Seth Goldstein

CEO at Crossfader.fm

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 13, 2015

Discussion

seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
I'm Seth Goldstein, and i have started and funded a bunch of internet startups over the past twenty years. for the past few years i have been focused on making music more social and interactive, first with turntable.fm and more recently with crossfader.fm. i love mentoring founders, giving actionable feedback, and talking honestly about the emotional realities that we have to wrestle with as entrepreneurs.
V Saket Ram@vsaketram · trbble
Hi Seth, what do you feel about the emergence of human curation in music discovery? Do you think song recommendations from trusted sources is going to overtake the algorithmic approach?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@vsaketram im not sure its either/or. since even if with a fully "human curated" music experience there is often so much data and noise that you need to apply algorithms to make sense of it. discovery is a magic word that resonates for both users and for the music industry. everybody wants to be on the right side of discovery. i do think there is a big seismic shift in music that many are not focused on, namely how songs are getting broken down into constituent parts like loops/stems/drops and getting quoted and remixed as part of new remixes and mashups. similar to how the unit of the album got broken down and unbundled into songs.
V Saket Ram@vsaketram · trbble
@seth Loved your take on music discovery, esp since we at @trbble are looking to solve the problem through crowdsourced best parts of songs
Rick Right?@rickright_
Hi @Seth, this is Rick Right? from Crossfader. Where do you see Crossfader in a year and do you think it could somehow make its way into a festival/club setting?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@rickright_ hello mr dj. by next october... id like for crossfader to provide more direct ways for you to collaborate and communicate with your fellow djs on the platform. i have always dreamed of enabling a new kind of global drum circle with people taking turns crossfading without the mix ever droppping the beat. there are some new platforms like appletv and oculus vr that are also interesting and which we are prototyping for. in terms of festivals/clubs, yes. we need to enable our power users like you and @hopey_scorpion to find local opportunities to crossfade; and we will identify tent-pole kind of opportunities on a country by country basis and invite some of our favorite djs to come and perform. for example, we are eyeing envision festival in costa rica in february http://www.envisionfestival.com/ as a possibility along these lines.
Hopey♏️@hopey_scorpion
@seth do you think crossfader can keep getting bigger and bigger?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@hopey_scorpion we need to keep working both sides of the "easy to use, hard to master" statement: ie we need to make it easier and easier for first time users to figure out how to use it and get them to make a mix and share it. and we also need to keep adding subtle improvements to the core instrument (better loop management / improved filters ) to keep our power users like you engaged and feeling like it continues to be worth the time investment you are making. at some point, i think we need to help our best djs elevate their game to the next level, in terms of finding bigger audiences and getting paid $.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
What moment in your career to date has surprised you the most and why?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@ems_hodge im not sure these were the biggest surprises, but they are memorable moments: i remember going to esther dyson's release 2.0 internet conference in 2006 and listening to a panel about social networking with zuckerberg, reid hoffman and somebody from microsoft. it was so clear to me that zuck was playing chess while everybody else was playing checkers. he had a native understanding of how social media worked that was not studied. i also remember in 2004/2005 getting my name as a address when google first launched gmail, and thinking that this was a game changer. so there are moments like those, when new platform realities make themselves obvious.
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
sup out there...?
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
You launched one of the first internet marketing firms in NYC back in the mid-nineties (SiteSpecific). Did you have the big vision for what it was going to be when you first started it? Or did it evolve into something different/bigger than you imagined?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@melissajoykong it really just started building web sites and evolved into more of an interactive advertising agency. back then (1995) there were no iab banner standards or search engine keywords or anything like that, so it was more fun and irreverent and less about optimization. it was me and some friends and we just hustled for business. and had lots of fun. and ended up creating some cool stuff.
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
I've played around with Crossfader, and think it's so fun. But, earlier this year, I was at a dinner table across from two prominent DJs and when Crossfader came up (most of the table seemed to love the idea), the two DJs went stone-faced and said the app "took away from the art of DJing." How would you respond to artists who make a living off of DJing and think apps like Crossfader.fm are a watering down of their craft?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@melissajoykong thanks for sharing melissa. one of our angel investors told me that crossfader made djing about "taste not technique" and i think that makes sense. crossfader takes away from the art of djing in the same way that laptops and cdjs bastardized classic vinyl turntablism. this is the relentless reality of technology in its impact on artistic production. think about how instagram took maybe 5% of the functionality of photoshop and yet made digital photography relevant to 5,000 times more people. its fairly obvious to me that the next generation of great dj artists are going to be using their phones rather than their laptops on stage. and so thats where crossfader fits in.
Will Paz@will_peace
@seth Crossfader is a brilliant idea and potentially could be the future of djs mixing music. How did the idea come to fruition and how were you able to execute your vision? The idea alone is great, but I enjoy how it is social as well. What do you see in the coming months for the community and its growth or what would you LIKE to see?What is your goal for Crossfader? The end vision, I suppose? For example do you want it to change the way music is mixed or become the standard of how we mix? Do you just want it to be a great time? Etc.
