Welcome to Sound Connections: An Entrepreneur's Guide to the Music Industry, a blog containing Linkedin posts from Jakob Wredstrøm that aims to unlock the secrets of success in the music industry. Sound Connections will be made in to a podcast hosted by Jakob Wredstrøm, with informative and professional guests ranging from young entrepreneurs to professional business men with years of experience. Jakob himself is an aspiring
entrepreneur and founder of Capella Entertainment, this blog and podcast is designed to provide valuable insights, resources, and guidance for musicians, producers, students, and anyone interested in the music industry.
Investing in Music
A New Frontier for Entrepreneurs
As a music entrepreneur, I've noticed a significant gap in our industry: understanding the financial side of the business. Many talented individuals in the music industry struggle to grasp the financial aspects of their work. Questions like "What is my work worth?", "What could I sell it for if I succeed?", and "What makes me a good investment?" often go unanswered.
Let's break it down
Imagine you're starting a business in the music industry. You have a great idea, but you need capital to make it happen. That's where investors come in. They're individuals or entities who provide capital, hoping that your business will generate a return on their investment.
But why would they invest in you? That's where your unique advantage, or "unfair advantage," comes in. Maybe you have a novel approach, or you're exceptionally good at what you do. This is what makes you a good bet for investors.
Now, let's talk about music IP rights. These are the rights that musicians have over their music. They can be a great investment. Why? Because they can generate revenue over and over again, every time the music is played or used.
A company called Hipgnosis Song Management has shown that investing in music IP rights can be very profitable. They're like an alternative asset class that doesn't correlate with the broader equity markets. This makes them a good choice for investors looking to diversify their portfolio.
In fact, evergreen music rights, or the rights to songs that continue to be popular and generate revenue over time, can be sold for as much as 30 times their annual revenue. That's a lot of potential profit!
So, what does this mean for you as a music entrepreneur? It means that if you succeed, there can be a good payout for you and your investors. It also means that you can use capital to aim high. Because in this industry, it's often "go big or go home."
At Capella, for our music companies, we're aiming to have at least 2 large international hits by 2030. That's a big goal, but we believe it's achievable. And that belief, along with a compelling narrative and a lot of passion, can motivate investors to put money into your company.
In the coming posts, I'll be sharing more about these topics, breaking down the financial side of the music industry in a way that's accessible yet comprehensive. Stay tuned!
My startup failed
And it was the best thing for my career
Four years ago, I co-founded a startup called Timbre with Jonas Brekke Krossli and Kristian Wredstroem. We were ambitious, aiming to democratize investment in music rights and bridge the gap between the creative industries and the financial sector. But despite our best efforts, we had to close the doors. It was a gut-wrenching experience, but in retrospect, it was also a turning point.
The experience with Timbre
was a masterclass in
resilience. It taught me
about the complexities of
the music industry, the art of
communicating the value of
music IP, and the importance
of teamwork. It showed me
my weaknesses, but more
importantly, it revealed my
Today, I'm part of Capella Entertainment, a venture that's been shaped by the lessons from my past. I've learned to see failure not as a setback, but as a stepping stone. It's a part of the journey, a necessary chapter in the story of success.
Interestingly, the vision we had for Timbre ApS is being realized by Scott Cohen with JKBX (Jukebox) but with an exceptional founder, recognition, and capital. It's a testament to the fact that sometimes, the idea is right, but the timing or the team might not be.
So, to all my fellow entrepreneurs out there, remember this: Failure is not the end. It's a part of the process. It's a lesson. It's an opportunity to grow. And most importantly, it's a chance to build resilience. We need to be patient with ourselves and have a support system that understands and supports our journey, including the failures.
As we wrote when we closed Timbre, "We have learned more than we could ever have imagined, and we are eager to bring this knowledge with us into future projects. We are still just as passionate about the music industry, and we are not done trying to make a difference."
The job I never wanted
In constant pursuit
I've always been a dreamer, the first to take a leap, the fastest to run, the deepest to dive. Yet, after a while, I find myself losing interest, seeking new challenges, new horizons. This restlessness, this thirst for novelty, has always
Throughout my career, I've worked with CEOs, and I've always felt a disconnect. I didn't see myself in them. As an entrepreneur, the idea of taking on such a role seemed alien to me. I didn't think I fit the mold, and I doubted my ability to excel in that position.
Yes, there's a common belief that a company leader should possess certain qualities. But there's also the myth of the 'complete' leader - the individual who has all the skills needed to steer the ship. More often than not, this is just an illusion.
