Spotify is what I always wanted in a music service. It’s priced just right (for just $9.99 per month you can listen to unlimited music on all your devices). On any given weekday you can catch me listening to Spotify on the way to and from work and throughout the day (via the iPhone app). Ya, I like it that much. Do I still use iTunes for music? Barely. Spotify is so good I gave it a dedicated section in the most popular post our site has ever had: 100 Ways to Discover and Enjoy Music. Naturally I was pretty excited to interview Spotify’s Hacker Advocate (nice title, no?) Andrew Mager (who you can follow on Twitter @mager) who hails from the NYC office (as you can see in the pics below). You’re gonna wish you worked here…
If you could describe the essence of Spotify’s culture in one word, what would that be? Explain.
Fun. It doesn’t feel like work when I’m at the Spotify office. Everyone’s desk is in the open and everyone works together. At any given moment, employees are playing table tennis or Playstation. There is always good music playing on our Sonos, and everyone can contribute.
Describe your favorite part of the office/campus.
I love how the office is arranged. As you enter, you see the kitchen and lunch tables, adjacent to a comfy couch. As you make your way towards the desks, you see the marketing, legal, label, and sales teams. If you keep walking, you’ll enter the engineering pit. We even have a Mario Bros-themed room in the back called The Jungle. Secret stuff is built there.
How would you describe the best day you ever had at Spotify? What made it so great?
The best day I’ve had at Spotify was this past Thursday. We launched new artist pages and a discover tab and everyone was in the office, visiting from Sweden, London, and LA. There was an incredible vibe there, everyone was in a great mood, and we were being fed extremely well. It was hard to decide which party to go to after work.
Describe your workspace—what does your immediate (desk) and/or surrounding work area look like? Have you done anything to customize it?
I love this question because I don’t have a desk. I roam around and work from wherever I want. Most times I stand near the main entrance to the office, so I can chat with everyone as they come and go. I usually have some hug portable speaker, or some crazy new-fangled headphones at my workspace.
How would you describe the quintessential Spotify employee?
The quintessential Spotify employee is someone who loves music more than anything in the world. They are intelligent, hip, social, and always checking out the newest technology.
Describe one unique/goofy/crazy/weird/quirky thing your team does for a little fun (such as office olympics, birthday celebrations, etc.)?
Once a month, we celebrate everyone’s birthday with a sweet treat from a local NYC bakery. There is also always a sports league that Spotify NYC is participating in. Our first basketball game is this week.
If there was one thing you could describe to an outsider to make them feel like a Spotify insider, what would that be?
A really cool thing I learned when I first started working here is that the Swedish Language Council created a new word called “Spotifiera”, which means to give something away for free (or be a user of Spotify). I guess another fact that would make someone feel like an insider is that everyone in the company listens to user feedback and ensures that it’s heard in the proper channels. Not many companies have that mentality.