May 12, 2023

How to inspire 1 billion users - Chris Barton, Shazam

How to inspire 1 billion users - Chris Barton, Shazam
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Unicorn Bakery - The Startup Founder Podcast

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He developed an app before apps even existed - today over 1 billion people use his invention. Many scientists thought it was impossible to develop an algorithm like Shazam's. But Chris Barton didn't give up, developed the product and since the launch of the iPhone, has been delighting music fans. Shazam was then bought by Apple for over $400 million and is now integrated on every iPhone.... Look forward to a founder story from the time before Apple iPhones & Co and about a billion dollar idea.

What you'll learn:

  • Did Chris learn anything from his time at Google and Dropbox that he could apply to Shazam?
  • How did the product establish itself without an appstore vs. how did the story turn when there was then an appstore?
  • How did the company survive the many years until the big hit came?
  • How did Chris make the impossible happen - and what advice does he have for founders who want to build a product that the big market players say is impossible?


(00:01:15) What was the first prototype of Shazam looking like?

(00:06:16) What were the breaking point in popularity for Shazam?

(00:11:02) How did the first version of Shazam work and how much did it change in the years after?

(00:12:43) How did you bootstrap your company for eight years?

(00:19:01) What were the hardest decisions to make in this time from launching until it took off?

(00:26:57) What would you tell founders that are worrying about "what if the large corporations are building the same thing as we do"?

(00:30:08) When you look at your competitors: why did Shazam survive through all the years?

(00:32:33) What is your defensebility and how much longer did it take you to launch because of that?

(00:37:13) How did you invent "the impossible thing" ?

(00:46:26) What did you learn at Google or Dropbox that you brought to Shazam?

(00:49:44) Did you ever regret not spending your whole time at Shazam and working at other companies during the building process?

(00:52:00) How does your day-to-day life look today?

Chris Barton




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