Here's the story of three guys with a dream job. It all started when Alan Manuel, 30, John Rigos, 31, and Thomas Ryan, 29, met at business school (in France, no less). For an entrepreneurship class project, the friends crafted a custom-CD business. The final grade's a mystery, but in the January following their 1996 graduation, the partners launched CDuctive, a New York City "music company of the future." Last year, they launched the CDuctive Web site (www.cductive.com)--introducing quality music to the masses.
"Say you hear some funky music, but have no idea what it is. You'd come to our site, listen to samplers in different genres and realize you like acid jazz but never knew," says Rigos. After taking the tunes for a spin, customers can customize their own CDs--right down to the cover art.
Exercising your taste is what it's all about. "Right now, most people buy what the major music labels are promoting, because [big labels] have the most money and basically determine what people are going to listen to," explains Rigos. "Here, the listener has the choice." The site's initial focus was dance/electronica, but since former record-label manager Jordan Trachtenberg, 30, was hired to create an indie-rock section, CDuctive's selection has broadened.
Site traffic and sales are soaring, too, by some 40 percent per month. And despite working 12- to 16-hour days, life's still fun for the partners: DJs often spin in-house at night, and music blares all day. "It's just kind of a scene," says Rigos.
And by the way, we didn't mention any titles because the partners don't use them. Why? Rigos puts it simply: "Egos."