Turntable.fm has barely been up for a year, but in the world of startups, many are already worried that it's lost its edge. At South by Southwest, Inc.com profiles the duo behind the site — coder Billy Chasen and entrepreneur Seth Goldstein — as they attempt to balance Chasen's vision of a self-contained, almost artistic project and the need to make it a successful business venture.
Turntable.fm, the final result of several failed or abandoned projects, grew overnight, but now its star has faded. "I can tell now when people say, 'How's it going?' they mean, 'You're flattening, aren't you?'" says Goldstein. The company is working to recover, and it's recently signed several major record deals, but it has yet to engage the large base it hopes for. Chasen seems unsure that it's even ready to do this, though he's still working on new features. "Seth is a business guy," he says at one point. "He thinks you can throw a level of marketing on something mediocre and make it great."