Q&A with Jordan Passman, Founder & CEO of SCORE A SCORELast Updated: February 1, 2019
LA entrepreneur Jordan Passman’s firm SCORE A SCORE is changing the face of music for composers, helping them to secure not only recognition but also payment for their work, and for producers in search of music for advertising, film and other media. It’s part of a tech-disrupted process that, Passman passionately believes, will make the music industry a more level field for all musicians, not just A-list stars.
Jordan Passman founded SCORE A SCORE in Los Angeles in 2010, specialising in creating and licensing original music, sound design and voice-over for a variety of media including advertisements, trailers, television, branded content, film, and video games.
“I have very early memories realising the power of passion and how contagious it can be…”
From inauspicious beginnings (Passman was a solo operator, headquartered in a bedroom in his parents’ LA home) he has grown the company into a million-dollar player, boasting a client list that boasts big-hitters including Disney, Microsoft, Netflix and Nintendo, to name but a few
Passman founded the company to help connect composers with the film & media world to ensure that the artists would be remunerated properly for their work. He was inspired by his dismay at the extent to which music is often the afterthought in the filmmaking process.
“I’m confident that filmmakers still see the value in music for film, but we need to remind them it’s crucial to compensate composers for their hard work,” Passman wrote in a guest post for the Indie Wire blog shortly after the launch of the business.
SCORE A SCORE ticks the boxes for both parties to this relationship, simplifying contact between media producers and composers, curating a slick resource of world-class music and sound design, and, thanks to the high standards in can-do customer service that underpins the entire operation, streamlining the complexity of music licensing, creation and supervision.
The success of SCORE A SCORE has vindicated Passman’s conviction that technology is not only shaping the music industry, but doing so in positive ways. In 2015, contemporary music ‘bible’, Rolling Stone, which named him one of the young innovators who were shaking up the music industry.
In the supporting interview, Passman told the magazine: “There will be more music creators, more listeners, more ways to discover talent, and more platforms for interaction between members of the musical community. The ‘A-list’ artists may not earn as much as they did during the golden age of music, [but] I think there will be more artists making a living via the industry than ever before.”
11 Questions for Jordan Passman, CEO, SCORE A SCORE
Jordan Passman took some time out from his SCORE A SCORE duties to answer our questions about the success story of his startup business to date.
1. Briefly tell us how you first got into business, and describe your business goals.
I started SCORE A SCORE to bridge the gap between producers in need of original music and the composers who create it. I wanted to establish a highly curated marketplace that combines technology, world class creative and brilliant customer service to simplify music licensing, creation and supervision.
2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?
One of my favourite activities as a seven-year-old was to sell lemonade in my neighbourhood. I have very early memories realising the power of passion and how contagious it can be. I tinkered with the idea of starting a custom hand-painted shoe business in college, but was only truly ready to take the leap once I conceptualised SCORE A SCORE, at age 22.
3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?
My parents are incredible inspirations for me, in so many ways; in business and beyond. They demonstrate how to live a meaningful life, stay positive, have fun and give back to those in need.
They were not only supportive of my initial idea to start my own business, but they let me live with them and run SCORE A SCORE from my bedroom at their house — our first HQ, and for free!
4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?
I started SCORE A SCORE by myself with no partners, employees or interns. I would travel to New York in the summer for example, sweating profusely as I dashed from meeting to meeting. After a pitch, I would frantically find the nearest Starbucks for free Wi-Fi and a phone charge, run the business for a few minutes and then rush to the next potential client. I couldn’t keep up. My greatest challenges came with growth. The more that I hustled, the more that I couldn’t handle, and that time of chaos before my ability to afford to hire my first employee was a real challenge. Delegation proved to be an incredible resource to help continued growth, and to save my sanity.
5. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?
“…a lot of my positive sentiment on this comes down to having the best and most supportive wife ever.”
Absolutely. In the beginning it was much more difficult when I ran the business solo and promoted a 24/7 dependability guarantee to all of my clients.
But while I was always available, I was not always working, so even then there was some balance. As time went on, and my personal growth invited more delegation, I was rewarded with more freedom of mind.
Letting go for me, while a challenge at times, rewarded me with a peace that was impossible to achieve without the investment in my employees. I am someone who believes it’s best to not overwork. I need to spend time with my family and friends and want my employees to do the same.
I require a lot of sleep. I like to exercise. I enjoy vacations. I am still voluntarily tethered to my phone, but to me, that’s all part of the balance, and the job description of an entrepreneur. It’s very rare for me to be out of cell phone reach for a long period of time from my employees, but I have done it before (camping for a weekend) and that felt like a real feat!
Being completely candid, a lot of my positive sentiments on this comes down to having the best and most supportive wife ever.
6. What is the first thing you do every day?
Snooze and then check e-mails.
7. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?
A photo of my wife and dog cuddling.
8. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?
Audible – I have been listening to books for the last few weeks and love it. I find so much more time to listen than I do to sit down a read a book.
9. What is the last thing you Googled?
I feel like being honest here is key, and this is so random that I’m not even going to explain it:
“johnny depp laughing pirates gif”
10. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?
My headphones. I hate holding my phone to my ear so much and I take all of my calls plugged in and hands-free.
11. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?
Fake it until you make it, dude.