / Lazing on a sunny afternoon.”
4. Jackson 5 – “I’ll Be There”
Suggested by @TomLimongello on Twitter: ”I’ll be there” jackson 5 because @eldsjal sleep outside of the office and always asked for follow up meetings.
5. The Clash – “I Fought the Law”
For Ek, Napster was a revelation to him, and the way he discovered all his favorite bands. But for him, it wasn’t just about stealing, it was about getting a better product with higher sound quality and the ability to play it on any device: “The stolen product has been much much better than the one you legally acquired.”
6. Cheap Trick – “I Want You to Want Me”
Ek opens up about wanted to feel accepted when he came to America: “It’s actually funny, because for the first year of living abroad, I didn’t want to be seen as a foreigner. I wanted to be more accepted, so I picked up phrases like ‘hitting it out of the park’ and things like that.”
“i’ve tried to work on my accent to sound more American.”
7. Jay-Z – “Empire State of Mind” – Ek on his love of New York: “The talent now goes to the West Coast, when they should stay here… If you’re into music, if you’re into arts, NY is the place to be.”
8. Barrett Strong – “Money (That’s What I Want)” – Ek on massive funding rounds: “It’s a pure function of our belief being that if you can get money, you should take it. And, by proxy, with that philosophy that means that you’re always fundraising or you’re never fundraising.”
9. The Game – “Hate it or Love it” - Ek has been fighting with the record labels for years . But while their business has shrunk, his has continued to expand to the point where, hate it or love it, they’ll have to start working with guys like him: “We need to provide them with a better path, and show them that tthe evolution of the interent isn’t going to just marginalize or stabilize thier business, but that it will grow thir business as well.”
10. Tom Petty – “I Won’t Back Down” - When it comes to digital music, you have to be a hard-ass at the negotiating table. Not because it’s fun to be a jerk, but because if you compromise on finances, you might not be capable to build the best product you can. “It’s super important to never compromise on what you think is a great user experience, because it will deteriorate.”
11. Barry White – “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” - Ek says that if he could have one mediocre superpower it would be the power to look into the future one hour, mainly to see (at least in his single days) if he should have kept talking to this or that girl. Ek and Sarah Lacy call it the “Barry White probability.”