Tunefruit Startup Chatter: Ben Horowitz…The Rap Genius?

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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tcdisrupt/4640172908

What does a successful venture capitalist and hip hop have in common?  Apparently a lot. Horowitz is co-founder of the famed Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. With an investment portfolio that includes Skype, Instagram and Foursquare, Ben Horowitz and partner Marc Andreessen have become extremely successful.  Enter a unique kind of candidate to join their fray: Rap Genius.  The website is self-described as a cross between Wikipedia and an urban dictionary.  Their involvement shows that they believe that the website has far reaching implications beyond the hip hop world.  For starters, Horowitz has stated that hip hop culture is hugely influential in shaping future marketing trends which in turn impact several businesses in different verticals.  The firm invested $15 million back in 2012, with plans to branch out beyond hip hop lyrics into areas such as copyright law and licensing.

In addition to Rap Genius, Ben Horowitz has invited key players into the investment world that may be a surprise to some, like Rapper Nas.  Nas recently teamed up with Ben Horowitz to invest in Tristan Walker’s new startup Bevel.  It’s a company that provided customers with high end shaving tools by mail.  Nas spent some time with Tristan and was very impressed with the company, which prompted the investment.

Horowitz has always used hip hop when describing business concepts (check out his blog).  It can be viewed as quite unconventional to use hip hop lyrics to promote entrepreneurship.  However, the entrepreneurship theme has always been deeply embedded in the culture.  The grind and the theme of “coming from nothing to something” is a concept that all entrepreneurs can relate to.  The fact that the majority of tech entrepreneurs are twenty somethings and may be fans of hip hop themselves makes conveying boring biz school concepts into something more relatable much more powerful.  Non hip-hop fans can also learn something too.

cantaloupe 1ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Derrick Pryce (known as Cantaloupe at Tunefruit) is a music producer and keyboard player based in Atlanta, GA.  His current release is entitled Kebomusic Presents: The Experience, which is available on iTunes and Amazon. In addition to music, he is very much interested in technology, entrepreneurship and venture capital. He thinks mixing them all up would be fantastic. For more information, check out www.kebomusic.com.

Tunefruit Start Up Chatter: Tomorrowland Is Here Today

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Tomorrowland?

To be honest, the first time I heard the phrase I thought it was a ride at Disneyland.  Apparently, I was mistaken. Tomorrowland is an international EDM (electronic dance music) festival that takes place in Belgium every year. Once a niche market confined to ravers, EDM is now a multi-million dollar industry. 360,000 tickets were sold out in less than an hour. This year’s festival has been extended to two weekends as opposed to one, while being  watched by over 16 million people via it’s YouTube live stream. The venue itself is rented for an additional two weeks after the festival is over to ensure the park is restored to its prior state.

For the first time last year the festival expanded to North America, namely Georgia. The Chattahoochee Hills, just outside Atlanta, now hosts TomorrowWorld.

Festival organizers seem to be raking it in, however, the sound curators of this genre are the ones really benefitting. Forbes.com does a yearly roundup of the highest grossing DJs around the world. The highest paid DJ in the world tops out at around $46 million a year.  Lucrative venues such as Las Vegas and Ibiza keep the demand strong for this genre.  Who would have thought that DJing would become so lucrative?  Perhaps it’s time to dust off the Mac Book Pro and start working on that playlist.

http://doandroidsdance.com/features/business-of-edm

cantaloupe 1ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Derrick Pryce (known as Cantaloupe at Tunefruit) is a music producer and keyboard player based in Atlanta, GA.  His current release is entitled Kebomusic Presents: The Experience, which is available on iTunes and Amazon. In addition to music, he is very much interested in technology, entrepreneurship and venture capital. He thinks mixing them all up would be fantastic. For more information, check out www.kebomusic.com.