Startup Stories: Artist Radar

Artist Radar is a platform designed to offer a unique experience for everyone interested in keeping up-to-date with entertainment news. Based on individual interests including authors, bands and actors, Artist Radar collates the most pertinent content from across the internet and presents it in one personal dashboard and newsfeed.

Users can discover new releases, shop entertainment products and concerts tickets, and can comment and rate products. We caught up with Joerg at Artist Radar to find out more.

Although the founders of Artist Radar have been working on their product since the start of 2013, the company was officially founded in January 2014 Joerg told us. “After about half a year of development work besides our normal day jobs, our MVP (minimum viable product) was launched at the App Store in January 2014.” With this in mind, we asked Joerg to think back to the hardest thing about starting a business.

“I’d say the hardest thing was actually to make the decision to seriously start the business,” Joerg explained. “I am not talking about having a little side project…I am talking about the moment you decide to make it your number one professional priority.” Of course, this is a crucial moment that all startups can relate to.

The Idea Behind Artist Radar

Looking back even further, Joerg explained how the concept for Artist Radar was conceived; “it may sound stereotyped but it was personal need.” After trying and failing to keep track of their own personal favorite artists, it soon became clear that you couldn’t follow everyone you’d like to. Even by using traditional social media channels, the content was not clear and unnecessary spam took over.

“We searched for a service that makes it easy to get notified about the stuff you like” Joerg described. As there was no such service available, Joerg and Artist Radar co-founders Rolf and Moritz agreed to launch this service themselves.

Mistakes, Highs and Lows

With the intention of providing valuable advice to other young companies or aspiring entrepreneurs, we asked Joerg to tell us about any mistakes they made which could be learnt from. “Well the biggest mistake I’d say was to start the business without a technical co-founder” Joerg admitted. “When we launched the venture we were just two business guys with an idea, technical savvy though, but we didn’t have a technical expert that shared our idea and vision.”

To make up for this, Joerg used freelancers as developers, but soon found the struggle between scope and budget was a rough ride. “One day we took the decision to stop everything and concentrate every minute on finding a CTO.”

Luckily for Joerg and Artist Radar, they found the perfect fit. A great lesson for us all is to start a business with the right foundation in place. Joerg added, “If I could go back in time, I would spend all my energy in getting the right team together before starting the work.”

Anybody starting a new business, or even simply thinking about it will be able to relate to the internal struggle you feel when other people’s advice and suggestions go against what you feel to be the right choice. Faced with this paradigm, Joerg shared his advice; “It is a daily challenge to identify the valuable advisers from the ones that may lead you into a wrong direction. Your instinct is the best tool to make these decisions.”

Artist Radar on desktop

Evolution of Artist Radar

Speaking of moving with your instincts, we asked Joerg whether the business has changed since they started.  “Oh yes, the business has changed over time and we think it will continue to change.” Joerg told us; “We started as a release notification service for music but soon found out that there is way more potential. Over time we developed our product and service into the leading entertainment news platform with 6m artists and more than 200k events.”

Following their instincts paid off and the founders of Artist Radar have turned their product into something much larger. “Today, users can not only follow bands but also book authors and movie actors. They get notified about music releases, videos, ebooks, movies, concerts, audiobooks and even new episodes of their favorite TV series.”

Having looked back, we delved into the future of Artist Radar with Joerg. “We want to develop Artist Radar into the one-stop-hub for entertainment news. Artist Radar has and will continue to transform the way people stay up-to-date with their favorite artists.” Clearly there is a big future awaiting Artist Radar and we can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Finally, we asked Joerg to describe the best thing about working for your own company within this industry, his response was great. “As my background is in business consulting, I’d say the best thing about working in our industry is that I no longer need to wear a suit.”

What does your business need?