Spotify CEO Daniel Ek introduced himself to the world with a letter to potential investors.
At roughly 1,300 words, Ek’s letter touched upon the company’s business potential.
“We really do believe that we can improve the world, one song at a time,” Ek wrote.
Spotify is ditching underwriters, roadshows and even predetermined price ranges in its unorthodox “Direct IPO.” But there’s one tradition the music streaming company is sticking with: The founder’s letter.
The so-called founder’s letter has become a staple of tech IPOs, pioneered by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter.
And Daniel Ek, Spotify’s 35-year-old Swedish cofounder and CEO, did not disappoint.
Ek’s letter to investors, titled “Our Path” and contained on page 92 of Spotify’s F-1 filing, weighed in at a hefty 1,259 words. That easily topped the 471 words written by Roku CEO Anthony Wood and the brief, perhaps symbolic, 138 words of Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, yet was respectfully shy of the 2,189-word manifesto penned by Mark Zuckerberg in 2012.
In keeping with the genre, Ek used soaring language and details of his personal life to tout the values of the company, the benefits of the product and the limitless potential of the business.
“What started out as an application and grew into a platform must now become a global network,” he declared.
But the letter also veered into uncharted territory as Ek let his vision run wild. Ek described a future Spotify that serves as a “cultural platform where professional creators can break free of their medium’s constraints” and “where everyone can enjoy an immersive artistic experience that enables us to empathize with each other and to feel part of a greater whole.”
The letter’s Burning Man-esque feel soon took on a political tone, as Ek preached a global worldview at odds with the isolationist climate sweeping across many countries today.
“This is the future we envision; where artists cross genres and cultural boundaries, creating ideas that propel society forward; where fans can discover something they never would have otherwise; where we’re all part of a global network, building new connections, sharing new ideas, across cultures,” Ek wrote.
In what may become the letter’s most memorable line, Ek signed off on a hopeful note: “We really do believe that we can improve the world, one song at a time.”
Here is the full letter, which you can also read here:
LETTER FROM DANIEL EK
Our Path—A Note from Daniel Ek, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman
From the age of four, my life was about music and technology—never one without the other. Over time, I realized that by combining my two passions, I could create a new paradigm, one that helped fans and the creative community—singers, songwriters, bands, everyone in the creative process—chart a new course for an entire industry.
Spotify is the manifestation of those dreams. Music was too important to me to let piracy take down the industry. There had to be a way to give people access to the music they loved while allowing creators to get paid for their work, and to expand their creativity.
So I built a company based on a core set of values: innovation, passion, collaboration, transparency, and fairness. These values drive how we work with the creative community and how we treat our users. They’re why we’re committed to a diverse workforce in an open, trusting company culture.
Today, Spotify is one of the largest drivers of global music revenue. We’ve helped restore a rapidly shrinking industry to growth, and connected over a million artists with hundreds of millions of fans.
People constantly tell me how music has helped them through life’s biggest moments—birth and death, euphoria and heartbreak. At Spotify, we want to enrich, strengthen, and exten