Netflix’s drama series ‘The Playlist’ centers around the incredible true story of Daniel Ek, who teams up with entrepreneur Martin Lorentzon to found Spotify. After Daniel and Martin join hands together, they appoint Andreas Ehn as the company’s CTO and the first employee. Andreas recruits a group of highly efficient computer engineers and leads the group to materialize Daniel’s vision of a lag-free music streaming service. Although it is Daniel who becomes the face of the company, Andreas’ hard work and efficiency make Spotify a commendable product. Intrigued by the significance of Andreas, we have found out more about the current whereabouts of the character’s real-life counterpart. Here are our findings!
Who is Andreas Ehn?
When Daniel Ek started his journey of forming Spotify, Andreas Ehn was an engineering manager at Stardoll. Daniel didn’t have to put much effort to lure Andreas to Spotify since the latter was offered the CTO position of the company right away. After Andreas joined the company, he and Daniel recruited the engineers required to design Spotify. Andreas’s ability to attract and inspire the country’s best programmers was quintessential for the formation of the streaming service. At the time, Daniel had only one demand; no buffering. He wanted users to be able to listen to songs the moment they click on one and it was Andreas’ job to ensure the same.
Andreas and his team worked hard to tweak the BitTorrent technology to fulfill their requirements. In March 2007, Andreas and two other colleagues did the finishing touches to give birth to the streaming platform and the CTO registered as the first-ever user of the service. Daniel and Andreas, as the show depicts, weren’t always in agreement when it came to the growth of the streaming platform. The company’s reliance on business developers and marketing people and its attempts to please the music industry displeased Andreas severely, as per Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud’s ‘Spotify Untold,’ the source text of the show.
Andreas’ time at Spotify took a wild turn when the company decided to procure a particular enterprise software. The CTO wanted to design the software instead of procuring externally but his stand didn’t get encouraged. “This do-it-yourself attitude made no sense to his [Andreas’] new, business-oriented colleagues. Spotify was clearly too big to be cobbling together its own software. Surely the engineers had better things to do. Frustrated by his dwindling authority, Andreas Ehn started feeling estranged from his own company. He missed the early days of dreaming big and solving problems with his team on the whiteboard,” Carlsson and Leijonhufvud wrote in the source text of the show. Then, in late 2009, Andreas resigned from Spotify.
Where is Andreas Ehn Now?
Andreas Ehn is currently a partner at Approach, a company he formed with his partner Lisa Enckell. Approach collaborates with several international companies and invests in tempting projects. Currently, the company is based in Singapore, where Andreas lives with Lisa and their two sons. He is also a venture partner of Antler, a global venture capital firm and startup generator. The ex-Spotify CTO also serves as a member of the investment committee of Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), industrial advisor of global investment organization EQT, board director of GPS tracking service Automile, and advisor of IT services and consulting company k6.
In addition, Andreas has become an eminent speaker in the global investment sphere, attending talks and discussions conducted by several educational and investment institutions. He is also interested in consulting gigs, advisory roles, and angel investing. After leaving Spotify, Andreas co-founded Wrapp, a mobile online-to-offline customer acquisition service that raised funds from renowned investors such as Atomico and Greylock. He also served as the board director of Opbeat and Shootitlive, which were later acquired by Elastic and TT News Agency respectively.