It was quite devastating to hear that SoundCloud was in financial trouble and in turn had to lay off about 40% of its workforce, amounting to some 173 employees, earlier this month. Folks in San Francisco and London were left out to dry, but popular file-sharing service, WeTransfer, stepped up to the plate.
WeTransfer is used by tons of top-tier producers as the premier destination to transfer files, especially since the links expire after 7 days. WeTransfer felt for the laid off SoundCloud employees, and is awarding them $10,000 each to help continue changing the way that we consume music, as opposed to just “getting a job”. Damien Bradford, president of WeTransfer, penned the following note on his Medium:
By now, it’s obvious SoundCloud has gone through a change of direction. We were saddened by the news of the layoffs. We were disheartened to watch a beloved and respected company say goodbye to 173 employees, including you, in one go […] but we’d like to prevent you from just simply ‘getting a job’.
Why? What’s wrong with a job? Nothing. It’s just that you might stray from your original mission to change the way we consume or create music – an endeavor that made SoundCloud unique in the world of tech.
So we’d like to make you an offer. $10,000 to start something. This is not a loan or equity exchange.
What we would like to see is a proposal for something you could design, build or manage that could be the new mail-order record club, SoundCloud or iTunes.
Bradford was sure to point out that this isn’t simply a handout, but that he’d like to see your ideas or preliminary designs for something workable before handing over the cash. If you’d like to read his full letter and thinking behind the gift-giving, check it out here.