The Story of Fluence

Starting with an acute industry problem

Before we had a name, an idea, or wrote any code, we began with intense focus on a specific question. How can we improve the way artists connect to more of their fans around the world? We were acutely aware of this critical problem at Topspin Media, a company I co-founded in 2007. At Topspin we worked with incredible artists who should have been playing and selling to 10X or a 100X their existing fanbase.

How do you plan to solve the problem?

Our goal with Fluence is to make a transformative impact and fundamentally improve the way media is promoted across the web. We believe the best way to reach your full audience is to first connect directly to curators, domain experts, and other trusted sources who can give you feedback or recommend you to others. As more media is produced than ever before and everyone’s attention fragments limitlessly online, curators are increasingly essential in reaching the right people.

What do the Curators get out of it?

We work to meet the needs of curators and other trusted sources. Everyone’s trying to get their attention, and they’re overwhelmed with inbound media. There’s not enough time for it and most of it is template SPAM without any relevance to their interests. As we dug in deeper, we saw ways to improve their workflow and craft of curation.

Helping the creative community

As we solved these problems for curators it improved the way they connected to creators and small businesses looking for their attention. Anyone with art, a product, or an idea can reach out to a global base of curators, domain experts, mavens, investors, advisors, and other trusted sources who can provide feedback or promotional advice. All activity and feedback is tracked and accessible in a central application, which makes it easy to manage any media outreach.

What have you learned?

As we built the initial platform, we began to see curators use Fluence to give more thoughtful and useful feedback than we expected. Some curators gave substantial feedback and generously shared their expertise and referrals. It was inspiring to see how deeply people valued this feedback and how open curators were to giving it.

Valuing a Curator’s expertise

After we let curators earn for their time and attention, the feedback that came through the platform was more thoughtful, thorough, and useful. They were giving their full attention to submitted media in order to provide honest and productive feedback. Even if it wasn’t a fit, they were referring the media to other curators who may be more interested in their work.

Where is it going?

We love seeing deeper collaborations forming and more dialogue emerging between curators and people sending them media. To further fuel these connections, we built private referral and messaging functionality to support their interactions around media. We’re iterating and fine-tuning a service that unlocks our human capacity to help each other with helpful feedback and recommendations.

The beginning

We’re just getting started with Fluence and are committed to shepherding our system with full integrity and great care. Most of our development is focused on the initial problem we started solving, and the rest of our effort is spent supporting communities who are connecting in different ways around our platform. We will continue to build, adapt, and grow as we work on our mission to enable the creative economy. Reach out to us directly if you’re interested in finding out more or would like to work with us.



VP Product at Pandora serving artists and the creative community. Entrepreneur: Fluence & Topspin CoFounder.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
shamal ranasinghe

shamal ranasinghe


VP Product at Pandora serving artists and the creative community. Entrepreneur: Fluence & Topspin CoFounder.