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Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Elizabeth Cutler, SoulCycle

Cathie Black, Hearst

Edward Nardoza, WWD E-I-C

Alex Ljung, Soundcloud

Patrick Doyle, Dominos CEO

David Pecker, American Media

Nobu

Linda Sawyer, Deutsch Inc

Charlotte Ronson

Alex Wilcox, Jetsuite

Matthew Hiltzik

Jaimes Leggett, MC Saatchi

Achilli Matteo Egomnia Founder/CEO
Ansel Dominque Dominique Ansel Bakery Owner
Antebi Marcus JuicePress Founder
Avino Mariella Palazzo Avino Owner/CEO
Barker John Barker/DZP Founder/President
Bassett Jennifer Jennifer Bassett Events Owner
Bastianich Lidia Felidia, Eataly, Del Posto Owner
Belfort Jordan Straight Line Systems Founder
Berman Sarah The Berman Group Founder/President
Black Cathie Hearst Magazines Former Chairman
Blumenstein Penny JDC President

Borries/Stefano Philippe/Justin Refinery29 CEO/Founders
Bowen Arabella Fodors Editor-in0-Chief

Bragman Howard 15 Minutes PR Founder/Chairman
Brodsky Howard David Barton CEO
Burke David David Burke Group Owner
Carter Will Burner App/AhHoc Labs Co-Founder
Cassidy Sean DKC President
Chapur Rafael Hard Rock Inclusive Resorts COO
Chevanne Antione Groupe Floriat CEO
Chong Alexandra LuLu Founder/CEO
Church Jeff SUJA Juice Founder
Cuomo Cristina Modern Luxury EIC
Cutler Elizabeth SoulCyle Co-Founder
Dadich Scott WIRED EIC
Darabi Soraya Zady Co-Founder
Davis Peter Scene Magazine EIC
Desseigne Dominque Groupe Lucien Barriere CEO
Doyle Patrick Domino's President/CEO
Ducasse Alain Alain Duccase Restaurants Owner
Dufresne David Bandzoogle CEO
Evans Annie Beautified App Co-Founder
Feeley Tom Sole Hotels Owner
Ferdman Michael Firstborn Founder
Foster Stuart Luxury Brands, Hilton VP of Marketing
Freid Brandon Sanctuary Hotel President
Georges Elie Hotel San Regis President/Owner
Gillis Neil Round Hill Music President
Godfrey Jay Jay Godfrey Founder
Goldstein Tara Brookfield VP of Marketing
Gomes Philma Cape Grace Hotel DOSM
Guest Cornelia Cornelia Guest Cookies Owner
Harrison Phil Perkins+Will CEO
Hendry Ricky Isaora Founder
Hiltzik Matthew Hiltzik Strategies President/CEO
Hofstetter Sarah 360i CEO
Hostettler Daniel Ocean House Management President
Humm Daniel Eleven Madison Park Owner
Huvane Stephen Slate PR Partner
Ivan Sir Peaceman Foundation Founder
Jackson Lisa LJ Cross Jewelry Founder/CEO

