WeTransfer offers laid-off SoundCloud employees $10K to not get new jobs

“We desperately need innovation. We need challengers.”

WeTransfer does not want the 173 people laid off from SoundCloud earlier this month to get jobs, according to email sent to FACT from WeTransfer’s Music Director Lukas Nieuwenhuijsen. “No equity, no strings attached,” Nieuwenhuijsen writes.

The file sharing company’s president Damian Bradfield is sending emails to the employees who were let go from SoundCloud offering them $10K – “a modest amount” – to go toward music industry innovation instead of just getting another job.

From the email:

“[W]e’d like to prevent you from just simply ‘getting a job’.

“Why? What’s wrong with a job? Nothing. It’s just that you might stray from your original mission to change the way we consume or create music – an endeavor that made SoundCloud unique in the world of tech.

“So we’d like to make you an offer. $10,000 to start something. This is not a loan or equity exchange.

“What we would like to see is a proposal for something you could design, build or manage that could be the new mail-order record club, SoundCloud or iTunes.

“This is not an investment. I hear you – 10k is a modest amount – but we started small too, and it could act as a runway. Or it could pay for the lights on a runway. Somehow, it could help you get off the ground.”

Bradford writes on Medium that he originally got the idea for this at Tech Open Air Conference in Berlin just a few weeks ago. He says that an interview with Alexander Ljung – who recently promised that SoundCloud was doing just fine, despite reports that there is only funding left to get them to Q4 – generated the idea that instead of watching the “challengers” who worked to make SoundCloud what it is go off to other companies that may not return their vision, he would try to help them work on continuing to find new music industry solutions:

“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,” he writes.

You can read his post in full and check out the FAQ SoundCloud employees with receive with the email offer.

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