It started back in 2011.
I was sitting in the Google office, just off Tottenham Court Road, getting a briefing on the upcoming changes to YouTube. Searching through a bunch of names and URLs, I registered chew.fm — a broader name for eatbass.com – the site I started earlier that year to feed its users a “tasty stream of bass music”.
Over the next five years, the Chew name stayed the same — but the business changed. The team grew; as did our fans and supporters. The biggest step forward during this process came in 2014, thanks to the Ignite programme. Our time on Ignite helped wrought Chew into its current form.
Alongside it all, Wil is the number one reason the company and the vision has grown so fast. From bonding over his blog FatKidOnFire, and a shared love of technology, streetwear and music — to meeting for the first time in the Costa Coffee on Great Portland Street where he came onboard to help market eatbass.com. He’s worked tirelessly.
Last year, Sam joined the team as our first employee — helping to turn the post-Ignite Chew MVP into a technology platform that today supports nearly 400,000 registered users.
And the fact that Andy Puleston decided to take the jump from the BBC (via another startup) to join Chew earlier this year proves our industry standing.
Today, five years after registering the initial domain, the Chew team, platform and vision are in a great place.
The last five years have been the most exciting and terrifying years of my life. Above and beyond deciding to leave college and move to London to freelance almost eight years ago, the decision to leap from a secure and well-paid job at Vice to build something new was the best decision I could have made. Because of the team supporting the idea, but also because the decision was made based on that gut feeling you only get with the right idea.
Over the last month, I’ve been seriously thinking about what the next Chew is for me. What cause, what vision and what challenge can take my focus for the next five years; as Chew has for the last.
That’s why it’s time to take the leap again.
My birthday – Friday the 14th of October – was my final day at Chew. While I’ll continue to support the team through my network, and through my presence at conferences (Like Tokyo Music Week… Come and see me speak!), I’ll no longer be working from the Chew office. My departure doesn’t impact the day-to-day business or what the team are able to deliver or execute. I know they’ll continue to exceed expectations.
So what’s next?
I’m continuing to work across my two passions – music and startups. From this vantage point, there’s a core issue that limits growth and innovation in an industry built on human creativity. If you haven’t worked out what I’m talking about, buy me a green tea sometime and I’ll tell you! 🍵
I’m also lucky enough to be part of the OneFest programme on some great projects for 2017. More to come here soon.
To keep up with the latest from me get these details down:
This is my next: MusicUp – musicup.io – [email protected]
And for everything else – benbowler.com – [email protected]
My Chew email will continue to work too.
Let’s meet up and I’ll be sure to tell all! I’m looking forward to working together in the future.