Tech entrepreneur Chris Barton changed the way the world discovers music while laying the groundwork for the consumer AI industry we know today. The holder of 12 patents, he is the founder and creator of Shazam, the global phenomenon with over two billion downloads and Apple’s sixth-largest acquisition to date. Barton’s captivating story and infectious enthusiasm inspires audiences to believe anything is possible. Through sharing his “Start from Zero” methodology, he empowers people to make big things happen in their organizations and create magic in defiance of any and all obstacles.
Founded in 2000, Shazam was far ahead of its time — three years before iTunes, seven years before the iPhone, and eight years before the App Store. In its ideation stage, Barton was told by professors at both MIT and Stanford that his idea was impossible, but he refused to take no for an answer. A true AI pioneer, Barton not only invented an entirely new technology, but also built a search engine supercomputer from scratch, and created the world’s largest music database.
For six years, Shazam teetered on the brink of bankruptcy as it waited for key digital advancements to arrive and allow it to unleash its full potential on the world. In 2018, Shazam, and its 200 employees, was acquired by Apple and today, it is considered one of the world’s most popular apps. It even inspired the popular game show, Beat Shazam, hosted by Jamie Foxx.
Barton has cemented his position in tech history. Aside from Shazam, he is also a founding member of Google’s Android Partnerships team, where he created Android’s mobile operator partnership framework, and worked at Dropbox for four years leading carrier partnerships. In addition, Barton holds 12 patents, including one found within the Google search algorithm that billions of people use everyday.
Today, Barton invests in a wide range of startups and is building his third company, Guard, a system that detects drowning in swimming pools using artificial intelligence. He is also a popular keynote speaker, who draws from his incredible career of achieving the impossible, despite having dyslexia, to inspire and motivate audiences around the world.
Prior to his audacious technology career, Barton was a strategy consultant and earned two master’s degrees from UC Berkeley and Cambridge University.