Er… hello world?


Couldn’t think of a more original title than that.

Welcome to the Mixcloud blog. This is the obligatory introductory post about who we are, what we do and why we’re blogging about it.

We’re a new online music startup, writing from a warehouse in West London.

I’m Nikhil. I love all sorts of music – in particular things that make me nod my head. (That’s my cop out answer to the “what kind of music do you like?” question). I am also passionate about the web, especially new ways of delivering and consuming content and ways of generally improving the media experience online. I have experience in branding, marketing and promotions, through which I also have an interest in new ways brands are attempting (some more successfully than others) to engage and communicate with their consumers. I run London based clubnight Man Make Music, and I am an avid DJ (in fact I have just been booked to play at prolific up-and-coming East London venue Unit 7 alongside one of my dance music faves Jesse Rose!).

Sitting next to me is Nico. He’s a Spanish-Belgian-American-French hybrid, one of the smartest and most interesting guys I know and equally passionate about music. I fact he’s a pretty decent breakdancer too… good enough that he usually manages to attract a small army of admiring females with his styles. He’s a very talented graphic and web designer, obsessed with user interface and information architecture. He believes that one of the biggest problems with the Internet* is the method of communicating information – i.e the design process – not placing the user at the centre of the process. You’re likely to hear much more about this if you continue checking our blog.

Our friend Alan Thomson has been of tremendous help getting things off the ground, helping code our first prototype. He’s an excellent developer and works as a freelancer, so if you’re ever in need of some resource check him out here.

The baton has now been picked up by Sam Cooke – an old friend from University break-dance days. Sam is a phenomenal developer. He also enjoys writing and playing music, from pop rock to Aphex Twin style electronica. No doubt you’ll be hearing some of his compositions on this blog in months to come.

And finally there’s Jack Melhuish – another old pal from University (he also gave both Nico and myself some awesome gigs, supporting the likes of DJ Yoda, The Scratch Perverts and more). Jack’s now Head of Digital UK for Atlantic Records. He’ll be working with us in his spare time with some of the cool ideas we’ve got.

What will we be writing about? The usual startup blog stuff – our experiences, observations, learnings and of course news/updates. I see a lot of startup/entrepreneur blogs that have lots of great information for those of us in this world. However I see much less aimed at the “lurking” aspiring entrepreneurs. I’d like to document our journey in a way that is relevant and useful to the nervous onlookers out there for when you finally take the exciting leap!

Finally we’ll of course be giving you some music recommendations – particularly of the radio and DJ mix variety (because that’s what we’re all about).

Thanks for reading.

The Mixcloud Team

* Interestingly we asked the question “what do you think is the biggest problem with the internet today?” in some market research we conducted a few months ago. The most popular answer with 35% of total responses was “information overload” (2nd was spam/junk with 24%; 3rd was security with 15%). We see that as a big challenge too, but we don’t see it as the problem. The problem, rather, is the way the information is presented. Here are some thoughts from something Nico wrote on the subject a few months ago.

“The biggest problem with the internet today is it’s inability to place the user at the center of the design process. This is changing as we see the rise of useful internet websites which aid us as tools in the 21st century. We need to move from “one to many” model with a select few creating content to a “many to many” model with everyone contributing. This will of course exponentially increase the amount of information available and a filtering mechanism will be necessary to process what is worth paying attention to. The websites which are designed with the user, and their desires and interests, in mind will be the ones which succeed.”

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