Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Story on Pandora's Perseverence

Great story on entrepreneurship and perseverance by Tim Westergren, so this link deserves its own space. He closed his second round after 347th pitches and 11 credit cards.

"How Pandora Slipped Past the Junkyard"

The New York Times

OAKLAND, Calif. — Tim Westergren recently sat in a Las Vegas penthouse suite, a glass of red wine in one hand and a truffle-infused Kobe beef burger in the other, courtesy of the investment bankers who were throwing a party to court him.

It was a surreal moment for Mr. Westergren, who founded Pandora, the Internet radio station. For most of its 10 years, it has been on the verge of death, struggling to find investors and battling record labels over royalties.

Had Pandora died, it would have joined myriad music start-ups in the tech company graveyard, like SpiralFrog and the original Napster. Instead, with a successful iPhone app fueling interest, Pandora is attracting attention from investment bankers who think it could go public, the pinnacle of success for a start-up.

Pandora’s 48 million users tune in an average 11.6 hours a month. That could increase as Pandora strikes deals with the makers of cars, televisions and stereos that could one day, Pandora hopes, make it as ubiquitous as AM/FM radio.

“We were in a pretty deep dark hole for a long time,” said Mr. Westergren, who is now the company's chief strategy officer.. “But now it’s a pretty out-of-body experience.”... (full article)

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