A friend of mine, Robin Koval, wrote a book called “Grit To Great- How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You From Ordinary to Extraordinary” with her friend Linda Kaplan Thaler. It’s a great book, and it has inspired me to change the direction I am going.
The book puts a great deal of emphasis on finding out what you are passionate about and pursuing it. I was a professional musician for 15 years, then switched to programming work in 1984. What I’ve seen in those years has given me a passion- uniting fans with musicians, and making sure that most of what the fans pay goes to the musicians.
That is not happening. The major record labels, Spotify, Apple, Google, etc. take most of the money, and musicians do not get a direct connection with their fans. Fans may listen to Spotify or Apple Music or YouTube, but unless they go to a concert they are not able to connect with the musicians.
In the spring of 2015 I put Safe-Xchange on the back burner while we waited for the SEC to set the rules for equity crowd-funding for non-accredited investors and was pursuing freelance programming jobs. I wanted fans and musicians to be a part of what we were doing, not wealthy companies. I set aside my passion. (See note at bottom.)
The book “Grit To Great” made it clear- if I don’t pursue my passion now, I may never get to pursue it. We’ve got a lot to do, and we need some money- more about that later.
I created a prototype of a digital record album that was based on Actionscript 3. Unfortunately Actionscript 3 seems to be falling by the wayside, but I found another cross-platform tool that will give us the ability to play real WAV files, not just MP3s. It will also allow us to use just one set of code to access Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android phones rather than requiring two sets of code.
Last spring I talked to Nicholas Cooper, a vocal coach and starmaker who has worked with Beyonce, Nash Grier, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Dillon, Kristina Bazan, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry. He had a great suggestion- develop a tool that would allow musicians to use all the social networks to connect with their fans. That’s a great idea, and we are developing a program that will allow the musicians that use it to do all the social networks at the same time.
We’ve had some other great suggestions including one from my daughter Rose about why she doesn’t like Spotify but has some great improvements that could be done to make the new Spotify. If one of your passions is connecting fans with musicians, let us know. We have a number of ways you can help with that.
In the immediate future, we need some money so I don’t have to waste my time on freelance programming work. That can be in the form of a convertible note that will become stock in Safe-Xchange, or you may choose to have us pay it off with interest. Your loan to us can be anywhere between $100 to $5000. Here’s our investment page.
We would also like your feedback or advice. Do you have ideas about how we can help unite fans with musicians? We are looking for a complete community involvement with fans and musicians. Here’s our contact page- please send us your feedback and advice and recommendations.
Loans, which could either become stock in Safe-Xchange or be paid back, would be great. Hopefully in the spring the SEC will allow us do to crowd-funding for non-accredited investors, but we need some money now.
Yes, you can be an accredited investor. But you have to be a person. Accredited investors like the major record labels, Spotify, Apple and Google have pushed things too far in the wrong direction.
My passion is to unite fans with musicians and make sure that most of what the fans pay goes to the musicians. I think that is possible, and I’m planning to use pluck, passion and perseverance- and grit- to make it happen.
Tom Jeffries, CEO and Founder, Safe-Xchange
Note- The SEC did set the rules for equity crowdfunding for non-accredited investors on October 30, 2015. It will take six months for those rules to go into effect.