Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

Daniel Ek

What makes Daniel Ek influential? It's not just that his company Spotify is revolutionizing the music business and giving artists the opportunity to recoup revenue once washed away by Internet piracy. It's not just that his platform is changing the way people discover, listen to and share music. And it's not just that he managed to build one of the most prolific teams in tech, in Stockholm, by age 29. It's that he is doing what he loves, doing it well and giving away all the credit.

Daniel knows that the artist and consumer are the heart of his success. He knows that music is an expression of the soul, that quality must be maintained and that creators must be compensated. He realizes that great curating is valuable and that people love to collect and share. Daniel has democratized music in a social-commerce environment that rewards true artistry. He acknowledges success as a triumph of the masses and not of individuals.

The Internet has disrupted and will continue to disrupt most industries. Music was one of the first because audio files are so easy to share. What Daniel recognized best is that if you make paying for songs easier than stealing them, people will pay.

Spotify and Daniel Ek have made a business out of having simple faith in humanity. We could all benefit from allowing ourselves to be influenced by that ideal.

Kutcher is an actor, producer and venture capitalist