Garage Band: Vevo Software Developers Dan Peachey, Matt Torbin, Kiran Karunakaran, Jeff Carnegie,
Ilya Tchak, Brady Sammons, Dave Hagedorn; Product Manager Jon Li (foreground). (Photo: Michael Cerda)
Some companies have literally started in a garage. It took music video network Vevo a few years to get there.
As CEO Rio Caraeff explained to Billboard.biz, Vevo has a team in San Francisco team operating independently of the product team in New York that works on the existing Vevo product. "We did that, in part, to basically create a bit of a skunkworks team that would not be burdened by the past but only free to create for the future," says Caraeff.
The San Francisco team of roughly a dozen people is currently without office space and have been working out of the garage of Vevo's head of product, Michael Cerda. The ability to work thousands of miles away from the home office offers an atmosphere that Caraeff hopes will foster the imagination and creativity needed for Vevo's second-generation product (no specific launch date was given). "I very much think our product team is operating like a startup in San Francisco - no HR, no bureaucracy or approval process. They have a latitude to do whatever it takes."
But, Caraeff notes, not all Vevo departments act like a startup. While a product group rebuilds Vevo in relative isolation, other parts of the company need to be "more mature, more process-driven and less freewheeling."
Take the sales staff, a group of "60 people working in seven cities" to drive hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising and sponsorship revenue. "That's hardly early-stage startup stuff. We try to maintain that attitude as much as we can and wherever it should be, but you can't have that everywhere or all the time and expect to really grow the business."