No matter how much success you have in life, sometimes it’s never enough. Being the #1 band in the history of music apparently isn’t enough for mega-rockers Linkin Park, who recently launched a venture capital firm named ‘Machine Shop Ventures’. The mission of Machine Shop Ventures is to become the #1 VC firm in Silicon Valley by investing in consumer-facing startups. And if history’s any sort of indicator, the greatest band the world has ever known is about to become the most successful venture capital firm in the history of Silicon Valley.
If I could invest with them right now, I would. These rockers piss gold records. They’ve got the Midas Touch. If I could fork over my life savings to Linkin Park right now I WOULD. Silicon Valley IS NOT ready for the awesome power that is Linkin Park. SO GET READY FOR TECH DISRUPTION, NERDS.
Linkin Park disrupted the music industry and emerged as one of the most popular rock bands on the planet. Now it’s plotting to rock the tech world — as venture capitalists.
Linkin Park recently launched Machine Shop Ventures, a VC firm that’s searching for startups that can shake up consumer-facing industries. Machine Shop Ventures told CNNMoney it’s already made three investments: ride-sharing platform Lyft, free-trading app Robinhood, and Shyp, a shipping app founded by Kevin Gibbon.
It marks a dramatic shift for a band that was formed in 1996 — back when music was still distributed via cassette and before Google (GOOGL, Tech30) was even born.
The whole rock-band-by-night, venture-capitalist-firm-by-day thing may sound like an awkward transition, but Linkin Park doesn’t see it that way. In fact, the band sounds captivated by the vibe of Silicon Valley.
“To be around that kind of culture with people who are super cutting-edge thinkers who are so smart, that’s inspiring to me. I feel like we’re more at home there,” lead singer Mike Shinoda told CNNMoney’s Cristina Alesci at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles.
The music industry can be “mean” and “a little rough,” especially on people just entering the business, Shinoda said. He pointed to how newbies to the music industry are expected to work 80 hours a week with few breaks and little money.
“Sometimes in the music industry you can find a sense of entitlement,” Shinoda said.
By contrast, tech companies like Google and Facebook (FB, Tech30) are known for rewarding their talent, incentivizing them by providing equity and perks like pinball machines and extra vacation.
“I do find more kinship to a degree in these situations where we’re working with people who want to change the world. It’s like your aspirations are greater than just selling a record,” Shinoda said.
If anyone can change the world it’s Linkin Park. Have faith in LP. Believe in LP. LP will change the world.
Side note: going back to that video in the beginning where Jay-Z raps the lyrics “out the country but the blueberry still connect”, I’ve spent all these years angry at Jay-Z for just calling a Blackberry a ‘Blueberry’ and thinking we wouldn’t notice. But just now I learned the truth over on RapGenius:
Either we choose to believe that, or accept that it’s a very convenient explanation on Hova’s part.
UPDATE: Guess my tongue-and-cheek humor was just a bit too dry for some of you bros, and you didn’t understand what was going on here. Notice that this post went up at 2:31pm EST. And in addition to some screenshots of you angry commenters, here’s a screenshot of me talking to a co-worker at 2pm after he caught me laughing to myself at how in roughly 30 minutes people would think I was a) being serious about Linkin Park being the best band in the world or b) actually think Linkin Park is the best band in the world and agree with me:
The butthurt Facebook comments are PRICELESS by the way…
For more on the new Linkin Park VC firm Machine Shop Ventures you can click on over to CNN Money.