My family loves music. I bet yours does too. If you’re like us, you’re listening all the time, at work, at school, the car and especially at home.
Listening to music has been a fixture in my life since I was born. There’s an 8mm film of me dancing in my crib while my parents blast The Beatles “Birthday” the day I turned 1. It’s often said kids growing up with parents who are dentists have good teeth. Well, my dad sold consumer electronics — still does. So I was fortunate to have the latest and coolest portable boom boxes, Walkmans & Discmans thanks to my dad, who was able to tap an incredible inventory from our family’s long-running, now 70-year-old establishment Beach Sales in Revere, Massachusetts.
Throughout the 80s, equipped with the latest and loudest, my friend Matt and I were the defacto DJs in the neighborhood, on the school bus, on the beach and at summer camp. I can remember toggling those punchy chrome buttons to record and play, over and over again, Limahl’s “Never Ending Story” in 1984 on cassette. And sliding the equalizer to maximize the bass for The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo” in 1989. Sharing music was everything. The more friends that listened to what we played, the more fun it was.
As everything shifted to digital music, the sharing stopped for a while. In the mid to late 90s, personal music devices were so small and compact, there was no room for speakers. I had the first mp3 player and having earbuds seemed to cut off sharing even personal music experiences, taking away the fun ritual of placing soft-covered headphones on someone else to enlighten them to what you were listening to.
Enhancing the home theater experience was also inherently important to me, and through college and early apartment life, I was quick to establish my room as the best place to watch movies. The surround sound system, beginning with a spare parts system, handed down from my uncle, to a more state of the art system I purchased, was often the first thing I would setup at a new address — usually before unpacking anything else.
I first discovered Sonos 10 years ago in a store outside of San Jose, California. As I examined this revolutionary Connect:AMP device that streamed music into existing systems and/or speakers, I realized enjoying music in the home was finally at a new level. It’s been thrilling seeing the company grow and even make the home theater experience easier to experience. As the line of high quality, connected speakers has rolled out, so has our collection of Sonos and the joy of sharing music throughout my own home — often many rooms at a time.
Now, I’ve spent a career working with platforms, and while the Sonos experience for me and my family has been nothing short of magical, my interest of the work to empower it all added to my love for the products. After years of building and advocating for some great platforms, respectfully enabling everything from geo-location to communications, sports headlines to AI, I was naturally intrigued how the likes of Spotify, Google Music and SiriusXM integrated so seamlessly to and thru Sonos.
A few years ago, I realized that the company behind the products I loved so much had a formidable presence here in Boston. Our paths crossed soon after and I began learning of future opportunities where, through the expansion of its platform, Sonos was aiming to grow partnerships and enable more innovation around music, sound and its great presence in the home.
From that point, and virtually every night, after saying goodnight to my kids and pressing play on each Play:1 to start their bedtime music, the ideas would rush to my mind about the potential of the Sonos platform. With every new speaker we added, and as our home became “smarter”, possibilities grew.
After Sonos, perhaps the most impactful change in the technology of our home has been the addition of an Amazon Echo. This introduced the potential of voice control of everything in the home, including and especially music.
Back in February I was proud to announce that I had taken the role of Principal Product Manager & Developer Advocate at Sonos. Joining a talented and growing team, each member working with leading partners to expand music services and features available to all that enjoy music through Sonos.
As everything at Sonos is ultimately about the user’s experience of music in the home, I’ve been fortunate to be working on creating new ways to control and enjoy music from day One. Working with incredible people at the front of a momentous project will give all us ability to play music through voice.
Early demonstrations previewed what’s possible, which is great because — speaking for my own home, friends, former colleagues and family who love Sonos — demand couldn’t be higher for this feature! And knowing the work we do is something my own music-loving family will be able to benefit from soon makes it even more exciting to work on.
I’ve been fortunate, remaining connected to a network of exceptional colleagues and through a few acquisitions, to end up working amongst talented, caring and dedicated people. I consider what our growing team and I am set to do now as one of the rarest, yet coolest opportunities yet — actually working to advance the platform behind products my family and so many love. What we launch next will advance a sacred music experience, that through partnerships and expanding the Sonos platform, will have a direct and enjoyable effect on my home. And yours.