James Paul Starwood Luxury Collection Global Leader
Javian Michelle Harboring Hearts CEO/Co-Founder
Kaplow Liz Kaplow Communications Founder/CEO
Karan Donna DKNY Founder
Karlitz Herb Karlitz & Company Founder
Katz Allen NY Distilling Company Fonder
Kenner Nick Just Salad Founder
Kepmner Michael MWW Founder/President
Kessler Richard The Kessler Collection Chairman/CEO
Kliegerman Stephen Halstead President
Kolodny Shawn VIP Room Managing Director
Kunkel John 50 Eggs, Yardbird CEO/Founder
Labrecque Paul Paul Labrecque Owner
LaForce James LaForce + Stevens Founder/CEO
Le Calvez Didier Le Bristol Paris CEO
Lee Stacy Brazilian Court Hotel DOSM
Leggett Jaimes M&C Saatchi Australia CEO
Lekach David Dream Water Founder/CEO
Leyland Chelsea Chelsea Leyland Owner/Producer
Ljunberg Jenny C/O Hotels, Maidstone Owner
Ljung Alex SoundCloud Founder
Lo Anita Annisa Owner
Maccioni Mario Maccioni Group Partner
Malin/Goetz Matthew/Andrew Malin + Goetz Founders
Mamone Tony Livingly Media Founder/CEO
Martin Amy Jo Digital Royalty CEO/Founder
Matsuhisa Nobu Nobu Restaurants Owner
Mazar Mike Tenthwave Partner
Morimoto Iron Chef Morimoto Owner
Moscot Zack MOSCOT Creative Director
Murphy Sean Jetsetter EIC
Murphy Rhona The Daily Beast CEO
Musolino Sheila Ronald McDonald Chairty VP/COO
Nardoza Edward WWD EIC
Novogrod Nancy Travel + Leisure EIC
Olay Pablo PaddilaCRT VP
Osher Shaun CORE Founder/CEO

Pauli Dimitri Sant Ambroeus Owner
Pechar Edward McCormick/360 Vodka Chairman
Pecker David American Media Chairman/CEO
Perkins Lynn UrbanSitter Founder/CEO

Preysman Michael Everlane Founder/CEO

Rabin David Skylark, Lambs Club Owner
Reckford Jonathan Habitat for Humanity CEO
Rondeau Chris Planet Fitness CEO

Ronson Charlotte Charlotte Ronson Owner
Rotten Lilian Swissotel VP
Rousseau Linda Singita Group DOSM
Russell Charles Stribling & Associates DOSM

Sawyer Linda Deutsch CEO
Schoenberg Bruce Oasis Spa Owner
Senbahar Izak The Mark Hotel Owner
Siegel Alan Siegelvision CEO
Silvstedt Victoria Very Victoria Silvstedt Owner
Spencer Miles Mojiva/TrustCloud Founder
Spindel Janice Serious Matchmaking Owner
Steinberg Leonard Urban Compass President
Steinberg Richard Warburg Realty Managing Director
Tahlin Jonas Absolut Elyx CEO
Tanaka Patrice PaddilaCRT Founder
Tarkoff Rob Lithium Tech CEO
Tetrick Joshua Hampton Creek CEO/Founder
Thomson Amy ATM Artists President
Torossian Ron 5W PR Founder/President
Van der Meer Antonia Coastal Living EIC
Verschleiser Eli American Jewish Congress Treasurer
Vongerichten Jean-Georges Jean Georges Restaurants Owner
Wagner James Emory University President
Wales Jimmy Wikipedia Founder
Westergren Tim Pandora Founder
White Alex Next Big Sound Co-Founder
Wiedlin Andy BuzzFeed CRO
Wilcox Alex JetSuite CEO
Winter Alexandre Placemeter CEO/Founder
Wolffer Marc Wolffer Estate Vineyard Owner
Wunderman Lester Wunderman Chairman/Founder
Zecher Linda Houghton Mifflin Harcourt President/CEO

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Tuesday
Jun242014

Music Mogul: Alex Ljung, Founder of SoundCloud



Alexander Ljung launched SoundCloud in 2008 with co-founder and CTO, Eric Wahlforss. As CEO, Alex is responsible for SoundCloud’s vision, overall strategy and leadership, overseeing a global team of over 230 people.

SoundCloud is the world’s leading audio platform that allows everyone to discover new, original music and audio, for creators to build audiences, and for everyone to share what they hear, on the web or on mobile. Creators on SoundCloud now post 12 hours of music and audio every minute.

In 2013, Alex was named in Billboard magazine's annual feature '40 under 40', highlighting young executives across the music industry. In the same year he was recognized as a 'one to watch' in Fortune magazine's '40 under 40'. SoundCloud and Alex were also awarded Tech Pioneer status by the World Economic Forum in 2013, recognizing the company’s position as a market leader in online audio.

