Exit Stories: Tom Simon, Source3

We at GrepBeat are excited to bring you the second season of Exit Stories, hosted by Jurassic Capital partner Kevin Mosley and sponsored by Vaco.

This week’s episode features guest Tom Simon, the Co-Founder and former Director of Marketing of Source3 and a serial entrepreneur whose ventures include Shark Tank-featured dog treat bakery Zookie’s Cookies and Lonerider Brewing Company, where he currently works as head of marketing. At Source3, Simon’s decade of music industry experience facilitated the startup’s transition from a 3D art licensing firm into a digital music rights firm that was acquired by Facebook in 2017.

Here are three big takeaways from this week’s episode. 

  • At Source3, the founders’ proven track record at previous ventures were big parts of how they got access to capital, both by attracting new funders and making the most of old connections. “It helped tremendously to have those guys who had relationships with people that believed, if they were the right team the first time, they would be the right team the second time,” Simon said. Source3 raised $4 million in a 2015 seed round led by New York’s Contour Ventures. 
  • Simon said that one of the biggest lessons he learned at Source3 was the importance of being aware of the industry’s needs and willing to change direction to fill those needs, even when it seemed risky to switch directions. “You won’t know until you go for it, and the only way you can do that is to just believe, get after it, and then be open-minded along the way,” Simon said. Because Source3’s leadership was open to the idea of applying its 3D art rights technology to music, it was ready to partner with and eventually be acquired by Facebook.
  • It’s O.K. to get burned out by the industry that you’re in, but burnout definitely doesn’t mean you have to stop being an entrepreneur. In 20 years, Simon has gone from being in the music industry to a tech entrepreneur to a make-at-home dog treat vendor and now a brewery marketer. Even with all of these new experiences behind him, Simon said the tech industry hasn’t seen the last of him. “It’s such an evolving market, with so many new avenues to go down; it’s almost impossible not to in this incredibly tech rich environment,” Simon said. “You’d be silly not to spend some time to think through it and find the next thing to do.”

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About Suzannah Claire Perry 74 Articles
Suzannah "Claire" Perry is a senior Journalism and Peace, War and Defense major at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When she isn't at GrepBeat, you can find her in a coffeeshop, her hometown of Cary, N.C., or on Twitter @sclaire_perry.