WeTransfer President Damien Bradfield Explains Why He Offered $10,000  To Laid-Off SoundCloud Employees

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
July 28, 2017

WeTransfer President Damien Bradfield Explains Why He Offered $10,000  To Laid-Off SoundCloud Employees

File sharing service WeTransfer made news this week when they announced that they are offering a $10,000 (£7,614) “gift” to any of the 173 laid off SoundCloud staff that lost their jobs amidst the company’s publicized layoffs earlier this month.

Earlier in July WeTransfer President Damien Bradfield initially touched upon the idea with Handelsblatt journalist Alexander Demling during the Tech Open Air conference:

“What if each and every one of them had been offered ten thousand dollars to refrain from getting a job? To leave and start something. To leave and start working on the new future of music, whatever that might be.

“SoundCloud has always been the challenger. Look what they’ve achieved: they courted, vetted, groomed and trained these 173 people who specialize in music, technology and innovation. It seems sacrilegious to just let them go out and get regular jobs. We desperately need innovation. We need challengers.”

SoundCloud laid off 40% of its staff at the beginning of July 2017 as an effort to become profitable and remain independent, a move that was followed first by worried concerns and then reassurance by SoundCloud that the company wasn’t going anywhere.

Bradfield later expanded on the $10,000 idea during a meeting with WeTransfer staff in Los Angeles:

“We held a few meetings, conducted a few phone calls and had decided we’d put aside a few upcoming projects. Instead, we would back this idea.

“We’d email each of the 173 SoundCloud employees and offer them $10,000 — not as a loan or an investment but a gift.”

He has since taken to Medium to explain the logic behind the move:

Since 2009 we have been supporting the arts, startups, innovators, students, designers — you name it.

Hidden at the core of this crazy notion is a very serious idea. We need to keep innovating. Everyone — the folks at SoundCloud included — would love to see these former employees go on to develop great things. $10,000 isn’t enough to build an entirely new company, but it is enough to get an idea going, to design something, or have it designed. It’s enough to get an iOS developer friend to build an MVP that we could introduce or shine a spotlight on. That is, after all, how WeTransfer started.

We want people to create. What could be better? We want to see amazing proposals. Start something — that’s what we’re saying. We’ll do whatever we can to help, but we aren’t VC’s. This isn’t an investment. It’s not a loan. It’s an opportunity. We aren’t trying to compete and don’t want to own anything. It’s a chance to have some fun.

Read the letter sent by WeTransfer to each laid-off SoundCloud employee below.

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