When Capella Entertainment AS experienced unexpected growth, we found ourselves at a crossroads. We had created a community, a sense of purpose that resonated with people. But it was clear that we needed new leadership. I wasn't the most qualified, but I was more prepared than the others. So, I took the job. The job I never wanted.
In this role, I've learned that I don't need to fit the stereotype. I don't need to do it all alone. I can build teams around me that compensate for my weaknesses. I just need to be exceptionally good at building teams.
That’s what I've been focusing on lately. Inspiring others to run. Teaching them the route. Providing them with the goals, context, synergies, passion, and commitment they need.
And in doing so, I've had an epiphany. Maybe, just maybe, I can be a CEO after all. Not the stereotype, but a different kind of leader. One who empowers others, who builds teams, who inspires. One who is not afraid to rethink what it means to be a CEO.
been a part of me. In this constant pursuit of the new, I've often found myself at odds with the idea of permanence, of sticking it out, of seeing things through to the end. I can create, but I struggle to maintain. I can build, but I find it hard to finish.
When is Enough, Truly Enough?
As a founder, I've always been driven
by a relentless work ethic. From my
early years, I often found myself
clocking nearly a hundred hours a
week. Why? It's a blend of discovering
my passion for music early in life and
an indefinable drive for ambition and
achievement. This journey has
demanded countless hours, financial
resources, focus, and relationships.
I was fortunate to meet my wife, Marlen, when I was just 19. We've known each other for almost 11 years now. When we, as founders, discuss the sacrifices we've made, we often focus on our personal contributions. But in many cases, those close to us are sacrificing alongside us, often invisibly.
Marlen has been an integral part of my startup journey. From providing financial support in the early days to shouldering a significant share of responsibilities with our two children, her role is as much a feat as mine.
However, because the sacrifices of partners often remain out of the spotlight, it's easy to overlook the magnitude of their contributions. As I continue to make sacrifices, I must remember that I'm not the only one paying this price.
So, when is enough, enough?
It's a question I constantly grapple with.
Currently, I'm in a comfortable position. The startup I run can largely sustain my family. But getting here has been a long journey, and I'm certain the future will present numerous opportunities to invest more of myself. Will I be ready to answer that question then?
And more importantly, will you?
We Won 'Startup of the Year'
A year Ago, We Knew Nothing
Just over a year ago, we embarked on a journey with a simple idea and a lot of passion. We had no roadmap, no blueprint, just a vision to make a big change in the music industry. We started Mintix AS in April 2022, and now, 14 months later, we've been named "Startup of the Year" at MTC Bergen.
This journey started with Sondre Pedersen, a brilliant mind who had spent years researching and working with the NFT/Crypto/Blockchain space. When Sondre joined Mintix, he didn't fully grasp what he was getting into. But he believed in the vision, and that was enough.
I've made a career out of nurturing talent. In the early days, it was artists. Then it evolved to songwriters and producers. Now, it's founders. Recognizing talent and providing an environment for it to grow and thrive is what I do.
But it's not just about recognizing talent. It's about empowering it. Sondre is a testament to that. He came in with a wealth of knowledge in a complex field, and we, Capella Entertainment AS, gave him the platform to apply that knowledge. We gave him the space to grow, to experiment, to make mistakes, and to learn. And look where we are now.
The journey of Mintix is a testament to the power of team over individual talent. It's about coming together, each with our unique skills
and perspectives, and working towards a
common goal. It's about creating something
out of nothing, and turning a simple idea
into a reality.
We are incredibly proud to hold the title of
"Startup of the Year" at MTCB, solidifying
our presence in the music tech industry.
This recognition is not just for us, but for
every individual who believed in our vision
and supported us along the way.
As we celebrate this milestone, we are reminded of the power of teamwork, the importance of nurturing talent, and the magic that happens when you believe in an idea and work relentlessly to bring it to life.
Thank you Frank Østevold, Jørgen Iden, Elise Hessevik and Heidi Aas Kvalheim for inviting us.
Bridging the Gap
The Future of the Nordic Music Industry
The music industry is a fascinating paradox. It's an industry that is incredibly attractive for its content, yet notoriously challenging for its limited financial opportunities. I often describe it as an industry with no real middle class - you're either struggling to make ends meet or you're enjoying immense success. There's little room for those who wish to comfortably reside in the middle.
