Meet The Disruptors: Lior Aharoni Of Feature fm On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Patience — I’d say this is probably the best advice I got. It came from our main investor Joey Low who is a very prominent and successful investor focusing on tech in Israel.

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lior Aharoni.

Lior is a distinguished alumni of the Israel Defense Force’s Elite Mamram Tech Program. A creator by heart, he has been building video games as a hobby since the age of twelve years old. Since running the IDF’s cyber-security department and previously managing Research and Security at Cyber-Art Software during its 2015 IPO, Lior has shifted focus toward the development digital music space. His decision to connect his passion for music with digital intelligence skills led him to successfully building three music platforms including his current company As the CEO of, he is dedicated to helping artists through the use of new, innovative technologies. It is his goal to help creators focus on their art while simultaneously building an independent and successful business.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Growing up, I had a huge passion for computers, technology, and music. I used to learn the bits and bites of everything related to operating the home computer. This naturally led me to code at the age of 12. I was actually creating computer games as a hobby and even won some prizes when I was a kid. I then enlisted in military service; there, I was serving in the elite tech unit Mamram. I spent 7 years in Mamram as an officer leading the cyber-security department. The military service was probably one of the most meaningful contributions to my career path as it opened me up to meeting many wonderful friends who are now at the backbone of the tech industry in Israel. After the military service, I joined and led the security for a company that at the time, was a startup and now, is a public company called Cyber-Ark. While Cyber-Security is super interesting and fun, I felt that I wanted to “Pivot” and connect my third passion (music) to my experience (tech) to help artists grow their audience and build a sustainable career.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive? is an all-in-one marketing platform, built specifically to help artists in the music industry grow their audience and career. The unfortunate reality is that today, 99% of artists aren’t able to make a living from their art, music, and work. Our goal as a company is to focus on ways to help more artists succeed.

We strongly believe that plays a meaningful part in helping those artists build their audience, monetize and grow as small businesses. It’s not a secret that many artists feel that the music industry is not balanced in the way revenue is distributed and our disruption comes in the form of a platform that is helping more artists build themselves as a business.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

Our journey as a startup was far from easy, so help along the way was definitely a big factor in our ability to survive as a company and for getting to where we are right now. My biggest mentor during this time was my main investor Joey Low. When I started the company, I was just a tech kid with big dreams. I had no idea how the business world operates and where to start. Joey was always there, helping, guiding, funding, laughing and we really became good friends, like family. Joey is still involved in the company to this date. It’s been multiple times where I thought we’re not going to make it. As a founder, you always need to be the positive person who pushes everyone to succeed; but to be honest, sometimes it is very hard, especially when things don’t progress the way you expected. Joey was always there to bring me down to earth, telling me to be patient and giving me the reassurance that he’s behind us all the way. Joey is the kind of Angel investor who is also a true angel in life.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Generally speaking, I think that disrupting is usually positive; at least, in the tech industry it’s almost always being mentioned in a positive light. But, I guess that like in anything in life, disruption can also lead long term to monopolies and shift of power from X corporation to Y corporation and you’re still relying on a corporation to do good with the accumulated power they have.

Few examples:

Amazon disrupted online commerce which is amazing; they truly have developed an amazing experience by making it so easy for millions of people to have a better customer experience. But as a result, they became huge, and many brands began to complain about difficulties working with Amazon, since they have full control over the marketplace.

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram –

Social platforms disrupted the traditional media; anyone can express his or her voice, share his/her views and opinions and build an online micro influencer business. We’ve seen how those platforms help in so many different cases, from allowing people to share information during wars in the Middle East, to grouping people together around certain causes, building communities, finding people with similar interests and more.

But again, power has shifted from traditional media to a few silicon valley executives and this creates too much control for those companies. We all need to rely on their decisions to make sure those platforms stay open, allowing free speech, etc.

The list includes any big corporation out there right now, which makes a lot of sense b/c those companies were built on the technology that was available back when they started. I think that the most interesting developments happening in this space are around web3. Similar freedom and service to customers, but with a much better way to govern and manage those networks (i.e decentralized). It’ll take a few decades to come to fruition, but I believe that eventually we’ll end up with a more fair and decentralized internet.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Patience — I’d say this is probably the best advice I got. It came from our main investor Joey Low who is a very prominent and successful investor focusing on tech in Israel.

As a first time founder, you often think that things should happen fast and that the market will quickly respond to your new product or innovation. The reality is (at least in our case) that building a company, market and brand takes time. Being patient and consistent is very important. The more the market sees you around, the more it trusts you and eventually this translates to customers, growth and more opportunities.

Focus Staying focused is an advice I received from Adam Singolda (NAASDAQ:TBLA), the founder and CEO of the biggest content discovery platform. Staying true to your mission, and focusing hard on the problem at hand without distractions is probably what has helped us to succeed the most as a company. One example that I can give is that somewhere in 2014, we had just built our first product in (Sponsored Songs). We immediately started building another product that allows fans to buy sponsored songs for their favorite artists.

We spent 7 months building it before we had our first streaming partner. Eventually, we scrapped the product since we couldn’t really focus on two products at the same time. We also slowly realized that it’ll be very difficult to establish all the integrations with the most popular streaming platforms to make such a product viable.

Celebrate small wins — As I mentioned before, building a company and disrupting a space is a long journey; in fact, it’s a marathon. This journey is essentially (at least for us) long and full of small wins (and failures), that together makes our bigger wins possible. I think that the more you celebrate small wins, and appreciate every step you took forward, whether a small step or a big one, will make the journey much more enjoyable to everyone. After some time, you realize looking backward, that all those small steps forward have accumulated into a very big process. Alon Cohen, The founder of Cyberark (CYBR:NASDAQ) once told me, building a startup is like climbing a mountain. If you focus on how much you still have to climb, you forget to appreciate the amount of progress you have already made. So when you climb the startup mountain, let yourself look backward and appreciate how much progress that you’ve made. It’ll give you all the energy you need to keep climbing until you reach the top.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

We’re far from being done, as we feel that our journey has just begun. While I can’t share all our plans, I can say that our goal is to build tools that will help artists make significantly more revenue than today, and we believe that web3 will play a significant part in achieving this goal and that this is the best time to be a musician in the history of music.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Focus on people, people, people. Building a company is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time; you make tons of mistakes, try so many different directions and ways to solve the problem at hand. In our journey, most people who started with me are still with me to this day (almost 10 years). Without them, we’d have no company right now, because it did take us a long time to reach product market fit, and growth. So I’d say, take your journey, the people that you believe can run the marathon with you, even when things don’t go as expected. If you have a winning team, you’re most likely to eventually win and I’m very fortunate to have an amazing team, investor and family that supported me throughout this journey.

How can our readers follow you online?

Twitter — @liorix

LinkedIn —

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Meet The Disruptors: Lior Aharoni Of Feature fm On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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