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James McAulay


26 posts

Celebrating Encore's 3rd Birthday

Last week, we celebrated three years since James and I took a train from London to Cambridge and officially launched Encore to a small community of student musicians. This launch was a funny one. We had pulled many all-nighters to ensure we were ready for launch day, and everything seemed to fall into place just in time. The first musician we met signed up without a problem, and we were jubilant. Then the second one tried to register, and our whole site crashed… We came back

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Intentional Culture in Startups

I met a founder at a party last week and we quickly got onto discussing company culture in small teams. Though he was older than me, his company was significantly younger — Encore is nearly three years old! — so I found myself sharing a lot of advice, lessons learned and educational mistakes with him. He was often asking me to repeat things so he could take notes on his phone, and towards the end of our conversation I noticed he had written a small essay’s worth

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What do you wish you’d known before joining Entrepreneur First?

Yesterday, I received an email from the EF Team requesting advice for founders about to embark on the EF programme. “What advice would you give to someone to help them get the most out of EF?” It’s hard to believe that, this time three years ago, I was beginning my own entrepreneurial journey as part of EF3, and there are plenty of things I wish I could tell my twenty year-old self. Here’s a small selection: EF3 on Demo Day Spend as much time

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Interview with Fat Lama

Fat Lama are an exciting marketplace startup enabling the borrowing and lending of just about anything. I'm absolutely obsessed with marketplace businesses, and I think Fat Lama is a fantastic example of a true "sharing economy" startup: helping suppliers make money from under-utilised belongings, making it easy to borrow from trusted neighbours, and facilitating fast transactions through a secure and safe platform. Musical instruments is one of their most popular categories, so we've been having some interesting discussions recently about how Encore and FL can team

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Podcast interview: Agency Exploits in the Music Industry

I was contacted by a journalist recently who was putting together a radio piece on exploitation of musicians. As well as reaching out to agencies, he wanted to hear how we’re doing things differently and fighting for a fairer industry at Encore. Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, he didn’t receive a single response from any of the agencies he contacted, so the piece has become a podcast instead of a national radio piece, featuring interviews with pro musicians, Alex Mann from the Musicians Union and

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Designing for Generosity

Earlier this week, I ordered an Uber to take my family home after a pleasant evening in a Japanese restaurant. When the taxi arrived, my Dad launched straight into conversation with the driver and didn’t stop chatting until the moment we arrived at our house. The journey was smooth and quick, and the driver was incredibly courteous. The jarring moment of the trip came after we had left the taxi and were approaching the front door of our house, when my Dad asked: | “So, did

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