I’ve often wondered what super successful companies looked like in the early days. This court document provides insight on just that. Here are a few lessons that I learned.

Lesson One: You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

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Lesson Two: Keep it simple.

YouTube’s problem was that video content is hard to share. The solution was to create a place where consumers upload video.

Lesson Three: Not everything needs to be figured out.

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Lesson Four: What needs to be figured should be clear.

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Lesson Five: Make one KPI the holy grail.

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YouTube in it’s early stage was focused on growth. Worrying about other details of the business model was not as important.

Lesson Six: You don’t have to be first to market.

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Twitter is undervalued for two reasons. First, it has unrealized advertising revenue from millennial-focused brands. Secondly, due to lack of policy, meme accounts and their clickbait advertising scheme create a devalued user experience. In order to capture this value, Twitter must double down on efforts to police negating content as well as provide solutions to help advertisers deploy brand voice activations.

PROBLEM 1: Adoption of Best Practices

The explosion of social has changed the frequency in which brands can advertise. As a result, 88% of millennials don’t trust advertisements.* To regain trust, brands must build strong voices that are speaking to, rather than selling at potential customers. …


Published by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2016, this post serves to highlight key findings in the report.

Higher education is a key pathway for social mobility. The gap in bachelor’s degree completion has widened for both black and Hispanic adults compared to white adults. (1)

Those in racial and economic isolation have less familiarity with information and kills that are necessary for future success and have less access to counselors who are focused on preparing students for enrolling in postsecondary education. (2)

More than 80 percent of Hispanic, black and Asian students have a gap between financial needs and scholarship grants. …


Recently I’ve been researching human capital contracts, also known as income share agreements (ISA’s). The interest came from a subway conversation and a desire to scale my current efforts in assisting minorities through a for-profit effort.

Originated by Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, human capital contracts are contacts in which an investor(s) finances a student’s education in return for a small share of their future income.

Students no longer go into debt (unlike private loans) and are given contracts based off of past performance (unlike FASFA’s). The financial risk transfers from the student to the investor. …


After the rise of HTML in ’94 came a resurgence of celebrity dedicated fan pages. Different forums that acted as communities in support, gave celebrities a power to communicate directly with their audience. It gave them power by owning publishing.

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Fast forward to 2017, and this has changed. Consumers are spending more time on social media, and less on the individual website. This results in the death of the fan page, and a loss of ownership for the publishing companies. In 2017, artists communicate with their fans through social platforms, and, as a result, don’t own their audience. The platforms/companies do. …


Every record label should be a media first company.

It’s no secret that the music industry has gone through a vast change in the past decade. With revenue shifting from physical products to streaming, marketers whose job it was to sell CDs are now responsible for digital marketing. With the rise of social, the industry is in the process of adapting, but even with the $1.7 billion spent on marketing, best practices to help artists engage with fans while driving a measurable return on investment have yet to emerge.

The answer to social is in building a media company through the acquisition of social properties, a stake in consumer attention. By investing in creating a sustainable funnel rather than scraping together one-off marketing campaigns, labels will be able to regain a unique value add similar to that of CD distribution prior to the digital revolution. …


Influencer marketing as a whole has yet to find product market fit with the music industry. With the shift of revenue to digital streaming and the rise of influencer marketing, there is a clear opportunity for the marriage of both industries. In this article, I’ll share my $.02 on why there hasn’t been a solution and what a potential solution would look like.

Lack of Defensible KPI’s → Lack of Solutions

Influencer marketing has primarily been a brand awareness tactic vs. a direct response marketing effort. As artists monetize through streaming, paying influencers high fees to promote songs results in a negative return on investment for marketing spend. In an already cash strapped industry, paying for vanity metrics won’t power large advertising spends. Because of this, you don’t see many of the large influencer marketing companies working consistently with the music industry, and there is a lack of influencer solutions geared towards the music industry. …


Music is commoditized. Music discovery in 2018 is powered by machine learning algorithms on streaming services. This new method optimizes for streams rather than building artist to fan relationships. The music’s story goes unknown, as does the artist’s identity. The authenticity and connection that makes music so special is lost.

We see the same situation on social media. The industry is focused on quantity rather than quality, using vanity metrics such as likes and followers, to measure success.

What does growing your number of Instagram followers actually mean? Because of the lack of barrier to entry to following an artist on social, it is impossible to distinguish a bot from a casual listener from a fan that was at an artist’s first concert. And because of this, quantity does not equal meaningful results. More likes doesn’t mean more people are going to your show. More comments doesn’t bring more merchandise revenue. More followers doesn’t result in more true fans. …

About

Danilo Vicioso

danilovicioso.com is a work in progress

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