Mahbod Moghadam: Founder of Rap Genius and Everipedia
Thanks for being here Maboo, give the readers a 2-sentence pitch about yourself.
Yo yoooo! I am an Iranian dude who is really into crowd-knowledge! I started Genius.com, which tells you the meaning of lyrics, and now I’ve started Everipedia, which tells you the meaning of EVERYTHING! Yeeeee..
What is Everipedia and why should everyone (and everything) on Earth have a page on there?
(Disclaimer: I invested in Everipedia)
Everipedia is the “chill Wikipedia”. It would be cool, indeed, if someday, EVERYONE/EVERYTHING has a page on thurr. But my immediate fascination with the site arose when the CEO, Sam Kazemian, showed me MY Everipedia page when I was giving a talk at UCLA. I had always really wanted a Wikipedia page, and in 2013 somebody made one about me, but Wikipedia deleted it because they said I’m not notable enough to deserve it. Isn’t that effed up? So when Sam showed me my wiki, I had a “Eureka” moment where I thought this could be huge! And indeed, it’s growing really fast – already one of the top 7K sites in the U.S.
You also were a founder at Rap Genius, what did you learn there that you’re applying at Everipedia?
Everipedia is trying to follow the “Rap Genius” model. Pretty much all the legal arrangements between the founders, employees and investors mirrors what happened at Rap Genius. It’s cool because the sites are quite similar, so I feel like the precedent makes a lot of sense. Of course, a lot of the stuff is not a secret. The true credit goes to Y Combinator (Rap Genius’ incubator) and Clerky for making startup investing so streamlined and simple. If you think about it, it is a huge legal breakthrough – it’s very exciting that we live in an age where young peeps are routinely forming C-corporations.
Everipedia has done one thing that Rap Genius didn’t do tho, because it didn’t exist when Rap Genius was getting started – we raised $140K on WeFunder, a crowdfunding platform. I think this is really exciting because over 200 people invested in our WeFunder. Even if they only invested a small amount, I’m really hoping that all of these folks will consider themselves part of the “Everipedia family” and will be helping us grow the site!
Our Alexa Rank is the main metric we use to gauge our growth, both internally and to investors. Although it is flawed, every metric is flawed. The cool thing about Alexa is that everyone has access to it, and by ranking the sites it lets you compare one site to another. One of my main frustrations, however, is that apps don’t get an accurate Alexa rank.
Why does everything you touch blow up?
Jesus loves me homie. I’ve done so many stupid things, and I never get into trouble, I always get away with it. I flirt with disaster and always walk away unscathed. It’s insane.. I truly can’t believe I’m still even alive, much less ballin and running a company that’s blowin up.. I solemnly swear, however, that after Everipedia IPO’s, we are going to be giving a lot back to the community. It is a knowledge project, so I think Everipedia.org will find a lot of interesting ways to set up Everipedia-related programs in inner-city schools. We are doing this to teach the kids.
What is the end goal of Everipedia and how are you getting there?
EVERY PROPER NOUN DOGG. Like you said in the first question! It’s easy to say, but it is dizzying to think about – what if EVERYthing in the entire world had a wiki? Right now, everything has a shitty Google search – you Google search a person/place/whatever, and a robot gives you information. We want Everipedia to become the “crowdsourced Google” – all the world’s information at your fingertips, delivered through a fun, social community, rather than a robot.
I know you guys have a particular set of made up words that you use at Everipedia, what are those and what do they mean?
Our favorite word is “cucked” (short for “cuckold”) because the whole team is essentially a bunch of cucks.
The whole Everipedia team consisting of 7 people live and work together in one apartment. What are the pros and cons of that?
It is the only way to build what we are building! Rap Genius started the same way. There is a numinous air to what we are doing at Everipedia right now – essentially, we’re starting a new religion. That means our entire lives must be dedicated to this knowledge project – the only other priority is the gym, which we all hit up every day and we work out very hard. But if you think about it, even the workouts are in the service of Everipedia, since we aim to keep our minds sharp, and our pecks tense..
What one thing does Everipedia do that no other startup is doing?
At most companies, I get frustrated by the staff’s seeming disinterest with their own product. How many CEOs are regularly using their own product? Zuck does it, I know that for a fact, because he personally fb messaged me in 2012. Everipedia is trying to be like Zuck! We are all obsessed with our own product, we be Ewoking 24/7..
How many CEOs are regularly using their own product?
Do you have any favorite productivity tools like Slack, Asana, etc?
My favorite is Facebook! Everipedia uses Messenger for all of our corporate communication – we don’t need Slack! We are waiting for “Messenger for Enterprise” to be released, gonna be so dope. The other tool I can’t live without is Polymail, which has revolutionized my email! If you don’t have it.. GET IT.
Favorite EP page?
I love my own page because I’m in love with myself! I’m also a big fan of Cardi B’s page – the all-time most popular page on Everipedia – because she’s talented and beautiful.
What do you do on your free time?
I work out very hard every day. I go to the Wooden Center. Thug life. Also at night I play a little bit of piano, I am trying to learn the complete keyboard works of Bach.
What’s the plan after you exit Everipedia?
I want to get back to chillin! I was “funemployed” for a year between Rap Genius and Everipedia and it was an amazing time for me – I would go swimming every day.
That’s Maboo: the biggest hype-man and vision-selling person I know. I have never met any founder that talks about and uses his own product as much as he does, which is probably why I have tremendous respect for him. Despite his “funemployment” dreams, I foresee him never retiring but continuing to put out viral ideas out there, so you better invest in his next billion dollar startup. I know I am going to.
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