The Startup Dream

For the majority of college, I was involved in the undergraduate entrepreneurial groups on campus, mainly Bruin Entrepreneurs and LA Hacks. These small pockets were comprised of talented, creative, and most importantly, driven thinkers, so naturally, we would break bread over some break out list start-ups and often found ourselves talking the night away about random startup ideas. When you get a group of haphazard builders in one room, you never know what someone is going to say or do. To list every high potential or extremely frivolous idea would take too long, so here are some startup ideas I still happen to remember:

  • A full-body, wet-suit like thing athletes can wear in any terrain that tracks all sorts of data: heat mapping, muscle contractions, movement tracking, etc. There would be an associated piece of software that coaches would use to deeply analyze their athlete’s movement. Also included would be a full feature set for training. Everything from custom performance tracking to workouts for every type of athlete across any sport.
  • Too many silly machine learning/big data products. One of my friends actually started building out a tool that would track a consumer’s eye movement over any webpage and analyze all the heat map data.
  • Smart refrigerator that would keep track of produce/meat expiration dates and always know what is available in that large, cold box.
  • A credit pulling API that would banks/employers/insurers could integrate into their systems that would remove the dependence on hard pulls from major credit bureaus.

This blog post has got me reminiscing about the past, and as time goes on, the desire to build something awesome and useful continues to grow.

Sharing Music with the Homies

These past couple of years, the amount of music I listen to has grown exponentially. There are too many talented artists in the world, and nowadays, there are so many platforms to share music (Bandcamp is my favorite). Every week, I try to find new songs to personally enjoy but more so, share with my friends. I also found building themed playlists to be extremely fun and rewarding. Unfortunately, as my excitement for music grows, the number of people I share a single Spotify link grows too, and I quickly myself wanting to build a new music sharing tool.

I want this tool to have a good balance between sharing the music that I’ve personally been hooked on and helping my friends find music that they’ll enjoy. For the v1, I’m thinking about using the Twilio API to build out a two-way messaging experience, something similar to a cli where they’ll have a fixed set of actions to act from. The UX might look something like this:

  1. I automatically subscribe my friends to this service because I already have their phone numbers, and I start by sending them small batches of Spotify links of songs/albums/playlists. In these texts, there will be options to text back a few things like: genre, tempo, or concerts.
  2. If they text back genre, the tool will text back a list of genres they can subscribe. However, these genres aren’t your typical pop or RnB, but instead, I’ll probably have them be some of my playlist names or titles where it’ll be a good blend of genres.
  3. If they text back tempo, the tool will return options for how frequent they want to receive songs from me. I’m thinking this can range from a fast as every day to monthly.
  4. If they text back concerts, the tool will send them upcoming links to concerts for artists nearby.

If I really think about an ideal situation for the tool, it goes far beyond just sharing music with my friends. For the early stages, I just want to have this tool be one of the main sources of new music, but down the line, I can definitely see a reality where this tool expands into a larger service that musicians, talent agencies, and concert venues can all leverage. If enough people are subscribed, musicians can find value is using this service for their distribution, talent agencies can subscribe to the service to try to find up and coming artists, and concert venues, especially smaller ones, can utilize the broad marketing channels. However, all these blessings are only possible after the platform reaches a critical mass, so for now, I think I’ll try to build out an mvp and share some songs with my friends!

Cover photo: a lone wolf somewhere in Brussels