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Martin Erler is the founder of Flits Music, a mobile-first platform for live video streaming generated by artists and concertgoers. After working for seven years in international strategic and sales positions within the renewable energy sector, Erler decided to quit his job in 2014 to follow his passion for music and technology. He lived in different countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, and Madagascar. He holds a diploma in international business administration, and in 2015 he earned a Master of Arts in global entertainment and music business from Berklee College of Music’s campus in Valencia, Spain. With Flits, Erler and his international team want to become a major player within the live video market.
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree in Berklee’s global entertainment and music business program at the Valencia campus?
I wasn't considering a master’s degree, but when I started to sketch out my initial ideas for my business, I realized that my knowledge and connections within the music industry were rather poor. Not only that, but my understanding of mobile app development and tech architecture was close to zero. Further, I liked the international environment. I did not want to specialize in one specific country within the music industry. When I found the global entertainment and music business program, the decision was made quite fast.
What opportunities did you have, being in Valencia, that you may not have had otherwise?
In my view, the size of the campus was perfect, with small classes that resulted in a perfect learning environment. I still very positively remember my class on publishing and licensing, with only four students attending. We had super interesting and challenging conversations. I also appreciated the fact that we had industry leaders as guest speakers; their insights have been motivating as well as insightful, especially when building a startup. The biggest opportunity was to work with students from all over the world, 27 countries in total. This was just amazing.
What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned at Berklee?
In my case, I wouldn’t say that there was one most important lesson. A couple of things are important when going through this graduate program: first, having a clear goal regarding what you want to achieve while attending the program (otherwise, you will miss a lot of opportunities), and second, that execution is king. Ideas count for 10 percent, and the rest is execution, execution, execution.
Tell us about your work at your startup, Flits, and how Berklee prepared you for it.
Startup work means having no routine. You need to be comfortable with change. Every day you have different challenges, and I guarantee that some of the challenges will cause sleepless nights. The learning curve is steep. I learned faster than ever before. You have to be agile and adapt like a chameleon and feel comfortable with any situation you’re thrown into. You learn all aspects of the business and have to understand everything from minor details to the bigger picture of the company's strategy. Berklee constantly gave me the opportunity to challenge my idea and to build the international Flits team, including four nations and comprising faculty members and a study colleague, which is great.
Do you have any other upcoming projects?
As most artists and concertgoers get annoyed by bad surrounding sounds during live videos, our next project is the development of a streaming architecture that will allow artists and concertgoers the ability to livestream high-fidelity sound from concerts in real time, which will be unique in the market. I don't want to list all the upcoming projects for Flits as the list would be too long, and as you can imagine, outside of Flits there are no other projects for me. I’m 100 percent committed to it.
Is there anything else you want to share?
I strongly believe in supporting people and partnerships. If someone wants to know more about Flits and the way we’ve built it, or has further questions about the global entertainment and music business program, please feel free to reach out to me.