Large record labels such as Sony, Warner, and Universal have run the music and entertainment industries for years. As a result of this large corporate conglomerate control, many artists only receive two percent of the profits from the use of their work. To combat this, Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder student, Bruce Weaver, is introducing Waves Market. Waves Market gives artists control of their careers, allows them to put music out without the need for large record labels, and grow with the help of their fans.
Bruce’s Entrepreneurial Career
Bruce grew up in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where he started his first venture in eighth grade called TLMXDR, a dropshipping watch company. Bruce later sold TLMXDR when he was a high school freshman in 2016. He then quickly began another dropshipping business, which he eventually sold for an even larger profit. Bruce used the money from these sales to enroll in an online social media marketing course. Once complete, he approached a local seafood restaurant and offered to assist with their advertising efforts. They brought him on, and after only one month, the restaurant experienced a notable customer increase. As his skills and experience grew, Bruce expanded his reach by taking on additional roles with other North Carolina businesses. He continued growing and developing his social media skills over the years. In 2019, Bruce transferred his focus to real estate by creating content for real estate agents and receiving commissions on home sales. He continued doing this until he came to Boulder in 2021.
Bruce arrived in Boulder in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and found it difficult to continue assisting real estate agents during this time. Bruce then used his entrepreneurial skills to find new opportunities. For a while, Bruce worked as a valet driver for a local Boulder restaurant. That changed when he learned of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and how they were shaping up the music industry. Bruce was inspired by this new opportunity and dedicated much of his time towards crafting a business plan around his inspiration, which he calls Waves Market.
About Waves Market
Waves Market is a fan-funded platform where musicians do not need to rely on music labels to promote their art. Instead, fans can financially invest in their favorite artists, which helps pay for music creation, production, and distribution. When an artist succeeds, those who invested in them also receive monetary benefits. Together, both the fans and the artists have ownership.
Waves Market is still in production and currently fundraising. They plan to launch in early 2023.
Bruce is a serial entrepreneur at heart. He has started several successful and less successful companies. Bruce comments,
“Oftentimes, I tried to make things happen faster than they could.”
Rushing companies was a common theme for Bruce. He reflects on one specific instance,
“When I was dropshipping, I found a product I knew would do well. I ran some test ads on social media and saw an opportunity for an excellent return on investment. I made a large investment in the company and signed up for a high-class credit card processor that cost $1,000 per month.”
Bruce was successful for the first couple of days, until Facebook and Instagram removed his purchased ads, halting his sales. When Bruce realized it was time to move on, he attempted to cancel the monthly credit card subscription, only to realize he had signed on for a one-year plan. This mistake cost Bruce significantly and motivated him back into the workforce. His determination to become successful and provide for his family has continued to motivate Bruce. He comments,
“I always felt like I wasn’t enough or that I wasn’t worth anything when I was younger. All I wanted to do was prove people wrong, and that motivated me for a long time. Now, my family motivates me. I wouldn’t be here without the support my family has given me. All I want to do now is be able to help my mom retire and allow my family to enjoy their lives to the fullest without any financial stress.”
Bruce provides the following advice for aspiring entrepreneurs,
“Things come with time. If you rush yourself too much, you will forget what happened along the way. That’s what happened to me. I missed out on a lot of experiences I shouldn’t have missed out on.”