On Monday, the day before Spotify goes public on the New York Stock Exchange, cofounder and CEO Daniel Ek posted a letter on the company’s website. Most of what he wrote he’s said multiple times before, most recently at the “Investor Day” last month — “Tomorrow does not become the most important day for Spotify. It’s the day after, and the following day that matters — and all those days to come,” etc. — but he signs off with a quote from Daft Punk: “Harder, better, faster, stronger,” although which definition of “harder” is most accurate will be seen in the coming months.
The text of his letter follows in full:
Tomorrow, Spotify becomes a listed public company on the New York Stock Exchange. And it feels like the right time to pause and acknowledge the thousands of Spotify employees around the globe who helped build out the Spotify ecosystem while staying true to who we are and what we believe. You make me proud to come in and learn and work alongside all of you.
Lots of people have asked me how I feel about tomorrow’s listing. Of course, I am proud of what we’ve built over the last decade. But what’s even more important to me is that tomorrow does not become the most important day for Spotify.
It’s the day after, and the following day that matters — and all those days to come. Because that’s when we will continue the hard and important work of our mission: To unlock the potential of human creativity — by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.
Spotify is not raising capital, and our shareholders and employees have been free to buy and sell our stock for years. So while tomorrow puts us on a bigger stage, it doesn’t change who we are, what we are about, or how we operate.
This is why we are doing things a little differently.
Normally, companies ring bells. Normally, companies spend their day doing interviews on the trading floor touting why their stock is a good investment. Normally, companies don’t pursue a direct listing. While I appreciate that this path makes sense for most, Spotify has never been a normal kind of company. As I mentioned during our Investor Day, our focus isn’t on the initial splash. Instead, we will be working on trying to build, plan, and imagine for the long term.
Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we stumble. The constant is that we believe we are still early in our journey and we have room to learn and grow.
I have no doubt that there will be ups and downs as we continue to innovate and establish new capabilities. Nothing ever happens in a straight line — the past ten years have certainly taught me that. My job is to ensure that we keep our foot on the pedal during the ups, so that we don’t become complacent, and that we continue to stay the course with a firm grip on the wheel during the downs.
We have a lot to do — we are only in the second inning — and I’m more excited than ever for the future.
Remember, tomorrow is just another day in our journey to fulfill our mission.
Harder, better, faster, stronger.