The concept behind a website called Freshsessions is plain, simple, and
successful: it helps artists book studio time and find studio
engineers easily. And it was created by a young African American
entrepreneur named Dan Miller.
Miller tells TNJ.com how he got started and why the website is so popular with musicians nationwide.
TNJ.com: What prompted you to launch the company?
Dan Miller: My senior year of college, I launched a T-shirt line with some friends, and we recorded a mixtape to cross promote the T-shirt line. The experience of recording that mixtape was addictive. And I was hooked. After college, I moved to Brooklyn and was looking for a studio to continue to record and the process was absolutely horrible – so bad in fact that I never ended up getting into the studio. That experience was the impetus of Freshsessions.
TNJ.com: How did you fund the startup?
DM: Until earlier this year, we were bootstrapping. We’ve strategically brought on two angels as investors this year.
TNJ.com: What were some startup challenges and how did you overcome them?
DM: The hardest startup challenge I have had to overcome is continuing operations while bootstrapping. The value of bootstrapping exists in the retention of the company’s equity. Typically, operations slow down when a company is bootstrapping. To make sure we had enough gasoline to continue to put on the fire, I cut costs everywhere else in my life, and at times worked part-time to make more money to put into the business.
TNJ.com: What have been some challenges as you grow the company?
DM: As a marketplace, we need to constantly think about supply and demand, especially as we scale the company. Each marketplace is unique, and it will be a continuing study analyzing how the network responds to different levels of supply and demand. These are fun and good challenges to have though!
TNJ.com: What has been your biggest business lesson?
DM: To hire slow. I had to learn from experience that hiring too quickly can do for more damage than good at the businesses current stage.
TNJ.com: What are your goals for 2015?
DM: Our goals this year are simple. Firstly, we will be focusing on driving bookings in the cities we operate in. Towards the end of the year, we will shift our focus to growth by expanding to many different cities.
TNJ.com: What are your long-term goals?
DM: Our long term goal is to increase the global supply of quality recorded music.
TNJ.com: Why do you feel people should patronize your company?
DM: I’d love for people to understand that we want our users to feel empowered in their sessions because they’ve found the perfect place to rehearse or record. This company is about access. This product is about lowering the barriers to offline music collaboration. We want to be recognized and remembered as facilitators of music production. Music that otherwise, would have never been created.
TNJ.com: What do you like the most about what you do?
DM: I love that my current job draws on skills I have learned from all of my previous jobs. I also really enjoy the fact that there is very little friction between ideas and execution. That is extremely important as we are operating in unchartered territories.