Software Breakthroughs: Daniel Haver, Native Instruments (NAMM Show 2014)
Daniel Haver, CEO of Native Instruments, oversaw his company’s rise from startup to music software pioneer. Since then, Native Instruments has entered the hardware market, undergone a major growth spurt and even influenced musical styles, including dubstep. During Breakfast of Champions at the 2014 NAMM Show, NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond looks at these breakthroughs with Haver, who comes from the advertising industry.
Highlights from the video:
On entering the music software market: “This whole digitalization of the whole advertisement-creation process, I was part of this,” Haver said. “So when I joined Native Instruments and the founders in ’97, it was so obvious to me that there was a tremendous opportunity ahead of us because computers could not only do great layouts for you—in a better fashion than traditional analog gear could—but why not get the instrument into the computer? It was an obvious opportunity.”
On Native Instruments influencing musical genres: “We had, obviously, a lot of electronic musicians in mind when we created our product but not a specific genre. We were not thinking that we necessarily create a new genre because of this or that product. Just an example: We released many years ago the Massive synthesizer—called Massive. It’s just very strong in the bass side of things. So the whole bass music in the U.S., especially dubstep, ... Massive is now defining a lot of the sound of this genre, even though this was not our intention to create dubstep or to support dubstep. But this is just how it happened.”
On the company’s growth: “First of all, we had to go through this phase of becoming a solutions provider. Because originally, we were just software, but we felt that software needs an access point. Because in the end, we are all human beings, and we have tactical needs. So we needed the right controllers to steer the software. So we did that. We went into the DJ space—originally, it was just a synthesizer, software instruments company. So by now, we cover the producer and the DJ. These are our two customers.”
On controlling growth: “Of course, as we grow—as we add product to the portfolio, as we add hardware to the mix—we have to create an organization that can handle it. Obviously, there are a lot of challenges. You need to make sure you build an organization that’s scalable. We’re now about 400 people. We added, I believe, 150 just in the last two years. So you need the right setup, the right back-end. I have people—I call them the back-end team—that are just making sure that the creative guys can work, can be doing inspiring stuff.”