The tech startup world has been shaken today by news that 28-year-old Josh Greenberg, co-founder of recently defunct music sharing service Grooveshark, was found dead on Sunday in the Florida apartment he shared with his girlfriend. No foul play is suspected, but the local medical examiner is conducting an autopsy, according to the Gainesville Sun, which originally reported on Greenberg's passing.
Greenberg started Grooveshark in 2006 with two University of Florida classmates at a time when such services were new on the music scene, and eventually attracted upwards of 35 million users. Grooveshark was popular with the open source set, and was a default app on a mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
But the Grooveshark music sharing service shut down in April, with the co-founders acknowledging they made serious mistakes in not licensing much of the music uploaded to its site by users. (As an early Grooveshark user myself, I liked being able to find live recordings and other oddities on the site not easily accessible on services such as iTunes at the time.) The service had been controversial for years, with Apple and Google nixing its apps from their stores for policy violations, though also perhaps because they offered competing services.
Greenberg's mother is quoted in the Gainesville Sun article saying he was more relieved than upset by the service shutdown and was looking forward to new ventures.
On his LinkedIn profile page, Greenberg described himself as Grooveshark's CTO, as well as a co-founder of TapShield, which focused on enhanced 911 technology. His LinkedIn URL featured, rather than his name, the words "anythingispossible." Grooveshark fans paid tribute to Greenberg on social media sites Monday: