The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Coffee talk: Danny Fiorentini, music-making creative and founder of Muzeek — August 21, 2015

Coffee talk: Danny Fiorentini, music-making creative and founder of Muzeek

A gut-follower and passionate creative, Danny Fiorentini chased his dream to Sydney where he co-founded Muzeek, beautiful software that’s changing the way artists and venues book live shows. Here, we talk with Danny about his journey, making music, and what it takes to build a great product.

How did you get to where you are today?

A whole lot of hard work, instant coffee, and ramen noodles. My team today is the hardest-working group of people I’ve ever been around, so it’s really a pleasure to come to “work” every day.

You followed your gut and moved from the United States to Australia to chase a dream. What advice do you give to people looking to do the same?

Well, the initial move to Sydney was for some personal inspiration, growth and a need to explore a bit more. Australia’s creative talent is through the roof, so I was initially looking to expand our indie-record label (that we dumped all of our student loans into) while going to graduate school on the side. I didn’t really know what I was looking for at the time, but knew I wanted to step away from my comfort zone and figure out what dream I was actually chasing within the industry.

I had been on the artist side, then production side, eventually followed by the label/manager side. Meanwhile, I found myself just wanting to go back to creating cool stuff behind the scenes – like when my brother and I first started making music. Moving to Sydney made me realize I needed to focus and go back to building & creating again, rather than just managing people. 

My personal advice for anyone chasing anything is to step away from your current perspective and try to see things from the outside-in. Focus on what you’re truly great at doing; if it’s something you love, you’ll never need any other reason to get up in the morning and make it happen.

What inspired you to create Muzeek?

Several things went into it, but mostly the idea of creating something valuable for the industry as a whole. I’ve used so many music-related platforms, but I felt like the industry was missing an integral component to live tech. Obviously the idea of technology and booking isn’t a new one, but I certainly felt the way it was approached was never done correctly. I really wanted to help contribute to the industry in a meaningful way.

Admittedly, the Internet’s evolution in general probably wouldn’t have permitted this platform to exist 10, even 5 years ago. I think it’s a combination of luck, timing and opportunity.

The biggest inspiration now is our user feedback. The team stays motivated just knowing we’re solving a real problem that’s gone unnoticed for so long. 

Why should someone opt to use Muzeek?

The platform will drastically reduce operational costs, automate a lot of the tedious stuff that bogs a booker down, surface valuable data that people currently miss out on, and above all, create a sense of transparency within a team that allows everyone to work much more efficiently.

We want to become the operating system someone has always wanted, but never knew was possible. We’ve focused meticulously on the details. We’ve approached this platform with an entirely fresh set of ideas about what live music booking needs, what it’s been missing, and how technology can remove 75% of the unnecessary manual tasks that take so much valuable time.

How do you attract attention from venues, bookers, and artists? What’s been your biggest challenge while building Muzeek?

Our users really attract the attention for us; as they all send out booking confirmations to new people, and those actions introduce Muzeek to new users. Because of this, we focus on making our existing users incredibly happy. We want each new person who comes into contact with Muzeek to be equally stoked.

The biggest challenge, by far, has been keeping up with customer demand — a good problem to have. Our team was absolutely blindsided by the amount of feedback from customers, so we tripled our development team to keep up. Luckily, most of the feature requests were already on our roadmap — we just needed to work faster.

You clearly love and live music, having previously co-founded Outbox Records. Which artists do you have on repeat now?

MuzeekI’m a big Tame Impala fan, so I’ve been on that new Currents album for a bit. Plus the Mark Ronson stuff is awesome — I was lucky enough to catch them live last month. I also think ODESZA is the best electronic music out right now. Their originality blows me away with every release. Other recent plays include Pond, Joey Bada$$, 20syl, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Walking Who, and our very own Prof3ssor Blue.

Where can we find you in Sydney?

Usually in Bondi avoiding sharks, or our offices in Surry Hills. Wherever it is, there’s a laptop in front of me!

Last, how do you like your coffee?

I don’t know how she does it, but my girlfriend makes the best instant coffee on Earth. She gets that milk-to-coffee ratio perfect every time. It’s definitely an art!

10 online/offline communities taking the globe by storm — July 17, 2015

10 online/offline communities taking the globe by storm

Digital communities can be just as powerful as real-life ones, bringing together like-minded people to share knowledge and create change. Today’s brightest communities make use of all channels to be exceptionally engaging:

  1. TED
    Renown for TED Talks, this nonprofit is dedicated to sharing ideas and sparking conversation. From science to global issues, community members can reap the benefits of powerful ideas in more than 100 languages.
  2. Creative Mornings
    People in 117 ‘creative cities’ participate in a monthly breakfast with a short lecture, covering topics like music, design, and new technology. The offline meetups offer members a chance to learn something new while meeting like-minded peers.
  3. Travel Massive
    Travel Massive counts travel industry insiders, leaders and innovators in more than 95 global cities, hoping to connect insiders and empower change in travel. Community members meet, learn and collaborate at events all over the world, helping move the mission forward.
  4. Responsive Org
    In-person meetups take place from Brussels to Brisbane, bringing together those interested in creating a fundamental shift in the way we work and organize in the 21st century. Examples of Responsive Organizations that fit the Community’s manifesto include Google and Tesla.
  5. Social Media Club
    Founded nearly ten years ago, Social Media Club remains one of the world’s most digitally connected communities with a mission to expand digital media literacy and promote standard technologies. Knowledge transfer happens at meetups, which take place at events that range from ‘Content and Coffee’ to ‘Happy Hour with Chipotle.’ Membership levels range from educational to professional, offering flexibility for anyone interested in joining the Club.
  6. Girl Geek Dinners
    Breaking down “old fashioned stereotypes” is no easy feat, but Geek Girl Dinners is intent to do so by empowering women (and men) to talk about their experience and knowledge in the technology industry — over a fun dinner! Founded in the UK, Geek Girl Dinners hopes to make technology accessible for anyone, ditching outdated myths about women and young people in the field along the way.
  7. Startup Grind
    More than 200,000 entrepreneurs take part in shaping this incredible global community, which counts local chapters in 175 countries. Designed to educate, inspire and connect founders and creators through events and discussions, Startup Grind continues to grow and thrive by attracting the best and brightest.
  8. Product Hunt
    Product enthusiasts around the world delight in reading about the latest and greatest gadgets and innovations, surfaced daily by Product Hunt. Hailed as a ‘must read’ for those in technology and startups, the site has amassed a cult-like following in a few short years.
  9. PassionPassport
    Writers and photographers make up this passionate traveling community, created for sharing tales of completed trips and sights seen. An impressive Instagram feed boasts more than a quarter million followers, with photos garnering tens of thousands of likes along with countless comments. Contests encourage friendly competition, but members remain consistently supportive and inspired by one another.
  10. SoulCycle
    Sweating it out is serious business for SoulCycle riders who attend class in more than 30 global cities. The philosophy in each location is the same, inspiring riders to be strong and give them confidence and courage for personal and professional endeavors. Community is at the heart of what SoulCycle does, and its rides are at the center of many friendships.

What, if any, other communities belong on the list? We’d love to learn about them in the comments.

3 reasons to level up your programming skills — March 23, 2014

3 reasons to level up your programming skills

This is a sponsored post from our friends at General Assembly London.


There was a time when computer nerds were seen as misfits (watch the 1984 movie ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ if you don’t believe me). These days, that characterization couldn’t be further from the truth. Programmers, computer engineers, and data scientists are hailed as leaders in the business, technology, and design communities.

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Interview: Auckland Locals, Rowan Yeoman and Alan Froggatt — June 2, 2013

Interview: Auckland Locals, Rowan Yeoman and Alan Froggatt

This week our community ambassador Kate Montgomery interviews New Zealand Startup Weekend organizers Rowan Yeoman and Alan Froggatt. Follow Kate on Twitter via @katemontgom.

Rowan Yeoman and Alan Froggatt

Alan Froggatt and Rowan Yeoman are two of the principal organisers for Startup weekend in New Zealand. Startup weekend is a 54-hour event run over (surprise!) a weekend, where startup enthusiasts form teams, build products and launch startups.

Alan and Rowan are understandably psyched about Startup Weekend and why it’s so important to the current and next generation of entrepreneurs in New Zealand and globally. The Fetch chatted to them about how they got involved, working under pressure, and why everyone should go to startup weekend.

You both come from entrepreneurial backgrounds. How did you get involved with Start Up weekend?

Rowan: I attended one of the first New Zealand weekends, and got really excited about being part of it. I had so much fun and met lots of people – and those of us who were really into what Startup Weekend was about stuck around and became organisers.

Alan: I knew one of the organisers and went along to an event for the pitches, then ended up staying for the whole weekend as a mentor and joined from there.

What’s great about Startup Weekend?

R: It’s a new way of operating – nimble, lean, you’ve got to understand your customers/users and market test your ideas in a really short space of time. And it’s fun.

A: You get the ability to interface with everyone there. Mentors, organisers, other attendees. It’s an awesome opportunity and an awesome atmosphere. Yes, you’re put through a tough experience but that compression builds a really swift kind of mastery.

Who should consider going to Startup Weekend?

R: Startup weekend can be for anyone. The experience is really different for everyone. We’ve had 14 year olds come along and come third, people at university or who’ve just graduated, business veterans, serial entrepreneurs, struggling writers. Everyone gets a different experience. People face hard challenges and they really value the experience – even if it’s hard at the time.

Why should people go to Start Up weekend?

A: Firstly, it’s great for networking. There’s also a high learning curve, high pressure and you have to figure things out as you go along. There’s an underlying shift in the way you have to work, in how quickly you make things, break things, how you engage with people you don’t even know. It’s a different way of collaborating and working for the majority of people that come along.

