Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Stewart and Robert Menendez.
Steve and Robert, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I managed multi-platinum alt. rock band Stone Temple Pilots through their first 5 records, and Robert has a Wall St. financial trading/analytics background, which worked out well for a music monetization platform.
We created Vezt to let people buy fractions of their favorite songs, and empower artists to monetize their music on a direct basis with their fans and other investors.
We started building this platform about a year ago and came across ICOs as we started to build out our blockchain components. We were building this platform with traditional VC investment, and then realized the opportunities that ICOs presented.
We embraced the crypto space and had a successful pre-sale, and are continuing to build out our platform for a Q1 2018 beta launch. We have completed the UX/UI/design phase, and are now integrating the backend components and blockchain elements.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Ha! It’s all in your perspective – if you accept that nothing comes from waiting for things to fall in your lap, then even the largest obstacles become surmountable. We’ve had the typical early funding issues – that first dollar is always the hardest to close. We’ve learned much about evaluating new hires and building out a team that works well together and complements each other. We value integrity, honesty, and the ability to execute above all else…
Please tell us about Vezt.
We are really fortunate to be able to change the way artists and their music are valued. This isn’t about some huge company dictating that your song is worth $.99. It’s about allowing the artist to have control over the real value of their work, and allowing their fans to connect with them in a financial partnership.
Every time someone hears that song on the radio or online or in a club, they know they’re earning money right alongside the artist. That’s a powerful feeling, and one that we think many fans and investors will resonate with.
We’re also really excited to be able to empower not only the “key” talent (typically lead singers and solo performers), but to really let the unsung heroes of music – the producers, the co-writiers, the engineers and mixers – monetize any rights they may hold in the songs. This has never before been done, and we think it will change the way music is made.
We are unique in that we are focused on the front-end the creative side of music, There are plenty of platforms that deal with distribution, downloads, streams, etc. We know there is a real need for artists to support themselves financially, and Vezt is a simple and effective solution that can provide immediate funding to artists.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
That’s hard to say, because I think we learn so much from mistakes and some of the problems we encountered. Without that learning curve, we wouldn’t be able to determine where not to go, or what not to do as quickly.
We originally included a creative services exchange on the platform, where artists could trade IP for services like PR, promotion, distribution, etc. After conversations with a couple of major record labels, we realized that we should streamline a little and focus on getting artists funds from the sale of pieces of their IP.
You have to be open to pivot and add or subtract features quickly, based on input and listening to what your user base really wants and needs. We don’t know everything, and keeping an open perspective and listening to input from many different sources is very important to us.
- Address: 811 W. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
- Website: www.vezt.co
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/veztinc/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/veztinc
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/VeztInc
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqFNiOGByPc