Tim Heineke (@timheineke) is the co-founder Shuffler.fm, prior to that music start-ups Twones and Fuga. Also co-owner of indie record label Kindred Spirits and co-organiser of Music and Bits and Music Hackday Amsterdam.
1) Who/what is your source of inspiration regarding the things you do?
I love design from graphic design (or art) or furniture, it inspires me me a lot. I guess in general any kind of art inspires me; ranging from food (cooking) to design/art to fashion to the web (which is one big canvas of creation). Off-course music and, especially lately, music blogs. Music blogs are just like labels/talent scouts. They A&R, and thus select, all the shit which is out there.
As a former skater (i try to ride sometimes), skating or skate culture still inspires me, in general my friends and peers in the niche ,where i’m in, inspire me a lot.
2) What is the biggest mistake you’ve made?
In Twones we tried to listen to to many people and please to many people. We thought feedback was always good and that we should react on it as soon as possible. While releasing early and then incorporating feedback is the right way to go (lean start-up model), we did this way to early and started creating features which where not – yet – a priority. In it’s essence the product should be simple and solve something which you (and your co-founders) think is cool.Period. Then launch that in it’s most simplest form; it’s essence. If you don’t get it right, something is wrong somewhere else, don’t start adding other features.
3) What do you consider your biggest achievement?
Hard one. I’m not really satisfied yet. I was with our record label, but it was small and very niche. We where on our own island and that was great. But it was not a business success in terms of money / users or listeners. It was one of the most rewarding times and where we had a lot of recognition from our peers and that was nice. So my biggest success is yet to come. I’ve been close many times but never to made it to the finish line.
4) What do you believe to be the biggest hype at this moment? Why?
If you mean in terms of overrated, or overhyped, then i would way that there are to many players in the location and “check-in” space. Copying either foursquare, or a vertical, of it, or getglue is trying to check in products/services. Although i think there is a lot or room in that space for more verticals i also think it’s very crowded.
5) What do you expect from the event?
I hope that at the end all of the people in the room know what Shuffler.fm is and i convinced them about the importance of curation, filtering and serendipity for online music or any kind of content.