Shazam Co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee Offers Valuable Advice to Entrepreneurs

Dhiraj Mukherjee
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The Bee Gees’ disco-era hit is suitable for those starting new firms, according to a keynote speaker during this year’s Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week, which has “Stayin’ Alive” as its subject.
One of the co-founders of Shazam, the well-known song detection app that Apple reportedly paid $400 million for in 2018, is Dhiraj Mukherjee. When Shazam was first released in the Apple App Store in 2008, it quickly gained popularity among users who wanted to be able to swiftly identify songs that were playing on the radio or in a restaurant or bar.

Shazam had been in existence since 2002, back in the early days of mobile phone innovation. Customers used to contact a number on their mobile phone to access the service; after 30 seconds of music playing, the number would answer and send a text message identifying the tune that was playing.

“We were stayin’ alive, doing whatever it takes not to run out of cash,” Mukherjee said during a speech Thursday morning at Mid City Tower. “If you run out of cash as an entrepreneur, you are dead.”

Mukherjee and the other founders employed a variety of strategies to launch Shazam. They developed a digital signal processing system that can recognize a song’s distinct audio fingerprint. They struck an agreement with one of the largest music distributors in the UK in order to amass a collection of songs that would enable the identification. Additionally, they required months to painstakingly rip songs from millions of CDs. Without the money to acquire equipment, they even built their own homemade computers and placed them in racks to hold music.

“It was all about survival,” he said. “Because if you run out of cash, the party is over.”

Mukherjee claimed Shazam pawned its technology as CD sales declined and consumers flocked to downloading services like Napster. In order for the firm managing song rights to keep track of which songs were being played on the radio and to collect royalties, they sold the identification service.
According to Mukherjee, the company made a significant advancement when it launched on the Apple store and integrated Shazam’s technology with the iPhone. Shazam took ten years to reach a billion users, a year to reach a billion more, and two months to reach a billion more.

“We were very, very lucky,” he said. “It was a case of the stars aligning.”

However, he noted that Shazam’s success was influenced by other things. The founders had faith in one another as well as in themselves. Their only concern was the firms, and they worked on nothing else. However, he claimed that they were lighthearted and enjoyed themselves. Every day was an adventure, according to Mukherjee.