Clarifying the founding of Turntable.fm

I recently brought turntable.fm back online and the community has been having a fun reunion. It’s been a helpful distraction for me and others during the pandemic.

But now I am getting sued by a former employee who is confusing people about Turntable. I tried to stay away from this, but it’s starting to impact my business and personal life, and I would like to take a minute to clarify some things.

This information is easily verified by the other people that helped start Turntable.fm back in 2011. Those other people are Seth Goldstein (my co-founder who verifies this), Summer Bedard (UX designer who verifies this), and Yang Yang (developer). You can Google news articles between 2011–2013 and find this information too.

About ten years ago, Seth and I started a company called stickybits. In May 2010, we needed some coding help, and a friend introduced me to Joseph Perla. We hired him as a developer, and he helped build new stickybits features.

Several months later, after being stuck on a couch with a broken shoulder, I realized stickybits wasn’t working, and we needed to change to survive. I decided to try and convince investors to let us build a new idea. I pitched them my idea of turntable, which came from how I would listen to music with my sister in the car (we would take turns DJing back and forth). I talked about this story in a couple interviews back in the day, which you can watch here and here.

Most of our investors were okay with us building a new product and that January at CES (where we weirdly won a booth for stickybits but should have instead won a prize for worst booth), I worked with Summer Bedard to mock up what a first version of Turntable would look like.

When we got back, we got to work on building a prototype. Joe, along with most of the stickybits team, switched over to building it.

About a month before we officially launched, the team was down to just myself and Yang. Everyone else left and morale was low. We had an untested product, were low on cash, and were just two developers working on a concept.

Then this article was published, which overnight launched Turntable and we were able to raise new money, build a new team, and run it for three more years (before closing for other reasons).

There are a lot of false claims Joe is making now, like that he is a co-founder (he’s not), and that he came up with the idea (he didn’t). He is trying to reshape the past while confusing people by using the Turntable name, a brand and company that he left a month before launch. At this point, much of this is now up to the courts to decide as that’s the path he’s decided to take.

I prefer to focus on building a great product, and I’m hoping that I can keep the community away from distractions around lawsuits and instead continue to jam together on turntable.

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I like to create art. Some things you hang on the wall, others you log into. More at billychasen.com

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Billy Chasen

I like to create art. Some things you hang on the wall, others you log into. More at billychasen.com