Multimillionaire Entrepreneur Ek’s Life Is Not Satisfying Without a Project


“Daniel Ek” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. C11) As a 16-year-old computer geek, Daniel Ek applied for a job at Google but was turned down because he didn’t have a college degree. “I was kind of upset about that,” he says. “I was like, ‘I’ll show them–I’m going to create my own search engine!’ “

That turned out to be harder than he thought, so instead he spent several years building an online advertising company in his native Sweden (and no, he never did finish college). In 2006, he sold the company’s rights and related patents for over $2 million.
“Now I was 23 and a multimillionaire, but I didn’t have anything to do,” he said over lunch recently in midtown Manhattan. He became depressed. “You’re supposed to be the happiest guy on the planet but…there’s no reason why you’re existing,” he says. “I realized it’s really, really fun for a while to go big and go to all of these nightclubs,” but just spending money was not satisfying.
In search of a purpose, he came up with a new model for listening to music: Spotify, a digital streaming service that has made the music business look viable again.

For the full interview, see:
ALEXANDRA WOLFE. “Weekend Confidential: Daniel Ek.” The Wall Street Journal (Sat., June 22, 2013): C11.
(Note: ellipsis in original.)
(Note: the online version of the interview has the date June 21, 2013.)

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