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  • Barbara Fava

    I left Google, lost 180k$, then founded my company and got successful!

    2021-02-15

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2uy7Fn_0Yccj67300

    For those with knowledge and a passion for music platforms, the name of Jason Grishkoff is iconic.

    Ex-Googler, founder of Indie Shuffle and then Submithub, Jason is the example of taking chances in life and being successful.

    For those who are new to the subject and passionate about technology, business development, and stories tasting like success, I got the chance to interview him in exclusive for my News Break's readers.

    1) Hi Jason, first of all, thank you for accepting this interview!

    I know very well who you are, but I would like you to introduce yourself to our readers of NewsBreak.

    Hello NewsBreak readers!

    My name’s Jason.

    I’ve been working in the world of “music discovery” for about 13 years now.

    I currently reside in Cape Town (South Africa) with a lovely wife and two young daughters, though we’ve still got half a toe over in California (where the rest of my family live).

    Music Blogs.

    2) You started as a music blogger with Indie Shuffle, becoming an eminence in the business, can you tell us where the idea was born?

    I really began my love for music discovery at the height of torrenting.

    The internet made it incredibly easy to download full albums, and with that came exposure to an unprecedented amount of new music.

    I wanted to share my findings with as many friends as I could, which naturally led me to start Indie Shuffle in 2008.

    The project quickly became an obsession, and before I knew it, I had turned Indie Shuffle into one of the most popular music blogs around (you know, back when blogs were cool).

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3vWSxb_0Yccj67300

    Leaving Google.

    3) I know you have been working in Google, and you left.

    Knowing how many people would love to work there, could you tell us why you decided to say goodbye to Google?

    I left Google in 2013 after signing a contract with Spin Magazine for a cool $180,000 per year.

    I figured that was enough money to travel the world AND hire a few full-time staff (including a team of Bangladeshis to handle the technical sides).

    So I set off for 9 months in Europe, six months in South Africa, and then again six months in Europe, and… well, the whole thing fell apart.

    Roughly a year into my journey, Spin Magazine announced that the reason they had not paid me was that they were going bankrupt.

    So I never ended up getting any of that $180k.

    Ouchies.

    At that point, mid-2014, I had to make a pretty serious decision: do I continue to slog away at the internet game, or do I run back to Google with my tail between my legs?

    I opted for the former and began teaching myself to code in earnest.

    Submithub and the revolution around music submissions.

    4) Then Submithub, a magna opera of coding, where every month thousands of artists submit their tracks to be reviewed by music curators and influencers.

    How was Submithub born?

    SubmitHub was born partly of the panic around Indie Shuffle’s future (just mentioned), my desire to learn a new skill set (coding), and my frustration at the 300+ unsolicited email submissions, that were being sent to Indie Shuffle on the daily.

    It was the perfect storm: an already-established supply/demand structure and a fire under my butt encouraging me to get things done pronto.

    5) How do you manage to continuously update the platform and making everything work?

    Well, it is my full-time job. Simple as that.

    Oh, and I have built up an incredible team around me as well -- there are five of us now, as well as a few extra helping hands.

    I do not think I would be able to manage it as a one-man-show.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=349veS_0Yccj67300

    6) I have seen you resolving problems with the coding of SubmitHub or bugs quicker than anyone else I know. How did you learn to code that fast?

    Magic.

    Okay, but seriously, I think a comparison can easily be drawn to a musician being good at the instrument they play. An outsider will look at it and say “Wow, I wish I was that talented!”...

    The reality is that it was not dumb luck or natural ability: practice makes perfect.

    In my case, the fact that I have been able to code away daily on my own pet project for 5+ years now means that I am pretty darn efficient at 1) identifying what I messed up; 2) fixing it, and 3) pushing it forward.

    7) What do you think about AI?

    I think most of what I have seen is just basic code masquerading as Artificial Intelligence.

    I would not class myself as an expert in the subject though, so I am sure some nifty actual AI is going on out there.

    Regarding the music space, I have certainly seen some folks out there touting an AI approach to music discovery.

    But I have not seen one that works just yet. The reality is that humans are sometimes hard to predict, especially when it comes to the music they like.

    So in the context of my work… it is probably a long way off!

    8) Finally, who is Jason outside IndieShuffle and Submithub? What do you like to do in your spare time?

    I like to cook - almost all our meals are home-cooked, and my wife and I have forced our kids to have pretty diverse palates.

    We are also fortunate to live in Cape Town, which has one of the greatest outdoor experiences that life can offer (a giant mountain in our backyard).

    Other hobbies include playing cricket, learning guitar, and uh… gosh there are quite a few things I want to do if I can figure out how to free up more time, including language learning (I sorta speak Spanish and French), tennis, gardening, and ceramics.

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