I love music. It is the one indulgence in which I find motivation and relaxation whenever the time calls for either. And while tastes differ, I have found music to be the one motivational driver that unites all entrepreneurs.
One of my favorite ways to learn about new music is through Pandora, a personalized internet radio service that helps users find new music based on your old and current favorites. And while I have amassed a comprehensive list of favorite “stations,” I fear that my preferences and recommendations have been compromised over the past few years by the whims of two small children who prefer that I stream top hits from Disney soundtracks or teen pop.
So, while I continue to confuse and confound the Pandora algorithms, I wanted to hear what music choices are motivating other successful entrepreneurs. Here is just a snippet of the playlist tracks filling the earbuds of serial entrepreneurs who are building tomorrow’s businesses.
1. Stephan Jacob, co-founder of Cotopaxi
Cotopaxi is an innovative outdoor products and experiences company that funds sustainable poverty relief. In addition to founding Cotopaxi, Jacob is also an advocate for an Indonesian Anti-Child Labor NGO and has helped to take over 700 children from fishing platforms, factories, mills and prostitution back to their homes and schools.
Daft Punk, "Give Life Back To Music"
David Guetta and Kelly Rowland, "When Love Takes Over"
Jack Johnson and Ben Harper, "High Tide or Low Tide"
"This song makes a nod to the roller coaster ride that is entrepreneurship. It is chill and reflects on why we do what we do, and reminds us that there is more to life than the business you are building."
2. Ajay Yadav, founder of Roomi
Roomi is a simple and safe marketplace for finding roommates and shared housing, currently with over 200,000 members. Before Roomi, Yadav studied computer science at NYIT and has helped launch two other startups.
One Republic, "Fall Down"
Coldplay, "Adventure of a Lifetime"
"I listen to this for an upbeat motivational mood. There is a lot of hustle and stress as a founder, so sometimes amidst that struggle, it is just nice to be reminded that everything is ultimately achievable -- 'Everything you want is a dream away.'"
3. Chris Maddern, co-founder of Button
Button is the leading marketplace for app connections, building a world where your next action is always one tap away and where app developers can build rich connections across app silos in minutes, not months. Prior to Button, Maddern led mobile engineering at the popular social payments network Venmo and has founded several mobile products startups.
Tryo, "L'hymne de nos campagnes"
Jay Z and Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind"
Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
"You have to remember that 'haters gonna hate.' Shake it Off and Blank Space are not only fun but leave you pumped up and feeling empowered. It is you against the world, but you're going to win."
4. Monika Kochhar, co-founder of SmartGift
SmartGift is a next generation e-gift checkout that transforms the consumer gifting experience. Kochhar has a history in music as the former co-founder of Guguchu, an ecommerce platform for bands and labels acquired by a subsidiary of Sony Music.
Daft Punk, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
“This is one song that pushes me to go all out and just keep at it. The robotic vocal performance kind of transports me into the future in which anything is possible.”
5. Me, Peter Gasca
As a bonus, I will add in my two cents. Personally, I like an incredibly wide range of music, depending on the mood, but recently, the three tracks that have and will (as in the case of Radiohead) make up the regular playlist in my car are the following.
Twenty One Pilots, Guns for Hands
Car Seat Headrest, Vincent
Elsa, Let it Go
"This is my compromise so that I can listen to a song or two that I enjoy once in a while. 'Let it Go' is truly the song that will not let go."