Live music is making a comeback! Bob Bunger, a music enthusiast has applied his technology skills with his passion for music and created an online platform for all things music and entertainment.
What’s your story?
I grew up playing drums with different bands in Indiana. My technology beginnings were as a first-year college student in the early 80’s at the time Microsoft was just getting traction. After a long career in software development and managing technology programs in both the avionics and finance industries, I finally applied my technology experience to my passion for music in a new social events platform Pelago (www.pelago.events). This is my favorite job. I don’t really consider it work, even though I put more effort into it than any other job I have had.
What excites you most about your industry?
There is nothing more satisfying than enjoying a beautiful work of art or an incredible piece of live or recorded music. Ironically the downfall of the recorded music business, due to on-line streaming and the ability to get a vast array of music for very low cost, is that live music has now made a comeback as many musicians use it to make a living. That’s great news for live music fans!
What’s your connection to Asia?
My first trip to Asia was a holiday to Thailand with two other friends in 1989. We hiked for several days through the rain forests of northern Thailand along the Burmese border drinking rice whisky we had purchased in Bangkok to keep away the mosquitos. On that hike we visited and stayed overnight in small bamboo huts as guests of the village elders. These villages were organized only to create sustenance for the inhabitants of the village. Nothing else mattered. It was an eye opener that would inspire my return to Asia many years later.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I have a strong connection and respect for Hong Kong, I would have to say Singapore is the best city in Asia for business. There is a very pro-active and positive thinking government there, which is very active in promoting big and small business alike. The English language culture in Singapore is also very important for the city’s integration with the world economy. And of course, the food in Singapore is awesome, with Malay, Indonesian, Indian and Chinese influences. Also, it’s a great hub with easy access to the rest of southeast Asia.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t eat the yellow snow (watch out where the huskies go)
Who inspires you?
There are so many great people who have provided or still provide inspiration for me, some famous, some not. All of them have a personal story and drive that shows others a good path to follow. A few of these people to name a few are my parents, my brother, Buddy Rich, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Mike Thomas, Roberto Clemente, Muhammed Ali, Richard Branson, Steve Fossett and Barack Obama. I think it’s important to draw inspiration from anyone who has been courageous enough to overcome significant challenges to following their dreams and passions.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
One thousand people assembled in a field in Italy to perform a Foo Fighter’s song in unison with the intention of motivating the band to come to perform in their city, (which the band did, 3 months later). Learn to Fly in Cesena
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have aimed higher every step of the way. Looking back it’s clear you can easily be held back by what you perceive as limitations – often by what other people say or do. You should always stick to your dream no matter what.
How do you unwind?
Playing drums for me is therapeutic – whether playing on my own or in a band with friends. When I’m playing I don’t think of anything else, it’s kind of like meditation in some ways.
My partner and I will take the motorbike out to Sheko to have a coffee on the beach, maybe read the weekend paper or a good book. The bike is a 10-year-old Ducati ST2 and I find the adrenaline of riding both revitalizing and relaxing at the same time.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket, it’s not too far from HK, inexpensive and has something for everybody whatever your mood. There are awesome beaches, peace and quiet or loud in-your-face nightlife, Thai boxing, water sports and more, all on an island large enough to explore for days and days and you always find something new.
Everyone in business should read this book:
I’m not big on general business books, but for startups Peter Thiel’s “Zero to One” is a favorite.
Shameless plug for your business:
Pelago is changing how you find cool live music, DJ music, secret brunches, rooftop cinemas, art installations and much more. You can create your own event within a few minutes and publish to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email or wherever to sell your tickets. In the near future, we will be moving way beyond ticketing to provide organizers with valuable promotional tools such as an events recommendation engine, dynamic ticket pricing and secure tickets.
How can people connect with you?
Just get in touch at [email protected]
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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