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San Francisco - Greetings From The San Francisco Chapter Board: Chris Andrews
Chris Andrews - President/CEO at SoundLink
San Francisco Governor
What do you do?
I am an entrepreneur. I come up with ideas usually related to digital media, social media, or publishing. Often my ideas combine technology and sound/video. If the idea is small, I build it myself and sell it. If the idea is big, I raise funding and form a startup company, which is what I have done with SoundLink. SoundLink is a social network platform based on people using their voices rather than typing. I founded SoundLink in 2011.
How/when did you get your start?
In 1980, I got invited to a party in SF next to Ghirardelli Square. I met a very forward-thinking computer executive, and by the end of the night I had been offered a job with IP Sharp as their one-person office in the Silicon Valley. Sharp was a brilliant company, they created/sold email systems, database access, lots of things that look like the Internet. And the whole company was run using the same products we sold, so I got my career start using email extensively and very little telephone. I was there for 5 years, and in 1985 dove head-first into CD-ROM, imagining it to be the solution to the high cost of online data access/retrieval, which cost around $200 per hour at Sharp. In 1990, I got bored with “data” and began producing products that contain sound, music, photos, video, etc.
What’s a piece of advice you’ve learned that you wish someone had shared with you?
It doesn’t matter what other people think of you, it only matters how you feel. If you feel good, the right people will migrate towards you, and the wrong people will stay away. By feeling good, I mean you enjoy what you are doing, you are comfortable in your own skin, that your mind is clear and able.
Secrets to Success
Do one thing better than anyone else on the planet, learn it inside out so you can know what it really means to “know” something. Then know a little bit about everything else. It really doesn’t matter what your profession is, it matters how you approach your profession, what your unique contribution to your profession is.
How are emerging technologies changing the music industry and specifically your field?
There is a lot of “noise” out there in technology, many temporary technologies that fill a need for a short period of time. Every day new technologies come out in the digital media, multimedia producing area, and the most important thing is having a good compass to evaluate which ones are substantive and long lasting and which are merely quick fixes. Very little has changed over the years with the music itself, it is mostly the container the music is in, the way music is distributed. I anticipate more niche music offerings, clubs, subscriptions to balance out the mass distribution sites that take the place of record stores. And of course, there will be many different ways to discover music, and ultimately (in my humble opinion) – since you need to listen to the music first to see if you like it, I think a lot of these services will produce similar results. It’s just a matter of how fun and engaging the music discovery services make their experience, this will differentiate them.
Growing up, which artists inspired you the most?
Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Cold Blood, Tower of Power, Pete Seeger, Beatles