Cover art for podcast The Early Stage Podcast

The Early Stage Podcast

42 EpisodesProduced by John ValentineWebsite

The Early Stage Podcast is devoted to interviewing top entrepreneurs at the Seed and Series A stages of their startups. This project is a deep dive into the initial challenges and breakthroughs driven innovators endure as they build their MVP, launch, raise funding, grow their teams, and find produc… read more


Cymbal - Charlie Kaplan, CEO

I record each episode of Early Stage with the hope of discovering someTHING special: a tip for raising capital, a secret strategy for growth hacking or closing big deals, or the even the best way to manage a growing staff.

Today, I present to you someONE special. It's not easy to share a narrative that led to your startup shutting down, but that's exactly what Charlie Kaplan joined me to do. I was going to use the word failure to describe Cymbal, the "Instagram for music" startup he led with founders Gabriel Jacobs, Amadou Crookes, and Mario Gomez-Hall, but I realized that wouldn't quite do it justice. How can you measure the professional growth of Cymbal's young leadership team over the past three years, the deep connections forged on their platform over a shared passion for music, and Cymbal comments that turned into relationships and even, as you'll hear soon, marriages?

Charlie's incredible stories often left me speechless, and his beautiful answer to my final question was, without a question, the most profound 5 minutes of my year.

Enjoy listening to the life and times of this intrepid startup. Long live Cymbal.

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