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< All founders' list

Daniel Ek

Quit Job to Start
Does Code
Year of founding:
Current age:
Net worth:

1. Background

Education: (Dropped out)

College: KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Previous Career:

- Daniel Ek served as the CEO of uTorrent

- Ek co-founded Advertigo, which was later sold to TradeDoubler

- Daniel Ek also served as the CTO of Stardoll

- Prior to that, he worked at Tradera(acquired by eBay)

2. Origin Story

The Million-Dollar Kid

An entrepreneurial genius since childhood, Daniel Ek was a freelance web designer when he was just 14 years old. His skills in building websites enabled him to earn $50K per month while still in school, even hiring his classmates to help him meet client needs. Ek joined college to learn computer science but soon dropped out, deeming it be too boring. He founded his first company Advertigo, which was later acquired by TradeDoubler for $2 million. Though Daniel Ek became very rich at a very young age, he realised money didn't make him happy.

The Pursuit of Happiness

After a brief stint as the CEO of uTorrent, Daniel Ek left after it was acquired. He decided to pursue his ambition of building great products, wanting to couple it with his childhood passion of music. Ek convinced his close aide and co-founder of TradeDoubler, Martin Lorentzon, to join him.

The Spark

Wanting to rid the music world of piracy led Daniel Ek to the idea of creating a platform where the user could listen to any music in the world, at the short costs of advertisements in between. Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon recruited developers from Ek's old college KTH, and from a small office in Stockholm, they built Spotify. They launched it in October 2008 as an invite-only service.

Taking Off

It soon received a huge positive response from all over Sweden, and continued to grow rapidly at each country they released it in.

3. Other interesting points

- Daniel Ek spent a year playing lead guitar when he was 18, voyaging on a tour bus.

- At just 23 years old, Ek had a Ferrari, a luxurious apartment in Stockholm, and was welcomed in all the VIP places in the country.

4. Quote

"I had two passions growing up - one was music, one was technology. I tried to play in a band for a while, but I was never talented enough to make it. And I started companies. One day came along and I decided to combine the two - and there was Spotify." - Daniel Ek

5. Company growth & sources (links)

Personal Story

How did they grow the company?