Tim Westergren is a man who has dedicated his life to music and the broadcast of talented upcoming artists. He was born in Northern Midwest Minneapolis on 21st December 1965. He plays the piano professionally, and over the years he has also learned drums, clarinet, and bassoon.
Together with Jon Kraft and Will Glaser, Westergren founded Pandora Media in 2000. It was beginning of an uphill task where they had to work extra hard for the company’s success. Although it was not was not easy, it joined New York Stock Exchange in 2011 reporting $ 138 million in revenue that financial year. He quit as CEO of the company after working there for 17 years. Tim has a fantastic story when you read about him, and some things you may discover about the smart innovator include:
He was a Musician and Writer
Before Tim started running Pandora, he was a musician who spent more than a decade trying to be a successful performer after college. He played in bands for a while because he is also a jazz-trained piano player. He is also an experienced sound engineer. During this phase in life, Westergren was living out of a van being part of the group of working musicians. He also spent about five years writing music for films. Although he did not have any formal training in business, he felt that working in a band prepared him well to start his company.
He has Faced Some Tough Financial Times
Before his firm hit its big break, it underwent some challenging times financially. Things were so bad that they did not pay employees for two years. Tim survived on sheer willpower and maxed out credit cards from 2002 to 2004. At the time, Pandora owned $2 million in back wages. Westergren has a dent of $500,000 while trying to pay his bills and as many salaries as possible. The situation attracted lawsuits from two employees who did not receive their payments.
He is an Excellent Motivator
As a musician by training with little to fall back on, he put in a lot of effort to keep his team together even though the company was not doing well. Tim motivated his employees by coming up with speech after speech. This encourages them about the market’s enormous potential and that Pandora would finally do well in regards to impacting culture and music.
Tim Westergren Experienced a “Miracle” amidst Financial Woes
He is still not sure how his company in 2004 was able to close a $9 million deal for founding just when he was drowning in debt. The same day he helps a meeting for everyone working for Pandora. As usual, employees were expecting another speech, but instead, he surprised them with stacks of envelopes that contained salaries of all 50 employees. People at the time thought that it was a bad joke and the checks would bounce.
He Loves Listening to the Radio
Westergren says that he listens to the radio every day with his children. He was especially fascinated by the elegant one-button solution that it offered. He, however, had plans to come up with a better version of the medium when he co-founded Pandora.
Tim is a Talented StoryTeller
He believes that this is a skill which played a significant role in the success of Pandora. He used it while pitching for the establishment to get funding. People who have heard him speak agree that his speeches are impressive demanding attention anytime he talks. He has natural charm and charisma traits that help grow Pandora’s steaming footprint. It also contributed to his marketing skills that got the word out there about the company.
He Developed a New Category
The genius innovator came up with a music genome that has a unique algorithm, enabling music discovery through songs and artists. Even though streaming radio was already in existence at the time, it has not achieved mass appeal. Many people appreciated Pandora as it because the gateway that introduced millions to streaming radios. Radio executives considered this a wake up call as they could see that streaming was rapidly transitioning to the mainstream.
He wants to be Ironman
Just like any other man, Tim has a favorite superhero. He admires ironman and would one day love to put on the suit even if it was only for fifteen minutes.
He Worked as a Nanny
Tim graduated from Stanford University where he studied recording technology and computer acoustics. From here, he dived into working as a composer and record producer. His side hustle at the time was working as a nanny in between jobs looking after the little ones.
He is not sure about his next Project
After he stopped working for Pandora, Tim Westergren has not yet revealed the project that he will take upon next. He, however, confirms that it will have something to do with music.
Written by Garrett Parker
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