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10 Questions for Pandora's Tim Westergren

Pandora Radio ran through a series of business models and endured a series of crises on its road to success. But founder Tim Westergren, for one, doesn't do regrets.
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What company do you not want to start but wish someone else would?
Some form of recycling--the category still seems to be an undertapped area for innovation.

 

Pandora's Tim Westergren: The Man Who Remade How You Hear Music

The founder of the personal radio giant talks start-up strategy, innovation and disruption with Inc.'s Scott Gerber

 

Which TV or movie character would you like to go into business with?
Ironman. I'd give just about anything for 15 minutes in that suit.

If you were to start your own political party, what would the platform be?
A party based on the "veil of ignorance" theory, a society that is just and equitable for all people, no matter where they are born on the economic ladder.

It's 8 p.m. and you're traveling alone on business. What do you do all night?
I can't lie. Email. And more email.

Whom would you trade places with for a day?
Although he's not alive, Richard Feynman, the physicist. I've always wondered how a true genius experiences the world.

The biggest myth in business is...
"It's all about timing." Adaptability and execution are what matter, not timing.

What's the most embarrassing thing you're willing to admit here?
I don't really believe in being embarrassed.

If you could time travel, where would you be right now?
Right where I am. I don't want to know the future, and I want the past to remain the thing of history and memories.

What have you learned about yourself while running your business?
That for me the true, enduring reward of entrepreneurship comes from the way what you do impacts people. In our case, it's listeners, musicians, and especially the people who work at Pandora.

What have you sacrificed for success?
I don't think of it as sacrifice. It's a choice. And I don't regret my choices.

Westergren talks to Inc.'s Scott Gerber here about upending an entrenched industry and dealing with the Feds.

Last updated: Apr 30, 2013




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