For 14 weeks straight my routine was like clock-work. Wake at 4:00am. Prepare a carafe of French Press coffee (as only I can - I’ve never had a cup of coffee I enjoy more than the one I make). Read, pray, and reflect as I sipped the sacred black sludge. And then drive 35 min to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. (Another great reason for going in early - it would take an hour a half during rush hour)
Walking across the bare parking lot toward the Trolley Barn, I felt like a soldier going into battle, ready to meet the faithful frienemy that waited for me on the other side of the modern glass and steel door. The countdown clock.
Heather McBee, the mastermind behind Project Music, had placed it there intentionally so that all 8 of us teams that had been chosen for this musicpreneur bootcamp would see it whenever we entered or exited the building - functioning like a ‘Play Like a Champion Today’ sign that football players smack for good luck on their way out to face a tough opponent.
Yesterday I returned to the EC, this time invited back for the honor of serving on a panel to discuss my favorite subject - metadata! :) As I walked in and saw the Project Music banner, it all came rushing back. Like a muscle memory I uttered under my breath the same motivational phrase of ‘let’s do this!’ I had done every morning, as if I were back in the accelerator. It has only been a year, but it feels like 10 years. (My friend Julia Polk, who also serves as Dart’s CFO, says that ‘entrepreneur years are like dog years’. 7 years equals one year. Of course we’re exaggerating, but it certainly feels that way). I can’t tell you how many times I’m sharing news with someone that I’m confident was a week or two ago only to realize that it was yesterday.
It’s crazy what a year can bring. But I guess it makes sense if we kind of are fitting several years into one.
Raised $1.5mm in seed funding - via Billboard
Produced the first published Style Guide for Classical Music - via MusicBiz
Built an incredible team to make it happen.
Interacting with the companies of Project Music’s Cohort #2 was exhilarating. Their questions about the most important subject in digital commerce and the opportunities it especially holds for the music industry, along with the smart and honest answers of the panel, gave me a fresh sense of optimism. I am excited not just for these companies and the journey that is before them, but for the products and services they are creating. Nashville is daily becoming better and better thanks to focused initiatives in music, technology, and entrepreneurship. But most importantly I’m excited that Music City continues to foster the ecosystem to produce a better music industry. And as a result Music itself is becoming better and better.
As the digits fall away on the Project Music clock, so do the problems of the music industry. The countdown is on.