Rafe Offer is the co-founder & CEO of Sofar Sounds, a global movement that brings people together over live music in an intimate setting. Based out of London, Sofar was launched in 2009 and now stages concerts in 398 cities worldwide.
In our conversation we talk about the humble beginnings of Sofar, the challenges of growing it as a non-technical team, leadership, monetization, their recent funding by Sir Richard Branson and Rafe's vision for Sofar's future.
4:48 “I had no idea it would ever go beyond 1 or 2 concerts. The way we got started was that we had all the ingredients: Dave had a guitar, the 3 of us had houses and we knew we could do at least 3 concerts that way.”
7:04 “We knew that it was really exciting when the first person that we didn’t know got hold of us. That was someone in Los Angeles who had seen a Youtube video and said “Hey, can we do that secret living room concert here.”
12:58 “I would rather be able to control the destiny of Sofar by having it as a business than having to ask for money all the time and holding your breath if you’re going to raise it. Right now we’re really happy as we’re trying to control our own destiny.”
16:25 “The biggest challenge is that the founders, which is now the two of us, are not tech graduates. We know live events, how to bring people along, work with them and shape a community. But we don’t know tech.”
22:28: “Empowering people is an amazing thing and can change the world. But we need some guidelines, values and the ability to stick to them. The combination of great leadership is setting those guidelines, but equally inspiring people and welcoming them on board if they believe in what those guidelines, values and culture are about.”
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