With the launch of a streaming music service, Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers does more by doing less.
"The thing that I've really found is, the less that I actually do, the more productive my team is," he says.
Digital music and Rogers came of age together: from a five-year-old record collector to a web designer for the Beastie Boys in 1993, the Beats Music CEO launched their new premium streaming service in January:
Hoping to replicate its headphones success in the streaming market, Beats is positioning its service—which will take on the likes of Spotify, Google, Apple, and others—as the one that understands users' emotions, offering the best of human curation and computer algorithm.
Acting as more maestro than micro-manager, Rogers delegates through every stage, from software product and content delivery, marketing to business development. Selling a $10 per month premium service in a market where free streaming services are giving music away and piracy continues to be many music-lovers' modus operandi requires belief in their passion and product, he says. Rogers sets the tone; they play together.
"To me, delegation is key," Rogers says. "In particular, what I try to do is to tell a story about what we need to do to be successful, like something that everybody on the team can understand, everybody in the organization."
His productivity rituals overlap in his personal escapes—running to tune out the world, reading music biographies before bed, making lists—to maximize every moment of the day. The rest, he says, is about trust in the mission.
"That's how you have a productive organization," Rogers says. "You have to have really clear roles that are aligned with your mission and are aligned with how you become successful, and then you just push, and push, and push, and let talented people do what they do."