Former Swedish Prime Minister (2006-14). Senior Adviser, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (2016-2020).
Speaker Chris Barton, the innovative mind behind Shazam, revolutionized music discovery with his creation, significantly impacting the consumer AI industry. His commitment to innovation continues with Guard, his latest venture aimed at enhancing swimming pool safety using AI. Barton's career is a testament to transformative thinking and technological advancement.
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Speaker Chris Barton, a trailblazing inventor whose conviction that anything is possible is both inspiring and infectious. Barton has earned renown for developing the groundbreaking app Shazam, which transformed the landscape of music discovery and made significant contributions to the consumer AI industry. With over 2 billion downloads, Shazam stands as a testament to Barton’s innovative prowess and is among Apple’s most significant acquisitions. His latest venture, Guard, employs AI to detect drowning in swimming pools, showcasing his ability to turn visionary ideas into reality.
Barton’s journey in the tech world is marked by overcoming challenges, attributed partly to his dyslexia, which he considers a ‘superpower’ for creative problem-solving. Despite skepticism from experts, he successfully developed Shazam, an idea initially deemed unfeasible, and pioneered a new technological path in music identification.
Shazam’s inception in 2000 placed it ahead of its time, thriving through early financial challenges until key technological advancements allowed it to unleash its full potential. Barton’s impact extends beyond Shazam; he was pivotal in the early stages of Google and Dropbox, and his diverse investments include AI applications in heart health and therapeutics for inflammatory diseases.
Currently, speaker Chris Barton dedicates himself to his third startup, Guard, where he focuses on using AI to enhance safety in swimming pools. When not working on his entrepreneurial projects, he shares his experiences and lessons at speaking events, inspiring audiences with his unique approach to overcoming obstacles and achieving success.
Barton holds two master’s degrees from UC Berkeley and Cambridge University. In his leisure time, he enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his son, Jude. His story is not just about creating cutting-edge technology but also about inspiring others to think differently and achieve the extraordinary.
Chris Barton is a master at turning bold concepts into reality. He faced skepticism when he envisioned Shazam, a tool for identifying songs using just a phone, a concept initially deemed impossible. His journey from this groundbreaking idea to Shazam's evolution into Apple’s sixth-largest acquisition is nothing short of cinematic. Shazam, with its over two billion downloads, has redefined music discovery, offering a magical experience. In his talks, Chris dives into the lessons he learned while developing Shazam with early AI, his groundbreaking work with Android at Google, and his role in mobile partnerships at Dropbox. Barton emphasizes the importance of resilience and the need to view challenges with a fresh perspective. As an inventor with twelve patents, his narratives and insights encourage others to achieve great things in their organizations. He advocates for "creative persistence" and his unique Start from Zero approach, which involves rethinking traditional methods and breaking through barriers. These strategies are not just for startups facing daunting challenges but for anyone aiming to create their own Shazam-like magic against all odds.
Chris tailors his presentation to suit each audience, with key takeaways including:
- Challenging the norm to uncover fundamental truths
- Exploring new possibilities with AI
- Breaking through obstacles with creative persistence
- Staying true to core ideas despite opposition
- Simplifying processes to reduce friction
- Engaging audiences by tapping into their emotions.
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