CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Dave Macli, Founder & CEO of Audiomack + DJBooth

Dave Macli is the founder of artist-first music streaming platform Audiomack and DJBooth, a digital music magazine which publishes original editorial and video content daily.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

I’m Dave Macli, the founder and CEO of Audiomack and DJBooth. I founded DJBooth in college as a website for streaming new music from great new urban artists.

After college I got a job in sales at DoubleClick which was later bought by Google. There I learned about online advertising. I combined my love of music and advertising into Audiomack which was founded with four friends and business colleagues in 2013.

Audiomack is an artist-first music streaming platform that allows any musician to share their audio completely free with fans across the world.

We currently have over 3.5 million fans that open the app each day looking to discover great new music they cant hear anywhere else.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

As Audiomack grew from five founders to over 30 employees my day to day went from doing to managing.

In the early days of building Audiomack I would spend my day trying to juggle various tasks related to product development, advertising operations, and managing business relationships.

As the business grew I transitioned to managing a very capable team of people responsible for those areas of the business.

While they handle the day-to-day, I’m responsible for determining the overall strategy, setting clear and attainable goals, and helping to solve issues when they arise.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

The first hour of the day is the most important. I used to spend the first hour of the day doing “easy work” like checking reports or reading some articles of interest to me.

Now I spend the first hour of the day setting the priorities for that day and tackling the most important item first. I try to get to the office an hour earlier than my direct reports so I have time to do this without any distractions.

Once the office is full I start to get pulled into various different situations that need my attention which can make it hard to think strategically.

Juggling tactical and strategic initiatives is something I’m trying to get better at but the first step is surrounding yourself with a competent team of individuals and empowering them to solve problems and make decisions themselves.

4) In between everything you do and all your responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

This is another area I am actively trying to improve. I have two young kids and it’s important to spend time with them everyday.

I have been making an effort to get home at a consistent time, even if it means leaving some on my to-do items undone for the day. After my kids go to sleep I usually circle back and complete what’s left on my list.

5) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

I love to be near the ocean – it’s my happy place. Last summer I didn’t get out to the beach enough and I think that lead me to be a bit over-stressed.

This year I’m making sure to book myself some time to recharge my batteries because in the end we work to live, not the other way around.

6) Are there any gadgets, tools or products can’t you live without?

I need something to play music – it could be a phone, a turntable, Sonos, anything. I don’t care what it is, as long as I can play music on it.

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

The number one thing for me is to use the first hour of the day to determine my priorities for the day. For me the early morning is when I am the sharpest and most-focused.

The best ideas come out of that hour and it also gives me the chance to determine what is important and what isn’t a priority right now.

When working in tech you are presented with dozens of ideas, partnerships, etc that could take up your time. Deciding what not to do can be more important than deciding what to do.

The first hour of my day helps me make those decisions which sets the strategy for the rest of the day.

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.