New Years is extra special for an entrepreneur as it’s a chance to refocus, recharge, and go full speed ahead with buckets of sheer optimism and conviction. Yes, it’s a big deal and really exciting to have a whole year to look forward to and an early excuse freshen things up and iterate (in non-entrepreneurly terms, modify) your approach. You’ll notice some changes in the title, questions asked, and frequency of articles in this series – all are with the aim to make these super interesting Vancouver entrepreneurs stand out that much more. We kick off 2013 with Indiloop, a local cloud based music mixing and streaming service looking to put the music industry on its hea hea hea headddd – Reeeeeemix. Check it.
1. Who are you? Tell us about your business/core idea and what inspired you to create it.
My name is Erik Ashdown, and my partner is Karl Goddard. We’ve developed something called Indiloop. Indiloop is a cloud based music mixing and streaming service… That sounds really complicated so let’s make a comparison. We are to remix software what Instagram is to Photoshop.
The idea actually stemmed from the fact that it didn’t exist. Erik was surfing the net one day looking for a online DJ program that would let him sample bits of songs he knew, couldn’t find it, and then decided to make it.
2. What makes you unique from what other similar offerings on the market?
We’ve got a pretty cool niche. We aren’t a music streaming service like Spotify, or RDIO. We aren’t DJ software like Ableton, or Pro Tools, but we’re not a music game like Rock Band, or Guitar Hero, We’ve just taken the best things about all of those great products and manipulated them into a quality product that people are really enjoying.
Remixing music is HUGE, and so far no one has managed to capitalize on it with the exception of a few DJ’s. We wanted to bring that power to the masses. Music is a powerful thing, and the ability to turn anyone into a musician is a powerful thing.
3. Tell us more about the teams backgrounds and how you came up with the name Indiloop?
Both of us used to play in bands (Karl still does) so we had that appreciation for music already. Aside from that, Karl was working as a software developer for a company based out of Seattle then decided to quit to do this gig fulltime. Erik’s background is mostly in sales and marketing, and he went to and gracefully dropped out of Concordia University on Montreal.
We have about as complimentary skill sets as you can get. I talk to a point where people complain, and Karl is so quiet that his emails seldom exceed 30 characters. We’re about as opposite as you can get which is probably the fundamental reason why we haven’t stabbed each other yet.
I wish there was a cool story behind the name, but we just wanted something that was fun to say, and that had a domain that cost less than $20…
4. What kind of challenges has your team had to face and how have you mitigated them?
Wow… I don’t know where to start with that one. Between trying to get your foot into the door of the music industry without knowing anyone and telling strange rich people to give you boat loads of money to build something that you only wished existed so you could play with it…Everything is a challenge. If it wasn’t a challenge everyone would be an entrepreneur.
But seriously if I had to say anything it’s asking a million people for their opinion. I bug people about things all the time, and have a handful of people I call only to get my ideas torn to shreds. It also doesn’t hurt that Karl and I are so diametrically opposed that if both parties think something is a bad idea it usually is.
5. What core problem are you specifically solving for Vancouverites?
- A way for Vancouver musicians to upload their music so they might ACTUALLY find a new audience.
- Giving anyone the power to make music that matters to them. It’s a great feeling to see someone sit down and make music for the first time ever. It’s even better when they spend 10 minutes trying to convince you that they don’t have an ear for music or the software will be too hard, and then manage to make a kick ass song in less than 5 minutes.
6. What entrepreneur has inspired you the most for running your business and what makes them so special?
I was fortunate enough to have worked for a friend of mine’s brother who was an entrepreneur, and made me realizes starting your own business isn’t rocket science. I also had the pleasure of living with a guy who’s a serial entrepreneur and blatantly refused to get a job on more than one occasion. They both really inspired me to not listen to what people say, and to just do my own thing, and that a good idea will validate itself.
Since Karl isn’t here to defend himself I’ll answer for him. I think Karl was also an entrepreneur, but just didn’t have the drive, or the right idea to prompt him to go all the way. I mean It really didn’t take much convincing to convince him quit his cosy overpaid programming gig.
7. What Vancouver celebrity would you most be excited to have as a member of the team and why?
I’m a big Matthew Good fan, and since we’re in music biz it definitely wouldn’t hurt. If not him then Colbie Smulders because I think we could get more notoriety simply by association.
8. What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?
If someone tells you you’re crazy and your idea is nuts you’re on the right track. If people validate your idea too quickly their humouring you, or don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. There’s a great Ted Talk that really motivated me at the beginning, and I often find myself citing it to others when trying to convince them to do things, I’d explain it, but hopefully you’ve clicked the link and watched the video already,
Having a good tag line doesn’t hurt either.. Something like “Thank you for your time, and we hope that you’ll join us and get Indiloop!”
*End of interview*
The music industry is one that has had to change in many interesting ways. It has had to adapt to the changing rules of the game that technology has disrupted time and time again. Mixing songs for easy everyday use by the normal consumer is a recent trend in that has emerged the last five years. What Indiloop is doing is pretty interesting with the refreshed way of music sharing on the user side and especially, the new music distribution strategy for rising and established artists. The key here is adoption and changing habits. Always a challenge but very doable with the right amount of smarts, timing, and persistence.
You can follow Indiloop on Facebook
*Vancouver Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs and startups that are making a local and even a global impact. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to explain why you’re a fit”