Author Archive for Connor Grieb

The Innovation Of Music Through Spotify

Spotify is a music listening app that has transformed the world.

Spotify was created by, 31 year old Daniel Ek, as an application to allow the user to listen to any music and create playlists without paying anything. The way Spotify makes money is through advertisements in between songs.

Originally, Spotify started out solely on computers. In 2013, things changed, Spotify launched an app to allow smart phone users to also stream music. In 2013, Spotify had 24 million active users that streamed over 4.5 billion hours of music. This completely transformed the consumers experience in the music downloading industry but has reduced the profits of artists around the world, because nobody has to buy the songs anymore.

I believe Spotify is in trouble the next several months because of the growing number of artists pulling their albums off of Spotify. For instance 2 weeks ago, Taylor Swift, pulled all of her songs from Spotify to increase her profits by having fans pay full price for the new album, 1989, which just came out. Swift made a smart move, but it could start a movement by artists around the world to remove their songs from Spotify and all other free music listening applications.

Daniel Ek, founded his first company when he was only 14 years old. He has the drive of an entrepreneur to do whatever it takes to succeed. He is currently worth $400 million dollars and is making a significant difference around the world through the evolution of streaming music.

In entrepreneurship, your age doesn’t matter, your drive for success is what will carry you farther than ever before.

The Greatest Game To Play In The Summer


According to, Spikeball is a volleyball-like game where two teams of two compete to keep the ball in the air before spiking it off a circular trampoline like net on the ground. Originally marketed as a beach game, it’s now taking off in backyards and parks across America.

In the 1990’s seven guys attempted to launch Spikeball to sell in stores like Toys R Us marketed towards kids. However, it didn’t go as planned and Spikeball was removed from shelves shortly after its launch.

Following this indecent, Chris Ruder, Co-Founder of Spikeball overheard feedback for nearly a decade of how people wished Spikeball would relaunch. Finally in 2009, Spikeball relaunched and Spikeball was a hit!

Today nearly 125,000 people play Spikeball and absolutely love the game!

I would definitely recommend Spikeball! It is a family fun game for all ages. The first time I played the game, I couldn’t stop because it was such blast. We played for 3 hours!

Chris Ruder took a big risk relaunching Spikeball after failing the first time around, but it goes to show sometimes when you take big risks, big rewards follow.

Yik Yak


Yik Yak has become extremely popular not only at Grove City College but around the world. It is an app that allows people to anonymously post within a 1.5 mile radius of users in your area.

Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, graduated in 2013 from Furman University in South Carolina. While in school they worked on a few startup ideas together during their senior year and put their careers on hold to build a company after they graduated.

Yik Yak was born in 2013 and quickly became very popular. Buffington and Droll word spread very quickly and they raised $10 million dollars in funding.

According to, “Since January, the founders say growth has been organic and the app is used heavily (by thousands of students) on about 250 campuses. At some of the schools, as many as 10,000 students are on it and 100 new messages are posted every ten minutes. At smaller schools, the app has penetrated 80% of student bodies.”

The only negative thing about Yik Yak is that some of the users abuse the fact that everyone is anonymously posting. Some bullying is happening on the site but Buffington and Droll hope to bring the bulling to an end in the near future.

By putting their careers on hold, Buffington and Droll accomplished something incredible. It goes to show that with the right idea and an incredible amount of will power one can push through difficult situations to succeed.


Evan Spiegel, 24-year-old co-founder of Snapchat, showcases many exemplary traits that makes him an incredible entrepreneur.

Spiegel grew up in Pacific Palisades, California in a very successful environment because his parents were both outstanding lawyers.

He attended Stanford University, where he studied product design. Spiegel proposed Snapchat as a class project which quickly became a hit. In 2012, he dropped out to focus on Snapchat with only 3 classes left before he could have completed his degree.

On the description says, “Enjoy fast and fun mobile conversation. Snap a photo or video, add a caption, and send it to a friend. They’ll view it, laugh, and then the Snap disappears form the screen – unless they take a screenshot.” This is not only creative but innovative. Over 700 million Snaps are sent each day.

Spiegel at the age of 23 turned down a $3 billion purchase by Facebook. He is proof that real success comes from taking big risks.

Spiegel is an inspiration to all young entrepreneurs because he demonstrated that if you are passionate about something and you work hard anything is possible.


The Innovation of Instagram


Instagram is a photo sharing, mobile, and social networking website/app that has become extremely popular. It enables its users to take pictures and videos, make edits, and share them on a variety of different social networking platforms.

Kevin Systrom graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Management Science & Engineering. His first intern experience was through Odeo which later became Twitter.

Mike Krieger also graduated from Stanford University where he studied Symbolic Systems with a focus in Human-Computer Interaction. During his time at Stanford, he interned on Microsoft’s PowerPoint team as a PM and at Foxmarks as a software developer. He also wrote his Master’s thesis on how user interfaces can better support collaboration on a large scale before getting connected with Instagram.

Together Krieger and Systrom (in the picture above) founded Instagram, and launched it in 2010.

Instantly Instagram became a household name with over 200 million active monthly users. Personally, one of my favorite features on Instagram is the ability to edit photos with multiple different filters before you post a picture. This allows people to do all of the editing on Instagram rather than having to use separate apps which was a pain.

Two of the most important things that Instagram has accomplished is its ability to achieve financial support from investors. Without the financial backing of investors, Instagram would have been unable to start up as a company. To truly get a scope of the size of the deal investors made, one must look no further than to the first venture capital firms that put up seed money for Instagram: Andreesen Horowitz’s original $250,000 investment is now worth a whopping $78 million. That is 78 followed by six zeroes. A return of 312 times the initial investment. Secondly, Instagram added hashtags to its site which encouraged users connect with each other and see pictures from all over the world.  This was evolutionary.

Without a doubt, Instagram is going to be around for a long time.



Origami Owl

Origami Owl

Fourteen year old, Isabella Weems wanted to have her own car when she turned 16 so her parents encouraged her to start a business. Weems founded Origami Owl, a custom jewelry company whose direct sales business model gets people excited which turns them into salespeople. Origami Owl takes on independent designers who buy products at a discount, then resell to friends via jewelry parties.

Weems said on, “I started researching and looking for ideas. The locket’s been around for a long time and I thought, ‘well, what if you could make a locket with charms?” Weems asked her parents to match $350 she’d earned for babysitting, which she spent on wholesale components to make her lockets.  She quickly leveraged her network of friends to find buyers. Weems rapidly started selling her product at house parties, boutiques, and at jewelry shows.

In 2010 Weems opened a kiosk at the Chandler, Arizona mall in time for Black Friday shoppers. Origami Owl was a hit. The company adopted the direct sales platform in 2011 and generated about $280,000. The following year revenue took off like a rocket, multiplying 86 times.

Currently, Origami Owl has 50,887 independent designers and expects to gross $250 million dollars this year.

This idea is not only creative but innovative. Her determination to babysit then invest everything she earned to launch Origami Owl is impressive, especially considering  she was only fourteen years old. She is an inspiration to the world in that we truly are never to young to start a business. Click on Origami Owl if you would like to check out the site.