April 6th, 2010SXSWi
This post has been inspired by the thoughts on Spotify, and them not being social, by Phillip John – Spotify Are Digging Their Own Grave By Not Going Social :
The other week at SXSW I was listening to Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, talk about the future of the service as well as some interesting facts and figures. One aspect that caught my attention was the mention of involving a ’social’ aspect regarding music sharing.
Daniel Ek: Playlists are the mixtapes of 2010
Now along comes mflow, a service I had heard of, but only recently received a beta code to join the service (want to join, use the code ZANE444). It’s a way to share music that you like, amongst a group of followers, consider it a recommendation engine powered by your friends.
I believe that Spotify really needs to take a look at mflow, the social aspect of music is where it needs to, and apparently is, heading. For me, I’m not the biggest playlist creator, but I love finding new music, and listening to good playlists by my friends, and others.
What people love about Spotify, is the ability to listen in full, and with no restriction on play count, any song of their choosing that is in the catalogue. They can then create playlists of full albums, or selected tracks.
They can share these with a link, to their friends – but this is a manual distribution, via email, twitter, facebook or whatever media they utilise, (the only automatic sharing is to Last.FM). Daniel talked about how in the future the interaction would be occurring within the app, rather than outside it.
Daniel Ek: Music discovery is the future
On the other hand mflow, once you’ve added/found friends using it, allows you to recommend songs by ‘flowing’ them. The issue is, I can only listen to that track ONCE in full, thereafter I will get a 30 second preview. This is due to the licensing terms with the labels.
So Spotify, has a way to be social, yet it’s outside of it’s environment.
It’s been stated that Spotify don’t want for you to have to recreate a social network in their environment, they want to harness your existing social networks. To me, this is important, I don’t want to have to recreate existing social groups on every new platform I try.
This is where mflow is lacking, if I was able to instantly see who of my friends were using mflow then I might use it more, it’s a service that works well when you are being given a constant stream of new/old music to discover. For me, I have to ‘hunt’ my friends out (I’m the user Neil on the service, find me, add me!)
Spotify and mflow are not in direct competition, mflow is sitting in the music discovery space, and it works well (I consider it more usable than Last.FM). If it was able to link in with Spotify (to hear songs more than once), then it certainly could hit a critical mass more easily.
mflow: Music’s better shared
A differentiator between mflow, and Spotify (when it has a social aspect), is that you purchase music that someone has flowed, then that user gets 20% of the price as a credit. If there was integration with Spotify, that likely stop the incentive to buy music through mflow.
Spotify, currently have a revenue stream based on user subscriptions (and selling of advertising, alongside subsidised bundles with mobile operators). You can purchase music through Spotify (but that would be targeted more at the non-subscribers), after all Spotify want ‘music to be like water’ if you are a subscriber, it’s always with you – on any device.
Spotify is not dead, it’s still developing it’s feature set including addressing a social aspect. As well as ‘revision’ histories of playlists etc. mflow, well I’m not sure where they are heading yet, they seem like an open company and hopefully they will take on board some of the points myself, and others raise.
In other news, check out the numbers:
Tags: daniel ek, last.fm, mflow, mflow vs Spotify, Music, music discovery, music sharing, playlist, social music, spotify, sxsw, SXSWi
Spotify Numbers: (Source: SXSW Talk)
7 Million Users, in six countries.
320,000 Paid Subscribers
Over 100 Million playlists, 30% are just full albums
Around 10 Million tracks
None known at this moment.
Expected 2 Million tracks at launch (15/04/10): Source
March 30th, 2010SXSWi
I agree with the majority of things discussed, rethinking timeslots, how you approach deadlines, and things that are really needed to be done, will no doubt make us more productive.
Also checkout the Rework Book, which these ideas come from.
1. Distractions, everywhere.
You can’t get anything done at work, you have to do work ‘before work’, or ‘after work’ when there are no people you can – but not ‘at work’ times.
Meetings, end up being the bain of your life, perhaps take the view that if not providing content of interest to you/your work, then most are a waste of time. How often in meetings do the people attending actually care about the subject?
A lot of work you need to do doesn’t fit in the small available timeslots that you have in your day.
The simple fact is that the work days ultimate enemy of productivity is interruptions and distractions.
2. You are working too hard
More hours do not equal more done, it just appears that you are getting more done (to other people, in their view).
Multitasking, if you can’t dedicate time to focus on one project then you won’t be doing your best.
Most organisations reward the wrong thing, a workaholic does not equal a hero. The culture of ‘look at X he pulled an all-nighter – isn’t he great’ should not exist)
Most deadlines are imaginary, don’t burnout, cool down
Productivity over time, is better than peaks just so you can hit goals
3. You are in over your head
Sometimes you put yourself in this position, you guessed a timeframe, but guess what your estimates suck.
You treat deadlines as a promise, not a best guess.
Things crop up in your schedule, like meetings. You are issuing time estmates based on ‘a perfect approach’. Sure you could do it in 3 full 8 hour days, but you don’t have any! (See Interruptions above)
It can be obvious why we give outselves bad dealines, people use ‘bad words’ ASAP, need, can’t, easy, fast – These corrupt the natural reasonable time it would take to do a job, we change our deadline due to the pressure in place.
The word easy, is something someone else uses to describe your job/task ‘Can you make a quick change, that’s easy right?’
There can be a sense of false emergency, neither true or required Is a Friday deadline really worth it, who’s going to look at it over the weeekend etc?
5. You have to take charge
There is a personal responibility for your own productivity, decisions are progress. There is a choice if you see that you are not going to hit the deadline
Remember, that sometimes good enough is fine.
What ever happens, not making decisions = bad (for you, and everyone). Do not be tempted to put your head in the sand.
Do less, most things can be droppped and it won’t matter. Take a look at your list of priorities and start to remove out items that aren’t really required.
Deadlines, can helps focus your mind.
- What can you drop?
- What is really necessary?
Part of this is about setting up the right cultural environment
Always keep goals in mind, restate the problem, and maybe considering giving up. By being able to walk away from X, you might be able to allow Y to continue.
Your results show value, not the time you have spent at work.
Again, these aren’t my idea’s – all come from the Rework book, from 37 Signals.Tags: 37 signals, Austin, Heinemier, productivity, sxsw, sxsw2010, SXSWi