Spotify exemplifies the new era of scaling a business.

That’s technology-driven hypergrowth by anyone’s standard. Equally striking, though, is the way Spotify has continued to innovate its offering, while adhering to the enduring principles for growing and sustaining a successful business: Pay attention to the customer. Find new ways to delight them. Use your comparative advantage, doubling down on the things you are best at, and find good partners to handle other work. Focus on scaling your culture even as you scale your technology.

Those old truths may be even more urgent in the digital age. Streaming audio is a competitive business, requiring fast product development, customer understanding, and powerful tools for things like recommendation, music discovery, and connecting people. Besides helping people find new music and podcasts, Spotify helps artists connect with fans and collaborate with each other.

Spotify, not surprisingly, has a very engineering-driven culture, with almost half of its staff focused on building, launching, and maintaining its products. With major research and development offices in Boston, Gothenburg, London, New York, and Stockholm, the size of its workforce matches the global scale of its business. That requires a culture of collaboration and swift execution. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Spotify reported 271 million monthly users and 124 million Premium subscribers, a record, continuing its history of global growth.

Effective data use that preserves customer privacy even as the services scale is another core part of the process. Some of that increase is from a growing user base, but even more is from effective understanding of the customer experience on Spotify. The engineering brilliance that matches data-driven insights with improved customer experiences is increasingly easier and faster on the cloud.

Ultimately, it is great user experiences that powers a business. Underlying Spotify’s growth is its commitment to experimentation and innovation. Being able to go faster and to more efficiently test a wide spectrum of new features and ideas means Spotify will be able to focus its DNA of creativity and excellence on even more innovative experiences for its happy listeners.

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