In measuring the life cycle of a successful startup, most investors will tell you that rapid growth usually takes place between the third and seventh year after the initial VC investment. If it doesn't happen then, it'll never happen, they say. But over 10 years after its first round of funding, Pandora's user base is exploding and the online music service is defying conventional wisdom about when startups are supposed to hit it big.
As of last summer, Pandora boasted over 60 million users, up from 43 million in 2009. In December 2009 alone, 3 million new listeners joined Pandora. And this year, in less than three months, they added another 10 million users. The New York Times has estimated that Pandora could hit $100 million in revenue in 2010.
More recently, Westergren sat down with Gigaom for a 30-minute, two-part interview. In it, he explains how Pandora grew so rapidly so late in the game, and why being in a band was great preparation for being a startup founder.
Watch both parts below, courtesy of Gigaom: