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There are stories we tell ourselves. There are stories we tell our friends. There are the stories we tell strangers. There are stories we never tell.
Somewhere, in the middle of all of this, is the Third Story. The intersection between the art and the craft, making a living and doing the living, the personal and the professional…The place where all of these meet is the Third Story.

The Third story features long-form interviews with creative people of all types, hosted by me, Leo Sidran. Their stories of discovery, loss, ambition, identity, improvisation, risk, and reward are deeply moving and compelling for all of us as we embark on our own creative journeys.

In addition to my passion for discovering and sharing the stories of others, I have built a career in New York as a musician and producer. Learn more at

Nov 30, 2017

Ralph Simon is on a relentless quest. That much is certain. His travel itinerary could easily be used in an upper-level high school geography class. Just in the week leading up to our conversation in London, he had been in Amsterdam, Berlin, Vilnius, and New York.

What is he in search of? That's a bit harder to define. The next thing in technology and entertainment. He might say it's something like "the next undiscovered young virtuosic talent" or "the latest in mobile and device innovation". Over the last 20 years, Ralph has become a recognizable face in the tech space, seemingly obsessed with the way mobile technology and content influence popular culture. At his core, Ralph loves a good hit.

His ability to find a hit, to create opportunity and add value to the creative class started long before the word mobile was a noun. Ralph was raised in South Africa during the Apartheid years. As a young man, he was a piano player, a concert promoter, and eventually a manager. He began his career co-founding the Zomba Group of music companies (including record label Jive Records) in the 1970s, building it into the world’s leading independent music and music publishing company.

In the 1990s he started to pivot toward tech, creating the first commercial ringtone company in the Americas, Europe, UK, Australia and Africa, and spurred a new and international mobile entertainment industry. He is often called the father of the ringtone. Today, he has become one of the most influential voices in the global mobile conversation.