David Noël
Vice President Community, SoundCloud

“Always be good to people”, would be one of David Noel’s advices for his 14-year-old self. The Vice president community at SoundCloud and his team empower the users to connect around the sounds. The coolest thing about his job? “Hearing how much people love SoundCloud every day is like the first time you hear it. Hearing that over and over again never gets old.”


Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!

So I would go back and basically tell myself three things, I would go back and say, worry less, like worry less about things, always follow your gut and always be good to people.

Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?

So my name is David Noel; I’m the Vice President Community for SoundCloud.

Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?

It’s two things because in my capacity I get to interact with a lot of people externally and hearing how much people love SoundCloud everyday it’s like the first time you hear it and when you have people say like, “What, you work for SoundCloud, I love SoundCloud,” it’s amazing, so this is, hearing that over and over never gets old.

Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?

Deciding on what to do that drives the biggest impact at any given moment of time right? So how can I create the biggest impact either inside of the company or outside of the company to continue reach our objectives? That’s a challenging part of the concept as I constantly think about it, to reflect, to take some time to sit down and reflect, and think it through because personally, I like to do things because like doing things you are under risk that you are doing the wrong things right? So taking the time to reflect and think about it in a more anticipation is definitely a challenge.

Worum geht es in Deinem Job?

So SoundCloud is the place for people to discover sound creator. So that means that on a spectrum of sound whether it’s a musician or a record label or a band, or artist you find there or audio podcasters and news and journalism and inspiring stories, they find it on SoundCloud. My role at SoundCloud is to help people connect their own sounds so as part of the community team we help people, we empower people, we help them connect their own sounds. My role currently is to lead a team of almost 30 people with different specializations on a community team. So I have two teams, one is called Community Engagement and the other is Community Operations. So they all have different ways to interacting with our users in specific specializations. So my main role is basically to manage and to lead the team, to set a strategy, to help them develop their careers, to develop personally, to help communicate, to help communicate across different teams and so that’s a big part. The other big part is to be a spokesperson for SoundCloud, so to go out and evangelize SoundCloud in different contexts of the world. So, you know, in places like this where we have the conference today or speaking at universities, basically telling the stories about SoundCloud. A lot of time is spent now on the road travelling with five offices across five different countries, more than 200 people, 33 nationalities, so growth for us as an organization is a really important part and then of course communicate to them across those offices. So spending a lot of time on the road trying to connect culturally, bridge the company across different offices is a big focus and then just help the team, empower the team, get them everything they need to do the best work they can and then take some of these stories that we here from the outside world and bring it back to the company so that people can always link it back to the customer, to our vision and stay motivated and stay engaged.

Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?

Born and raised in Belgium, tried to go to university, dropped out three times, moved to Germany, I worked for a record label, I worked as a tour manager, went across the world and managed bands on tour, joined a … got burned out, joined a marketing agency as a projects manager, went back to school, did a one year degree, met a startup, met startup founders, raised 16 million Euros, crashed the whole thing, then met the SoundCloud founders and the rest is history. I’ve been with them almost five years now. So I dropped out, the first thing I tried to do, I was 17 back at the time, I went to law school, I hated it, didn’t know what it was, coming out of school I didn’t know what to do, I was like, what is there, what kind of disciplines are there, what kind of jobs are there, and the only thing they told us back at the time was there is this classic studies you can do like law school, medicine, med school and all this architecture these typical things. I am like that does not resonate with me, like what else is there, nobody told me so. I was like okay I will law school and I went to law school and was like, that doesn’t work. Then I went more practical and went to hotel management school, I always loved service, I always loved helping people, I was always intrigued and inspired by what’s happening in hotels in the background so I wanted to find out what it is. I realized it is a shitty industry, it’s like weird, it’s a very weird industry, and then I went to become a teacher. So I almost became a middle school teacher and then realized this is not it that I have to go on a bigger adventure and that’s how I then moved to start, I told my parents for the third time, I’m dropping out of school and I’m moving to Germany and I’m going on a big adventure.

Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?

Yeah, I think if you have experience in communication, if you are a natural leader, if one of your characteristic is empathy, helping and caring about people, feeling how they feel, then I think you have a really good chance at doing that job well. In the end it’s really just about having emotional intelligence and trying things out and learning from your mistakes.