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Meet Ross Lee, CEO and Music Industry Disruptor

What does your company do?

7SIX9 is one of the first entertainment companies to encourage music collaborations between Asian artists and Western artists. 7SIX9 Entertainment is based in Seoul, the birthplace of the global music phenomenon K-pop. With our experience in the Korean entertainment industry and a strong relationship with our global partners, we began pioneering incredible musical and talent crossovers.

What was a major challenge you had to overcome to get to where you are?

Failure. We tried competing with the large conglomerates in the industry several times, and failed. Because those companies were so large and had millions of dollars to throw at their performers, marketing and music production, we simply couldn’t keep up. It was only after I realized that our success was going to be found in innovating on what didn’t exist that we were able to find success.

Rather than trying to keep up with what other people were doing, we instead pivoted to finding unique solutions to what we identified as challenges our industry was facing. Because we started focusing on what we could do, rather than on what other companies were doing, we were able to dig into our knowledge and passion and come up with something that changed lives and revolutionized the music industry.

What has surprised you most?

We started as a typical Korean entertainment company and tried to follow the formula of their success. When that failed, I was really surprised. After all, it seemed to be a process that worked and helped other companies find success. But we when tried and failed to do things traditionally, that gave me a chance to try something new. When that became such an amazing success, I remember telling my team I wish we had tried breaking away from the traditional approaches of our industry sooner! Sometimes trying new things can be tough, especially when a business is just starting out, and I’m very grateful that we were able to find success.

I think another thing that surprised me was the resilience of our team. Starting a new company isn’t easy, and there were many times when I wouldn’t have blamed anyone for stepping back. Instead of giving up when it got hard, my team was right beside me. We kept pushing ourselves and each other to be the best we could be, even when we faced challenges or had to try new ideas or new ways of thinking. It’s much easier to succeed with an amazing team, and we definitely have that.

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