Having spent 12 years as an entrepreneur in the music industry, I've developed strong opinions on what the Nordic music industry is lacking - opportunities for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
I believe there's a significant shortage of both quality and quantity when it comes to young talent entering the industry. When young, passionate, and ambitious individuals choose a career or study path, very few opt for music business. This is partly due to the limited educational opportunities in this field, but also because there are too few public success stories to inspire these young minds.
That's why we're launching a podcast called "Sound Connections", focusing on music entrepreneurship. I firmly believe that we can create more opportunities in the music business by providing access to inspiring and educational entrepreneurial content, fostering more progressive businesses that use private capital to scale and create jobs, and shifting the music industry's narrative from being purely about art to being about commercial enterprise.
Throughout my journey, I've had to create these opportunities for myself. I sought out mentors, engaged in cross-industry conversations, and started businesses that challenged my own mindset. With the launch of "Sound Connections" in August, featuring a host of industry-leading international guests, I hope to inspire and educate more young entrepreneurs in the music industry.
The future of the music industry is bright, and it's time we start nurturing the talent that will shape it. Let's inspire the next generation to build a future in what is, at its core, a truly beautiful industry.
Ideas vs Execution
The Power of Teams in the Creative Industry
In the creative industry, we have a deep-seated love for great ideas. Creativity blossoms, art is created, and all the wonderful things stem from impulses, flows, and inspiration - ideas. And yes, great music comes from great ideas.
But as music becomes business, the industry often clings to this mindset. We adore ideas, but often lack the follow-through to transform these ideas into something sustainable, something we can actually use.
I've been there many times before. I've had thousands of ideas in my lifetime, and pursued at least a couple of hundred of them. And for many years at the start of my career, many of these ideas took off. For a time. And then not so much.
I've come to believe that execution is king. Many creatives have ideas, an overflow of ideas. This is not where I or my colleagues lack. It's execution that is lacking.
What unlocked this for me is the "team" mindset. I need to surround myself with doers. People who commit and see things to the end. Often times, these people are not the most creative. They may not possess those highly impulsive inspirations. But they can execute.
I am still as creative as ever. Maybe the most creative that I have ever been. But I get things done now. At scale and fast. Because it is really not about my level of ideas (even though that is of course helpful), but it is the team's ability to carry this out into life that matters.
Remember, creatives. If you feel like you fail over and over again, even though you have the best ideas and intentions, maybe you lack a team that can be all the things you are not.
The Evolution of Motivation
What drives me?
I've always been a driven individual. My motivation has traditionally been fueled by a desire to excel, to push my boundaries, and to achieve something remarkable. I've always aimed to be the best I can be, not just for the sake of outdoing others, but for the satisfaction of knowing I've given my all.
But recently, I've noticed a shift in my motivational compass. I'm currently in the process of building my dream with Capella, a creative playground that I've always envisioned. It's a venture that I hold dear, a tangible manifestation of my aspirations and hard work.
Now that I have something so precious, my primary motivation has morphed into a fear of losing what I've built. It's a different kind of drive, one that's rooted in preservation rather than creation. It's a protective instinct, a desire to safeguard this dream that I've brought to life.
Is this shift in motivation a good thing or a bad thing? I'm still figuring that out. It's a different kind of energy, one that's less about reaching for the stars and more about holding on to the piece of sky I've managed to claim.
Motivation is a complex, ever-evolving entity. It's fascinating to observe its transformation over time, to see how it adapts to our changing circumstances and goals. But as long as it's there, as long as it continues to fuel my actions and decisions, I'll keep working on understanding it, harnessing it, and using it to propel me forward.
The True Riches of a Startup Founder
Startup founders share a common trait - the cost of building often outweighs what we initially gain. For the past five years, I've been a full-time founder, yet I've only drawn something akin to a salary for about six months. During this time, I've primarily worked on three companies: Mantik Music Group, Timbre ApS, and Capella Entertainment AS.
The time and resources I've poured into these companies have been immense, not just for me, but for my co-founders and my family as well.
Many founders I see around me and in the media are building towards a goal of financial success and independence. They dream of making it big, selling their worth for large sums of money in pursuit of the good life.
But what are the chances of succeeding? Succeeding on a scale where it outweighs the alternatives of taking a more secure career path? I would say the odds are extremely slim, and for the home run success, it's less than 1 out of 100.
Statistically, it doesn't make sense to choose this way of life unless you feel a sense of calling. And I'm not speaking about it from a religious perspective. It's a path that feels all-consuming, your greatest passion in life, where there is almost no separation between you and the business - it feels like the same thing.
