Jesse Neo
Jesse Neo

Jesse Neo: Everyone in California Seems To Be Doing Something, Even if They Are Working as a Waiter Full Time

Jesse Neo of Gemtracks.

Tell us about yourself?

I am a 25-year-old singer-songwriter, DJ and music producer originally from Sydney, Australia. I am also a computer scientist with a PhD where I researched how machine learning can aid data analytics software.

I have been playing music since I was 7 years old, but got into the mainstream pop industry in 2017. I am currently based in Los Angeles.

My goal is to merge arts and technology together to make the world a more inclusive, fun and creative place.

I am really into new technologies and innovative ways in how they can be applied to the music industry. These days I work on my company, Gemtracks, full time.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

A lot of people think that to create a startup, you must have something extremely innovative and new that has never been done before.

This is actually a myth. I mean, some of the richest companies in the world sell burgers and fries.

What makes a startup should do is solve a problem, even if the solution already exists. Then slowly adjust and innovate your solution based on customer feedbacks and data.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

It taught me the importance of data collection, and not simply because my PhD was in data analytics. It also taught me how to manage my time, and to always keep my heads up regardless of how the current situation may change.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I would tell myself to concentrate on just one thing instead of constantly creating new solutions and features.

It is better specialize in one thing and be very good at it, than waste your time creating and marketing several products and features that don’t really connect with each other.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

Luckily, I spent most of my time growing my company during the pandemic when I was locked in at home with my family. If it wasn’t because of the lockdown, I probably won’t know how I would have managed to balance my work and personal life.

But now that Gemtracks is beginning to gain ground, everything has been much easier and worth the effort I put in.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

While being a singer-songwriter in 2017, a lot of my friends were impressed with the backing tracks I created and even offered to commission me to make some for them.

This gave me the idea to create an online store. Then in 2019, my friend I met in a recording studio in LA encouraged me to turn the website into a marketplace.

That started the spark of turning the website into a full-service platform that lets artists find backing tracks, hire songwriters and even submit their songs to record labels.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

What sets us apart is that we aim to provide solutions for the entire journey of an artist’s career.

We also let the artist own the complete copyright so that they can own the master of their music and decide how they want their creativity to go.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

Sales are always unpredictable and this shouldn’t be something to turn you down.

It is normal for sales to go up and down. However if you be diligent in analysing data and understanding them, you can easily find reasons why traffic is going down and how you can improve it.

What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in California over other states in the US?

Everything in California seems to be doing something, even if they are working as a waiter full time. It’s literally a city of dreams. It is so easy to meet people to collaborate and share ideas with.

This reminds me that we are all in the same boat, and if someone else can make it, so too can I.

What (if any) are the weaknesses of operating your business within California?

I find there are so many aspirations in California that many people may lack the expertise of knowledge. So we may discuss the possibility of doing something, but not really knowing how to do so.

We are currently suffering through a cost of living crisis. With California already being one of the most expensive states to live in, how has this impacted your business?

Right now, it has not really impacted us a lot. However, we have began to feel the sting of rising food prices. So we just try to cook at home and eat our less.

It is no secret that California is the birthplace of innovation. But that also makes it incredibly competitive. How have you found the competitive environment of California?

I find the competitive aspect to be a driving point. It inspires us to be more creative as well, and think out of the box. But even if there is a competitor that does better than us, it usually isn’t a big deal.

Most companies from California are international, so we can always be sure there are potential customers to target.

Have you considered moving your company to another state? If so, which state and why?

No, there is nowhere like California.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

I imagine it to continue to grow and offer more services to artists to produce and market their songs. We would probably have mobile apps as well to let artists do everything they are doing now on the fly.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

They can sign up at right now and join the community. We have message boards, blogs, and sections where you can rate each other songs, provide feedbacks and make friends.

Besides learning about Gemtracks, you can also use this opportunity to learn about what other thinks of your songs and how you can improve your art while helping others do the same thing.

Overall, it is a very friendly place where you can be creative, make money as well as socialize with other people in the same industry and educate yourself with all the latest trends and news in entertainment.

Follow Gemtracks on Twitter or Linkedin.

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