For London’s Chris Carey, a love of music became a career path

One thing’s for sure — Chris Carey’s has an extensive background in the music industry, but not in the traditional sense. From analyzing music trends as a senior economist at PRS for Music, to working on music and media forecasting and running the big data team for EMI, Carey prides himself for being a music economist.

He became a founder and CEO of his own music-focused research company, Media Insight Consulting, offering a combination of market research and big data analytics. Carey manages to speak at industry events like South by Southwest, Midem, and others, all while finding time to attend concerts by his favorite bands.

WeWork: Where do you like to work when you have to concentrate? And do you listen to a specific type of music while you’re working?

Carey: It doesn’t matter where I am. I can focus if I can put my headphones on over my ears. When it comes to music, I have to listen to music I know really well — Foo Fighters, Lifehouse, The Fray, and Bastille are a few of my favorites.

WeWork: What’s your favorite spot to listen to music in London? Any memorable performances?

Carey: There are so many great venues in London: The Royal Albert Hall, The Roundhouse, and The O2 Arena are my favorite large venues. The Borderline and The Bedford are both competing for my favorite spot for smaller venues. I was lucky enough to be at Abbey Road Studios for an EMI showcase, where they featured some emerging talent (Bastille, Emeli Sande, Professor Green) and some more established stars, including Kylie with a 35-piece orchestra.

WeWork: What has been your biggest failure and how did you recover?

Carey: My biggest failure to date was hiring the wrong person. The first member I brought on to the team was too junior and had the wrong skill set for the position we needed to fill at the time. He or she would have been an excellent 9th or 10th employee, but it didn’t make sense for the early days of our company.

Since then, we have been very selective in our hiring process. As a result, we are a smaller team, but an effective one.

WeWork: What advice can you give new entrepreneurs about building and maintaining relationships?

In my experience, the best way to build trust is to do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. We pay on time, and we deliver work on time. In order to deliver on time, you need to commit to a deadline and make sure you get the job done.

WeWork: As a young entrepreneur, how do you make sure you’re on the same page as older people who have more experience than you?

Carey: I have a few close friends who have been running businesses for years. I’m quick to discuss challenges with them and ask their advice on big decisions. The other thing I do is to limit the people I ask for advice. Keeping a few key people well-informed means they can give advice with knowledge and in context to our situation, which I find much more helpful than having lots of advice from a larger number of well-meaning people.

WeWork: Your favorite drink to start or end the day?

Carey: A cup of tea in the morning. I also like a nice glass of red wine or a gin and tonic at the end of the day.

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