Chris Barton Speaking

Chris Barton Keynote Speaker

  • Founder and Creator of Shazam
  • Entrepreneur, Inventor, and Tech Investor
  • Long time technology executive with Google and Dropbox

Chris Barton's Biography

Engaging with inventor and keynote speaker Chris Barton is an experience that leaves you believing in the limitless potential of ideas. His infectious enthusiasm for turning seemingly unattainable concepts into reality is remarkable. One of Chris’s latest innovations, Guard, employs AI to detect drowning in swimming pools, a feat never achieved before. However, Chris is most renowned for creating Shazam, the revolutionary app that altered the way we discover music and laid the foundation for today’s consumer AI industry. With over 2 billion downloads, Shazam stands as a global sensation and ranks as Apple’s sixth-largest acquisition. This app, which identifies songs seemingly out of nowhere, is akin to magic. Chris, who holds 12 patents, has also significantly contributed to the early developments at Google and Dropbox. He credits his dyslexia for his ability to find unique solutions to challenges and achieve ambitious goals. In his presentations, Chris discusses his “Start From Zero” thinking approach, which involves questioning established norms and defying conventional wisdom. His compelling narrative captivates audiences, inspiring them to achieve extraordinary feats in their own organizations.

Chris’s upbringing was international, with a French mother and British father, both university professors. Despite this academic environment, Chris struggled in school due to undiagnosed dyslexia. Over time, he learned to see his dyslexia as a superpower, a perspective that has helped him surmount numerous challenges.

Take Shazam, for instance. Chris, while not claiming to be a broad expert on AI’s future, embarked on a pioneering journey in AI when he envisioned identifying music through a mobile phone. This idea faced skepticism, with experts from MIT and Stanford deeming such pattern recognition impossible. Chris not only had to invent new technology but also build a search engine supercomputer, create the world’s largest music database, and design a user-friendly experience on basic mobile phones. Despite expert doubts, Chris never wavered in his belief.

Founded in 2000, Shazam was ahead of its time, launching three years before iTunes, seven years before the iPhone, and eight years before the App Store. The early years were challenging, with the company nearly facing bankruptcy for six years until digital advancements allowed Shazam to realize its full potential.

In 2018, Apple acquired Shazam, along with its 200 employees, in its sixth-largest acquisition ever. Today, Shazam, with over two billion downloads, is one of the world’s most popular apps, seamlessly integrating into our daily lives by identifying songs and providing music information. The app’s cultural impact is evident, even inspiring the game show “Beat Shazam,” hosted by Jamie Foxx on Fox Network.

Chris’s tech contributions extend beyond Shazam. He was a founding member of Google’s Android Partnerships team, developing Android’s mobile operator partnership framework, and spent four years at Dropbox leading carrier partnerships, being among the company’s first 100 employees.

With 12 patents to his name, including one in the Google search algorithm, Chris has left an indelible mark on the tech industry. He also invests in various startups, ranging from AI for heart health to inflammatory disease therapeutics. Currently, Chris is focused on building Guard, his third startup, which uses AI to detect drowning in swimming pools.

As a speaker, Chris Barton shares insights from his journey of achieving the impossible, and motivating others to tackle their challenges with a fresh perspective.

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Chris Barton's Speaking Topics

  • Bring Impossible Ideas to Life

Technology & A.I. are dramatically changing what’s possible in our world. Our challenge as we create new things is to dislodge from the comfort of what we already know. Chris created Shazam after being told by every “expert” that his outlandish idea was impossible. It was an idea far ahead of its time – eight years before iPhone apps even existed. In this presentation, Chris helps audiences imagine and then create new visions for the future. He inspires with jaw-dropping stories about creating Shazam and shows how innovation comes from not just an idea, but from a series of insights to overcome obstacles along the way.

  • Overcome Obstacles with Imagination

A great idea gets you nowhere without tenacity. True disruption requires both persistence and creative solutions. In creating Shazam, Chris faced obstacles many thought were insurmountable. Most would have given up, but he refused. Instead, Chris challenged every assumption about the obstacles he faced. He shares stories and actionable lessons that inspire audiences to pursue their dreams. Chris urges audiences to question the status quo and to sweat the details on the path to redefining the future.

  • Eliminate Effort to Unlock Explosive Growth

We all know simple is great, so why don’t all organizations create amazing things just like Apple? The reality is that friction permeates almost everything we do. This “extra effort” frustrates our customers, partners, and colleagues. In creating Shazam, Chris moved mountains to make one thing very easy – identifying any song. Shazam changed the way the world discovers music. Chris combines stories from creating Shazam with his twelve years at Android (Google) and Dropbox to provide concrete examples of how we can all push boundaries to eliminate friction.

  • Build the Vision You See (But Others Don’t)

Entrepreneurs have passion, ideas, and desire but can get stuck on the difficult journey to achieving their dreams. They want to bring something truly new to the world, but need to learn how to overcome big obstacles, choose their priorities, and convince others of their vision. Chris inspires and teaches entrepreneurs using the story of Shazam’s creation including the scrappy and creative hacks that transformed an idea into a product with two billion customers.

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Videos of Chris Barton

Innovation Keynote Speaker | Founder of Shazam | Chris Barton (2023 REEL)
Innovation Keynote Speaker | Founder of Shazam | Chris Barton (2023 REEL)
Shazam! How To Turn Your Crazy Idea Into A Business | The Tony Robbins Podcast
Shazam! How To Turn Your Crazy Idea Into A Business | The Tony Robbins Podcast
Shazam Founder | Inspirational Keynote Speaker | Chris Barton 2024 Reel- Bureau
Shazam Founder | Inspirational Keynote Speaker | Chris Barton 2024 Reel- Bureau

Articles, Media & Podcasts

Comments & Testimonials

Chris customized a powerful keynote that delivered significant value for Coca-Cola. His messages sparked action among our executives and inspired our bottler partners toward our goals. Chris’s energy and enthusiasm really stands out. He is an inspiration with truly eye-opening insights and stories.
Marcelo Gil VP Commercial Leadership Coca-Cola
Chris embodies inspiration from head to toe. We loved his stories and insights on the core mindsets that lead to game-changing innovation. His delivery was fun, genuine and honest, both during his speech and as our “guest star” at my leadership team’s offsite dinner.
Kenneth Campbell CEO, Mexico L’Oreal
Chris’s keynote completely captivated our audience of 1700+ SAP customers, partners, and employees. His talk was truly entertaining and inspiring. Our audience’s perception of entrepreneurial innovation was completely transformed.
Michael Locher-Tjoa Managing Director SAP Switzerland
Chris Barton’s fireside conversation with Kasia Madera, BBC World News, was the headline of the Conference, which gathered 1000 senior marketing professionals. His remarks had people riveted, and offered both high-level insight, meaningful content and actionable ideas on how to lead and build a prosperous business. He had a very human approach to his speech, with relevant personal stories that were intertwined with humor. The audience was totally engaged and enraptured by his presence.
Diana Flutur Conference Director IAA Global

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