Troy Carter, talent manager, VC, and founder of Atom Factory, spoke today at TechCrunch Disrupt SF about how his experience in entertainment has influenced the way he approaches the startup world.
He began by discussing how startups are inherently more flexible in terms of strategy and obtaining eventual success. Specifically, he said how common it is for startups to pivot (using the example of Zimride becoming Lyft), but music artists are rarely able to recover from a flop.
He then talked about solving the current issue of artists complaining they aren’t being fairly compensated in the age of digital music. Carter said that artists should understand this is usually a flawed argument, because the only alternative to streaming services are piracy or having someone simply listen to the song on YouTube for free. He cautioned artists to be patient, and said that streaming is a numbers game: “once everyone is converted to services like Spotify, the economics will make a lot more sense.”
When asked if Silicon Valley would remain the center of the tech world, Carter explained that while the area is filled with intelligent entrepreneurs and innovative companies, the ecosystem eventually needs to open up and expand, or the area will see severe financial repercussions.
The talk concluded with TC’s Sarah Lane asking what is the next important industry. Carter said that there are currently a bunch of “sleepy industries,” where innovation is lagging. He gave Stance Socks, one of his portfolio companies, as an example of a huge hit in an industry that isn’t exciting as something like wearables or VR.