Today’s Feature – March 26-27: Patrick Faucher

March 27, 2008 at 11:09 pm (Today's Feature)

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It’s always good to see another web site helping out your local musician (especially when that site has a significantly different premise than that of PensEyeView.com), and that’s exactly what Boston-based Nimbit.com and founder Patrick Faucher aim to do. Their mission: To put musical artists in complete control of their own music business and brand, enabling them to reach their full potential as quickly as possible. Talk about a helping hand!

Nimbit was created with the understanding that musicians need to be more than just talented in today’s industry – they also need some street smarts to succeed; an entrepreneurial spirit. Nimbit fills the gap between art and business, a healthy mix of in between, “supplying a full range of business management tools that support all aspects of the music business.” The web site allows solo artists and groups alike to sell all of their music and merch direct and track those sales as well as take advantage of services such as web hosting, design and solutions.

Faucher is exactly what you want from a guy leading a company like Nimbit – a musician himself, he even earned a degree from the Berklee College of Music. Nimbit is a “passion and a labor of love” for Faucher, “I’ve had to learn some things that weren’t natural to me as a creative person but, I think creative people and artists have a tremendous capacity to address business problems and technical problems and business strategies.”

If you ever find yourself at the Nimbit offices, you’ll notice quite the mix of sound emanating from the area, whether it is newbie’s like Brooke White or more established artists like Tom Rush. In the future, Nimbit plans on growing more and more – becoming “the hub where labels and artists and other key players can run the business of music.” And of course, the artist will continue to be the primary beneficiary of their music. Read the XXQ’s to learn more.

XXQs: Nimbit.com founder, Patrick Faucher

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Hey Patrick, thanks for talking with us today. Where did I catch you?

Patrick Faucher (PF): Running around my office. My office phone forwards to my cell phone.

PEV: You are located in Boston right? Is that where you first started Nimbit?

PF: Yeah, right outside Boston.

PEV: How did you first come up with this concept?

PF: Back in the late 90’s I was actually working for a small boutique web firm. We did work for bands like Phish, Aerosmith, and others like that. We evolved into being like an online mall concept and went through the whole dot com-boom-bust cycle. I got together with one of my colleagues there and said ‘hey, let’s go back to servicing artists’… Since we are both musicians as well. We wanted to make something that was easy to use, cheap, so that any emerging artist can get online to help promote themselves. That was in late 2001, early 2002.

It took about a year to get the business plan together and get the resources lined up. Then we built the first platform, which was like an online tool kit. We wanted to make it a full blown e-commerce site that could support everyone’s individual needs. That’s when I got together with another gentleman named, Phill Antoniades, who is now my partner. He was running a company, as it turns out, just down the road from me called Artists Development Associates. They had been in business for about ten years, doing everything from CD manufacturing, to radio promotion, online CD sales… like a CD Baby. There’s was called CD Freedom. I said, ‘Can I adapt that onto my platform so artists can put their stuff up for sale, get fulfilled and we’ll process the transactions?’ He said ‘sure’ and then we started to talk about other things that artists need to do and realized very quickly that we need to put this under one system, where there was a centralized artist management and sales and marketing system people can have.

That was four years ago, that we put the companies together. Now, we work to make the company more powerful and flexible and so that artists and labels and managers can do direct marketing and sales.

PEV: For people that don’t know, what is it like for an artist to get their information out there?

PF: Well, it’s kind of a double edge sword. It’s really not that hard to find places to put your music up and have people listen to it. There are tons of music portals and places where bands go to hear music; MySpace and dozens of others. Not to mention retail sites where you can charge… so that’s not that hard. What is hard is really centralizing all the business management that goes around it. If you want to sell more than just MP3s and a CD – that situation gets a lot more complicated. Especially if you are the one that is doing the fulfillment. Even using PayPal, you still have to do the shipping and processing. That is where someone like Nimbit comes in. We’ll handle everything from an MP3, to a CD, to a DVD, to a t-shirt, to a ticket. In the near future, ring tones. Anything around an artist’s content we can get it online and fulfill those orders… No artist can do that on their own.

PEV: I want to touch on your musical background as well- The Berklee College of Music. What kind of music where you listening to growing up?

PF: Well, I grew up in the 80’s, so there was a lot of classic rock, early techno. I was a bit of Prog rock geek, like Rush, Yes, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin. But I really had a love for jazz, which led me to Berklee. My first experience of listening to music was heading down to the library and I was listening to Louis Armstrong albums, big band, Buddy Rich. I was a trumpet player so I grew up in bands and did my time in marching band. When I graduated high school, I got a degree in engineering. A soon as I finished that, I soon realized that is not what I wanted to do (laughs). So, I went back to music, gigging, a small tour and went back to school for music. That’s when I applied to Berklee and moved to Boston.

PEV: When you were at Boston, where was the best place to catch music?

PF: There was Wallys, which is just down the road. You would never know who was going to be there. You could walk in there and see Branford Marsalis play. Or some major blues cat like Buddy Guy. A couple of others that are still around. Harvard Square as well.

