Hi, I’m Trevor, and I’m the president of SingSnap. Many of you have heard me open my announcements with that line for quite some time now. What I rarely mention, but I hope is evident to those of you who have been around a little while, is that I’m also a member of SingSnap. I sing, I comment, I talk to people in PM’s and on the boards. I am very happily involved in this site from a member standpoint.
I’ve been asked many times over the years, where we got the idea for SingSnap and how it all started. I’ve never really answered that question in depth. I honestly didn’t think that anyone was interested in the story of how a business got started. Over time, however, I’ve realized how very personally invested so many of you are in SingSnap and what happens to it, and to the people you meet here. So, I agreed to Annie’s very persuasive request to write a series of articles on SingSnap and take you back stage.
Many years ago, Ralph, Jason, Per and I had several music related businesses. Jason, our Chief Technology Officer, developed the web based recorder out of the blue one day and showed it to me. All of us realized that this could really become something, and decided to create a product and website around this. We allocated $100,000 and 2 months to a focus group to come up with a really great name. Just kidding! We were sitting around brainstorming names one day and Jason says “we need something easy to remember and is snappy”. Then a light bulb went on over his head, he snaps his fingers and says, “SingSnap”. That was the start.
We had a large database of customers from our other businesses and when we launched the site, it was by invite only and in beta. We emailed an invite to our email list and then word of mouth took over. I used to get up every morning, run to my computer and listen to and comment on every new recording. Very quickly this was not possible.
The community is something we had not considered at first. It became very evident to me quickly that we had a very supportive member base that could help us build a great product. So from the start, and right through to this day, we have made the community the most important thing. We listen to the feedback of every member and make changes based on this feedback. Every member is treated with respect and their opinion matters.
When we started, I had no idea what a Muah was or what terms like “tff” meant. I would ask Jason and he’d tell me or we would Google it. We were quick studies.
From the beginning, we set things up to be a self governing community that is reinforced with positive feedback. No one wants to sing and be told they suck. SingSnap is a safe haven for all and we expect negativity to be left at the door!
At first, we had no chat room, and we didn’t even have message boards. We added these elements along with thousands of new songs (we only had about 2000 at first). We added the ability to customize your profile and recording pages, and started the Feature Page. Back then, the system selected a random user and featured that person’s recordings. We had to quickly build and expand our systems to deal with the increased volume.
Speaking of message boards, does anyone remember back in the early days, when I was poking around in some tool and I pressed a button to see what it did? That button deleted the entire message board and it took several hours to have it restored. Since then, I can’t access those buttons anymore!
Of course, we have added duets and infinite duets, contests and challenges, fans and favorites, inner circles, playlists, trinkets, and of course mobile to name just a few.
Throughout this growth, there have been many changes, but we remain true to the vision of “Customer First”. We still focus on the three areas we see as critical – Community, Content and Technology. We have gone from hundreds of recordings to well into the millions currently stored. Membership is approaching 1,000,000! A new song comment is left approximately every two seconds. That’s more than 1,000,000 comments made per month!
Song content is and always will be a challenge, and is something I’ll address more fully in an upcoming segment. We constantly strive to bring the best music we possibly can to our customers, and we will continue making sure we have the most legally available content anywhere!
The future is bright at SingSnap. We’ll continue to grow and expand and add features. We’ll continue to provide songs and update our technology. The iPhone app was just the beginning as we expand our mobile offering. We are also looking at new options and features that will allow you to customize SingSnap the way you want it, and allow you to define your “neighborhood” within this growing community.
Until next time, have fun and keep singing!