I'm not saying this doesn't have its downsides, it does. But I can't comprehend why anyone would risk so much to pursue a startup dream if they didn't feel the way I do. It's too hard and challenging, but because of how
I feel about it, it feels like the journey
of a lifetime.
And for me, if I'm just able to sustain
and provide for my family with this,
then come what may. I'm ready.
The Double-Edged Sword of Obsession
The Blessing and Curse of being a founder
I'm currently on vacation in France with my
family and my in-laws.
It's a wonderful escape, with plenty of space
for the kids to explore and play their own
Vacations have always been a bit of a
paradox for me. I've never really been able to
fully relax and let go of work and the myriad
of plans and projects I'm involved in.
Since becoming a parent, I've made a conscious effort to detach from everyday life during these breaks. Yet, invariably, my mind drifts back to work.
A few months ago, while having dinner with my wife, I had a realization. I no longer see my work as something I do, but rather as a manifestation of who I am.
This, I believe, is the blessing and the curse of being a founder, at least for me. Work becomes an extension of my identity, which is why I find myself in my element, my 'grace zone'. But it's also the curse of never being able to fully detach, to give myself a break.
I've just turned 30. Maybe by the time I'm 40, I'll have mastered the art of detaching. But for now, I'm learning to navigate this double-edged sword of obsession.
Embracing the Chaos
My Journey Through Burnout and Beyond
A decade ago, I opened my first music studio. It was a monumental leap for me. After spending three years immersing myself in music, this was a dream come true. I poured my savings and every waking hour into building that small business.
However, I had a problem then, and it's a problem I still grapple with now. I am overly passionate, with an almost insatiable thirst for novelty and new experiences. In addition to my 50-hour weeks in the studio, I also took on live sound and ran my small label, pushing my work weeks towards the 100-hour mark.
I hit a wall, and I hit it hard. After 18 months, I had to step away from the studio and spend a couple of months in bed, recovering.
I haven't hit that wall since, although I've come close a few times. I learned a valuable lesson: life is a marathon, not a sprint.
Despite this newfound wisdom, my instinctive desire to constantly pursue new things and my struggle to focus on specific tasks for extended periods remained. For years, I tried to suppress this, with little success and a great deal of unhappiness.
Then, I decided to embrace it. Today, I run Capella Entertainment, a venture studio that provides the playground I need to constantly start new things. We find founders, develop business ideas, assist with execution, and secure financing. We now have a team that excels at execution, and my role as CEO often involves pursuing new ideas and directions, while maintaining the vision and mission that holds us together as a business and team.
I can dive deep into a new project we're exploring, and the companies keep running. Each company has its own team, and my role is to facilitate overall growth, forge new partnerships, generate new ideas, and foster the development of our team's knowledge and vision.
I've managed to create a structure that turns my perceived weakness into a strength. It's a beautiful thing to see what a business can do when you're acutely aware of what you need it to be for yourself.
The Art of Being the 'Strongest Loser' in Entrepreneurship
In the world of entrepreneurship, resilience isn't just a virtue, it's a necessity. I often find myself saying that to truly succeed as an entrepreneur, you must become proficient at losing. It may sound paradoxical, but allow me to elaborate.
The entrepreneurial journey isn't a tranquil sail across a serene lake; it's more akin to a roller coaster ride, filled with thrilling highs and daunting lows. Moments of victory are often interspersed with periods of setbacks, failures, and losses. It's during these challenging times that your resilience is put to the ultimate test.
I like to frame this concept as the survival of the 'strongest loser.' The strongest loser isn't the one who never stumbles, but the one who refuses to stay down after a fall. They are the ones who can take a hit, dust themselves off, and rise again. They persist, endure, and learn from their mistakes.
As an entrepreneur, you will have a lot to learn. Each failure, each loss, is an opportunity for learning and growth. It's a chance to gain insights, refine your strategies, and improve your craft. So, don't fear defeat. Instead, embrace it as an integral part of your entrepreneurial journey.
However, it's crucial to remember the principle of calculated risk. This principle is akin to investing in stocks or any other market. You should never invest more than you can afford to lose. The same applies to entrepreneurship. While it's true that no risk means no reward, it's also vital to ensure that the risks you take are calculated and manageable.
When you take a calculated risk and it doesn't pan out, you can afford to rise and try again. You can afford to learn from the experience and move forward. But if you risk more than you can afford to lose, a single failure could be catastrophic.
So, as an entrepreneur, don't fear losing. But also, don't be reckless. Take calculated risks, learn from your losses, and always be prepared to rise and try again. Remember, in the world of entrepreneurship, the strongest loser often ends up winning in the end.