R: People learn things about their business from people who do different jobs from them. A salesperson sits with a designer and talks about user experience and finds they have a whole new way of talking about their product with their customers.

You’re not going to agree with everyone, or sometimes you’re market validating something you came up with half an hour before. Leaning in to your fear makes you better at dealing with it. In business and in life.

We’ve had teams implode. And it’s great to see how people learn very quickly to deal with that and work through it. And that’s what the mentors are there for, to help.

What can people expect to learn?

A: To learn how to fail, and fail fast. And be ok with failing. Failure is only truly failure if you take nothing from it for future endeavours. You have a new surface area from failing, you know that much more about what works or what doesn’t, what customers want or don’t.

You learn that everyone has a valid point of view – startup weekend is all about learning to ask questions instead of knowing answers. It’s not about doing what you think you know. It’s about being agile – businesses can’t afford to spend 2 years working on a business case anymore – the competition will beat them. So they need to learn to be faster, to make it, put it out there then iterate as they go.

R: You can’t back out, or procrastinate. You have to get it done. They’re great skills for life. In the chaos of Startup Weekend you learn resilience and you’re working towards a purpose. You’re also learning to be responsive. You come face to face with your confidence and while it can be confronting, you’re also in it with other people, and you can learn how to get immediate help, from your team and mentors, you get to communicate and work through things.

Any final words?

R: Come along for 54 hours – you don’t have to want to change the world, you can just want to learn about business. And yourself.

Editor’s note: The next Startup Weekend Auckland is going to be held on November 22, sign up for more info here.

About our Ambassador // Kate Montgomery is a copywriter-for-hire and wannabe web developer. She balances copious internetting with yoga, tea and vintage crime novels. She retweets other people’s funnies @katemontgom.


Event Review: Lightning Lab’s DEMO Day — May 19, 2013

Event Review: Lightning Lab’s DEMO Day

On Wednesday the 15 of May Katherine Field from The Fetch Community Ambassador Team in Wellington went along to the first Lightning Lab DEMO day event. 

Photo Credit: @wedophotography

Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to squeeze into the much-anticipated Lightning Lab Demo Day at Te Papa in Wellington. The hype surrounding the finale of the country’s first digital accelerator programme had made tickets hard to come by, as organisers tried to make sure the most important guests – the angel investors – got in the door.


After weeding through 80 applications earlier this year, nine teams were selected for the Lab and were propelled through a 90-day boot camp of intensive validation and mentoring, before being thrust in front of New Zealand’s investor community.

Here’s a 30 second breakdown of the startups:

LearnKo – a platform for native English speakers to interact with and teach Asian English language students.

Adeez – Targeted lead-generation platform for mobile advertising.

Teamisto – Making sports-club sponsorship spend worthwhile.

Publons – A public peer-review platform that enables academics to gain reputation for their reviews.

WIP – A new way to share and review work-in-progress videos.

Questo – Applications that allow museums, zoos and other attractions to engage with their visitors.

Expander – Utilising QR codes to track products in order to combat counterfeiting.

KidsGoMobile – Online platform that gives parents greater visibility over their children’s smartphone use.

Promoki – Social media advertising that doesn’t look or feel like advertising


The event was entertaining and fast-paced, and the presentations were impressive. Weeks of having their pitches re-worked and re-hashed over and over again did wonders for these teams. With a head-mentor providing an insightful and heart-felt introduction, each team’s representative emerged (complete with annoying corporate title) to strut their stuff and make their case for investment.

Two keynote speakers, oddly both from the online social gaming scene, provided a break from the onslaught of pitches.  Mitch Olson from SmallWorlds was engaging as he spoke about collaboration and the ecosystem of innovative business in New Zealand. Fresh from the announcement of the closure of MiniMonos virtual world, Melissa Clark-Reynolds talked about the recent event and shared her experiences from her participation in Springboard, the UK accelerator programme.


At the end of the day, media and general riff-raff were kicked out politely as the investors were ushered into a room for some wheeling and dealing with the teams.  Although not everybody was signing on the dotted line, it was an opportunity to have serious conversations – sans tyre-kickers.

The after-party kicked off at Mac’s Brewery once the important discussions were complete. The teams, investors and supporters, some who were happily stranded in Wellington by some serious fog, celebrated the culmination of months of hard work and Lightning Lab’s successful maiden voyage.


Behind the hype, this was a serious investment round. There was no winner, no grand prize, no trips to Silicon Valley or celebrity judging panel. The teams I spoke to were counting their success in number of business cards. However, they all acknowledged the real winners would be decided over the weeks to come, when hangovers fade and pen is put to paper.

About our Ambassador // Katherine Field is one helluva busy lady. In between holding down the fort as the Community Manager at the BizDojo, she is also back at university and helping to coordinate Startup Weekend Wellington. Find her on twitter as @kathfromwelly

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