MICHAEL ROBERTSON INTERVIEW AT ALWAYSON
Good interview at AlwaysOn of Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com and current founder of MP3tunes:
What maverick tech entrepreneur and open-media advocate Michael Robertson hopes to accomplish by reentering the MP3 fray.
AlwaysOn: It's been more than three years since you sold MP3.com. Now, you've reentered that business with MP3tunes. Do you feel like you're finishing off what you started with MP3.com?
Michael Robertson: In four years I built a company with 300 employees and about $80 million in annual revenue—and we were profitable. Then I sold the company, and in the process I became independently wealthy. Those are huge accomplishments that I'm very proud of, but there's a certain part of me that's disappointed, because I didn't get to fulfill my vision of how the music industry should work. While I was at MP3.com we were building a structure that would store music online—an online music locker. But all that went away once I sold the company.
When you start a business it's all about making money for your shareholders. But I also want to change the world. I want to influence the world. I want to make the world better for my two boys, and I want to push the world in a direction that's good. And the DRM world—as I'm seeing it evolve around us, because of iTunes and Windows Media DRM—is not the world that I want. So to answer your question, yes, I do feel like I have unfinished business to address, and that was one of my motivations for getting back into the business with MP3tunes. (full article)