Alex’s personal interests lie in the positive change and wider societal impact technology and design can have. In his spare time, he enjoys listening, traveling, geeking out on academic theories, and diving shipwrecks. He’s also a proud member of The Cloud Appreciation Society. 

Prior to co-founding SoundCloud, Alex began his career working in sound design for feature films and obtained a M.Sc. degree from The Royal Institute of Technology. He was born in the UK, grew up in Sweden and splits his time between SoundCloud’s HQ in Berlin and the U.S. offices in San Francisco and New York.

You can follow him on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/alex or on Twitter: @alexanderljung

How did you get into the music industry?
I began my career working in sound design for feature films, after getting my degree from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. My cofounder, Eric Wahlforss, and I met in the computer lab at university and we started doing a lot of projects together. When Eric and I started SoundCloud five years’ ago, it was because we saw something missing that we wanted to build ourselves. We’d both worked in the music industry, and there hadn’t been a social sound platform before, so we decided to create one.

What strategies did you implement in building SoundCloud into one of the world’s most innovative companies?
We’ve always focused on building a product that we really believe in and use ourselves; on growing the audience for this product by listening to what our community wants from our platform; and on hiring innovative and talented people. SoundCloud is innovative to its core and was born out of a spirit of experimentation, and the testimony to that is that, today, music and audio creators together post over 12 hours of original content to SoundCloud every minute, 90% of tracks on SoundCloud get played; most on the day that they’re posted and more than half within the hour that they’re posted.

Define creativity.
For me, creativity is synonymous with the idea of a ‘startup mentality’. It’s this alternative thinking, the desire and willingness to try something different, which is the only way you’ll achieve anything new.

Who has inspired you to become a successful entrepreneur?
Far too many people to mention, so I’ll just highlight one: Elon Musk. He’s a one-of-a-kind, and a great hero of mine. He’s an inventor, investor, and an incredible talent: he taught himself computer programming before he’d even hit his teens; he was instrumental in the development of PayPal, his second company; and continues to innovate with Tesla, where he’s CEO, and SpaceX, which he founded and continues to lead. I’m constantly inspired by entrepreneurs who’ve gone before me, and I hope we’ll be similarly inspirational to the entrepreneurs of the future.

What advice would you give to aspiring tech entrepreneurs?
Launching a startup is an equally exhilarating and terrifying experience, and in the early days you’re forced to constantly ask yourself, ‘are we focusing on the right priorities?’ ‘are we addressing a real need?’ ‘are we approaching this in the right way?’ But, fundamentally, it’s the belief in your idea that carries you through the harder times. We have faced many challenges along the way, but through our work building the platform we’ve come to learn just how fundamental sound is to the human experience, and that’s what keeps us on course.

Life motto?
All jet no lag. It’s about focusing on the positive, working hard and ‘leveling up’, as we say at SoundCloud, in order to achieve your goals.

What songs are currently playing on your SoundCloud?
Anything and everything. These days, I have very broad tastes when it comes to music and audio, and like using our ‘Explore’ function to listen to what’s trending on the platform, whether it’s John Oliver’s The Bugle, a track from Snoop, Big Boi or a bedroom artist from the community, or a BBC or NPR podcast.

What's next for SC?
Moving forward we are concentrated on continued growth, mobile, expanding features across all platforms and leveling up the direct to fan experience. SoundCloud is focused on creating, discovering and sharing sounds, which makes us uniquely suited to being on mobile because sound is not dependent on a big screen. We want to continue to unmute the web by helping anyone create and share their sounds to the world.

About SoundCloud
SoundCloud, launched in 2008 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, is the leading audio platform that gives users unprecedented access to the world’s largest community of music & audio creators. With its continued ambition to unmute the web, SoundCloud allows everyone to discover original music & audio, connect with each other and share the sounds they hear. In addition, sound creators can use the platform to instantly record, upload and share sounds across the internet, as well as receive detailed stats and feedback from the SoundCloud community. For more information, go to: http://soundcloud.com/.