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@will_peace i am blessed to work with a great team here in sf and we have created crossfader together. fortunately, we have been doing it long enough now that we have attracted some alpha users who use the app even more than we do and who are helping to lead us towards what it needs to become.
Will Paz@will_peace
@seth @will_peace lol like myself @deejaychilliam yeah you mostly answered my question with @totalmusicpower @rickright_? And @Hopey_Scorpion we've all been sitting here in chat talking about everything. Mission successful. All we needed was a chat and it's been one day and your top DJ team is tight like they've been brothers their whole life. Great family, great app, lead by an even greater team. Thank you. 🙏🙏👏🏼
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Seth! We see so many startups build a "better music discovery" experience and most fail. Are current solutions good enough? If not, what's missing? Also, where do you listen to and discover music? I'm a big fan of Spotify and Hype Machine.
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@rrhoover i use songza and sonos and spotify more or less. i discover a lot of stuff through crossfader of course, but they are just excerpts from full tracks so then i might go to spotify to listen to them fully.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Hi Seth, what has been the biggest challenge you've faced getting turntable.fm off the ground? What advice to find yourself giving to founders most often?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@ems_hodge sadly turntable.fm is no longer with us. :-( in terms of advice, as i get older i seem to fall back on more and more cliches like: "the perfect is the enemy of the good" , "nothing like numbers to ruin a good story"...
Espial Capital@espialcapital · Espial Capital
@seth How do you get a feature pushed through if a team is resistant to its development but you believe it is necessary for the best customer experience? How can you get total opt-in? Do you need it?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@espialcapital i guess it depends on the culture you have created. and culture is typically set in the first 18 months of a startup life. so if you have created a top-down "i am the boss" jobs/zuck/musk environment, then employees are used to executing your vision. but there are few leaders like those who have an adequate reservoir of conviction and ideas to point it at. otherwise, you have a more collaborative culture where you are more focused on empowering those around you to provide leadership at different times and you draft off of eachother. more like page/hastings leadership. the danger is vacillating between these, like a helicopter parent. more culture stuff in this post https://medium.com/@seth/startup...
☠ ILiΛƧ KΛЯiM ☠@iliask · cofounder, Crossfader
Kate@katesegrin · Community @Tierion
@seth what kind of "emotional realities" have you faced that you've noticed other entrepreneurs running into? How did you overcome them (and what might differ in your advice to others contrary to your experience)?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@katesegrin we are like shock absorbers: tampering down expectations when things start going too well, and generating enthusiasm when things look most bleak. despite all of the amazing resources online and off for entrepreneurs, it remains a fundamentally lonely and obsessive endeavor.
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · PMM @Twitter // Previously @ProductHunt
Who is the target audience (and in what setting) for Crossfader? Is there a segment you think would LOVE it, but just may be too hard to penetrate?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@andrewmettinger our sweet spot seems to be 13-19 year old males around the world. we have solid bases in mexico, south korea, japan, brazil, turkey. it's really for the generation of music lovers who want to interact with their music the way they do with all other forms of media, and who spend most of their time connected via an iphone rather than a laptop. that being said, i was in japan a few weeks ago to meet some of our awesome djs there and lo and behold one of my fave djs, hacchi88, turned out to be 62! see here
Total Music Power@totalmusicpower
Hey @seth do you think you will include a commenting part similiar to sound cloud on crossfader?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@totalmusicpower yup coming soon
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Student
Hi! Seth. I'm Japanese. So I use often Niconico , Soundcloud or Mixcloud. However I'm gonna use Crossfader.fm.1 : What else do other Japanese use Crossfadar.fm? 2 : Do you gonna add Japanese song? I think LINE music and AWA is not so much about business model(both is Japanese streaming apps).
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
hi yoshi, i dont know niconio. we have lots of japanese users. in the app look for benav and hacchi88 who are some of my faves
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Student
@seth Thank you for answering. Niconico is http://www.nicovideo.jp/ If you have a time , please try to watch and search by using Vocaloid^^
Vinay Mimani@wiredmau5 · Founder : trbble
Hi @Seth, was sad when I heard about turntable.fm. Is there a part of you which intentionally wants to avoid products which would require you to get in touch with the streaming labels? Also, how do you see an exit strategy(if that's something you are looking for) w.r.t a streaming site? Thanks!
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@wiredmau5 turntable didnt fail because of the labels, it failed because of leadership. we all fucked up a wonderful opportunity. hopefully, we have made fewer mistakes here at crossfader. i try not to focus too much on the music labels here other than to ensure that we are not violating any rights. the key is to create a loyal engaged creative user base and listen to them and enable them to promote themselves to broader audiences to create a larger platform. if i were focused on an exit i probably wouldnt be doing music to begin with. ;-)
Phil Nguyen@p_ngu · The Daily Water Cooler + Vettery
Hi Seth - first off, thank you for turntable.fm, I enjoyed it greatly while it was around! Second, what are your thoughts on the ongoing drama between artists arguing that services like Spotify don't compensate them properly while streaming companies themselves appear to be operating at a loss? Seems like very few people are happy with the current arrangements but will anything in the near term change?
seth goldstein@seth · co-founder: crossfader, turntable.fm
@p_ngu that requires a longer answer than im capable of right now... but tweet at me and we can discusss
Phil Nguyen@p_ngu · The Daily Water Cooler + Vettery
@seth Done! Link here: https://twitter.com/p_ngu/status... Thanks again for taking the time to drop some wisdom. I love music startups so your work is an inspiration.