Before 2008, if you heard a song on the radio or at a public place and wanted to know what it was; unless someone around you knew what the song was, chances are that you’d never find out. Chris Barton, Philip Inghlebrecht, Dhiraj Mukherjee and Avery Wang were four extraordinarily gifted young men who saw the need for a solution to the problem and developed Shazam, an app that even at its birth had a 95% success rate of identifying what the song that was playing was.
The app is beautiful in its simplicity. Shazam uses the microphone to gather a brief audio snippet, creates an acoustic fingerprint and then compares this to a database to get a match and see what song it is. The best part is how instantaneous it is, as Barton once stated that “we aimed to make our app tell you what song was playing faster than your friend next to you could, and we did..” The app’s popularity (1 billion users as of October 2016) tells you just how big the market for such an entrepreneurial idea was; and even though there are knock off apps that try to replicate the real deal – none of them have the success, skill or success rate that Shazam prides itself in.
Now that they have established a name for themselves, the company is integrating their technology into other popular apps (like Snapchat) and reach even more people. I think what makes this such a great entrepreneurial idea to me is in that it services a very good need, for free and shows how when you find a need that still needs to be met and your product is expertly designed and crafted; success will follow.
Millennial Entrepreneurs is the course blog of ENTR-101, a course offered at Grove City College called "The Entrepreneurial Mind." One of our tasks each semester is to research and blog about the experiences of young entrepreneurs who are making a difference in the world.