A funny thing happened on my 1-year anniversary at LISNR. Spotify, in an effort to maintain its ranking as biggest and most popular streaming music provider in an increasingly competitive and commoditized category relaunched it’s service to provide more than just streaming music. Not only did they add streaming video, podcasts, and other media they also added music relevance. The ability to connect with content, recommendations, even the right music for your run based on what you’ve listened to in the past and the world around you. Spotify launched a product that LISNR scrapped last September.
That’s right. In September 2014 LISNR had a working prototype of a product (branded “NGINE”) that provided content recommendations based on the world around you. What you’ve listened to in the past, where you were, how fast you ran. LISNR had content partners lined up. And LISNR had 3 of the largest streaming music providers in active conversations around licensing this technology as part of their streaming music app. And we shelved it.
Strategy is one of those elusive terms. Each week I find a new “definition” of strategy that I like. But the one that has stuck with me since the beginning of my career came from one of my early mentors. Simply, Strategy = Choice. My mentor would tell you more – that it’s technically the economic definition of strategy, and he’d go into some examples of game theory. But it all boils down to the ability to make choices. And in late 2014 LISNR chose greatness.
In Q3 2014 our organization had 3 different business models. Three different focus areas. Three different “proof of concepts” that we were selling to prospects. We had over 30 pilots in market in our then 18 month existence. But we hadn’t shipped a single product.
Fast forward to early February 2015. That same 20 person team had a product in market with a CMS portal surrounding the core code base. In a one-week period in February the LISNR team rocked the stage at R/GA TechStars Demo Day, presented to digital marketing leaders in sport at National Sports Forum, and sat on a panel with RocNation and SuperFly at Digital Entertainment World.
Three months later we sit named as #12 on the CNBC Top 50 Disrupters list. We have stayed true to the core business model developed in Q4 2014 allowing us to drive an amazingly accelerated rate of bookings. And we have a plan that will scale the technology capability and team’s ability to serve the market growth over the next 12-18 months.
LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information. LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device. We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.