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Imagine that you’re fresh out of college, touring with your rock band, and you meet Puff Daddy backstage at one of your shows. Sounds surreal, right? Well that what is what happened to D.A. Wallach after graduating from Harvard in the early 2000’s. This week, I talk to rockstar turned tech investor D.A. Wallach on the podcast.
He toured the country with his band Chester French, and since then he’s lived a fascinating career and life. He’s pivoted his career multiple times, playing in many sandboxes in music, entrepreneurship, and technology. After years of touring with Chester French, he then joined the music streaming company Spotify to launch its business in the U.S. Most recently he is a full-time biotech startup investor.
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D.A.’s background is fascinating As a freshman at Harvard in 2003, he joined the band Chester French as its lead singer. Chester French was a band that aimed to write pop songs like the Beatles, with a sensibility and style of Outkast. Coincidentally, in 2003, Mark Zuckerberg was also at Harvard. Mark started Facebook that year, and D.A. he was one of the first 2,000 users of the platform.
Right off the bat, D.A. and his band road the first wave of social media. They were trying to figure out how to build audience on campus via the social network. Their curiosity lead them to book tours and meet fans though the nascent industry of social media. Social media helped him to literally make thousands of friends. Unsurprisingly, his band’s use of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter were the central factors in the rock group’s early success.
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D.A.’s next career evolution mashed-up two of is major passions, music and technology. Growing up in Wisconsin, D.A. recalls downloading every David Bowie album through Napster. Years later, as a musician, he watched the music industry get eviscerated. As his days of rock touring were slowing down, a music streaming company named Spotify was preparing for its U.S. launch. That’s when D.A. made his first major career pivot. He’s always been fascinated by systems, and technology was his next big system to explore.
Download this podcast episode on Spotify!
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