PEV: There was recently an article in Inc Magazine about all your success. Are you surprised about how fast the company has taken off?

PF: No, I’m not surprised at all. I’m glad for the recent exposure. I’ve been at this for six years (laughs). I feel it has been a slow and steady race for me. We are finally at the point where we are branding Nimbit and more predominant artists that are using our system and indorse what we do. They industry is really catching up and catching on to what we do… And that is a great feeling. I’m not surprised at all. If anything I’m not surprised it caught on sooner (laughs).

PEV: I found one thing interesting- that you balance the artistic side and the corporate side… Do you find it hard to balance both sides of the brain so to speak?

PF: You know, I never really think of it that way. It is a passion of mine and a labor of love. I’ve had to learn some things that weren’t natural to me as a creative person but, I think creative people and artists have a tremendous capacity to address business problems and technical problems and business strategies. As well, we can be very analytical. Plus, for me, I went to engineering school and then to music school, so it’s been a perfect role for me. In terms of learning the corporate gig – yeah, there is a bit of a learning curve. I have a corporate board and I have to speak the business speak and know what’s up with my business. I had to learn financials and spread sheets. But that is secondary and only serves to carry out the vision.

PEV: Since you do deal with so many artists, is there a certain artist we should be listening to?

PF: There are so many!

PEV: It’s always a hard question. I just like to hear what people are into.

PF: Well, it does depend what you are into. But to pick a couple, I really don’t look at my role as being a “taste maker” or working for one type of artist. At Nimbit we help whoever has the motivation to make music that turns people on. Trust me there is a niche for every kind of music out there. And there is a lot of it I hear that I don’t like. There are hundreds of bands that sign up and I try to listen to all of them. Our staffers here have their favorites too. We have artists like Brooke White, who is on American Idol right now, I think she is great. We have legacy artists like Tom Rush, who is a legend in the folk scene. We have some unknowns, like The Mile After, probably one of the best young power pop bands I ever heard, and I can’t wait to help them get to the next stage.

PEV: How does the music taste range in the office. Across the spectrum?

PF: Oh it goes over the full spectrum. I think there is a general liking for folk, Americana, and indie and pop-rock, jazz and blues, across the board here. But there is a lot of classical and jazz I’m into. There are people that are strictly metal-heads… You name it. There are many people that have a very strong palette… because they are musicians. Any musician worth their sole wouldn’t ever listen to one type of music. It’s like eating a hamburger everyday; you wouldn’t do it.

PEV: Who is on your iPod right now?

PF: Allison Krauss/Robert Plant. Latest Chili Peppers. I’ve been listening to classics like Miles Davis. Some old Disco classics. I like to listen to compilations too, so I’ve always got one or two of them floating around as well.

PEV: You describe yourself as a “geeky band guy” but I think you are doing pretty well for a “geeky band guy”. How have all your friends and family reacted to all your success?

PF: They’re very happy and supportive. Even from the beginning, when I was mortgaging my life to do this. Even now, I am not rolling in the dough, but everyone is very pleased to see that the business has come to point that it is making a difference and following our vision. There is also a bit of satisfaction, kind of like “revenge of the nerds”. I mean, in high school, I wasn’t a jock or anything. I was in the brain crowd and band guys. But in the end, I think the smart guys get the girls (laughs).

PEV: What’s a normal day like for you at the office?

PF: (laughs) It doesn’t exist… It’s a new challenge everyday. There is no two days alike, which is what I like. I mean, the day revolves around, how are we building the product, what is going on with my employees. I spend a lot of time making sure my team is happy and they have all the resources they need. Then whatever else is going on; Launching a new product, a new marketing campaign, something happened with the servers last nigh… You name it. Different everyday.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time?

PF: HA! Well, I try to sleep. I have three children, and that takes up a bulk of my time. I spend time at home with my wife and three kids. I like to go skiing. I used to gig but don’t have time to do that anymore. Now I have a little garage band project I put together with my three sons.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

PF: Something that would surprise people to know about me? Geez… I don’t know, I think some people would be surprised to hear about how much of a party animal I’ve been in the past perhaps. I guess that’s the most surprising.

PEV: Where do you see Nimbit in ten years?

PF: I see Nimbit being the biggest, if not one of the biggest platforms for music marketing in the entire music industry. Kind of being the “Switzerland” that allows everyone to cooperate and create commerce in the new music industry. The hub where labels and artists and other key players can run the business of music.

PEV: So, what’s next for Nimbit?

PF: Right now, just keep rolling down the road with our leadership position of being the best direct sales platform. We just launched a new product called Nimbit Skin. We’re just going to build great sales and marketing tools for our clients and make it easier for people that create music to collaborate and prosper.

PEV: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today Patrick.

PF: My pleasure.

For more information on Nimbit.com, check out www.Nimbit.com

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1 Comment

  1. spiderweb said,

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