This week, I became the CEO of haystack.com. I've been the financial advisor to Haystack for over a year. With the current move, I'm giving up that role and - some would say - doubling down on my already substantial commitment to Haystack, which I will have to juggle alongside running my own businesses, my volunteer efforts on the Foundation Board of the Brooklyn Public Library, and being a husband and dad.
First, it boils down to Commitment. The company's founders, Jordan Garbis and Abby Schneiderman, CTO Mike Welles, and all the other creative, passionate and talented folks at Haystack have been doing yeoman's work on hope and a promise. Adam, Ryan, Gus, Myles, Phil, Bill and many others deserve equal credit. Having come this far with them, how could I just give up.
Second, it is a bet on Respect. The company believes that an approach that Respects the audiences, the artists, and the music industry will eventually pay off. I can't go into details on the huge bear hug the artists and the music industry have given the company, but suffice it to say that at launch there will be more full songs and music videos available for legal streaming than any other website. With the company's upcoming soft launch on March 19, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you will also respond by visiting. Please visit, comment constructively and come back again. We can only pledge to keep getting better.
Finally, I believe that it's a bet on the Future. Haystack is trying to connect the dots in the existing industry environment and hopefully support every stakeholder in the music ecosystem as it makes its painful transition to a digital world. Markets are not perfectly efficient; Haystack also offers an opportunity for those disenfranchised from the existing label model - by their own choice or not - to find their own audiences.
Would you like to help? Email me with your thoughts.