I had the great pleasure of talking to one of my favorite entrepreneurs Mahbod Moghadam. Mahbod is a serial entrepreneur and his current company – Everipedia – is offering a cool and user-friendly version of an encyclopedia, or the “Wikipedia for the Snapchat generation” as Mahbod puts it.
I use Everipedia myself every day and if there is one website I recommend to my friends in the start-up community these days, especially in India, it is everipedia.com so it was great talking to Mahbod about the product and the team behind it.
Mahbod, thank you for taking the time to talk to Stannals. How would you describe your journey as an entrepreneur so far?
I am a simple man, but I have been fortunate to work with some mega-ballers on my companies: my CEOs. Tom Lehman – CEO of Rap Genius – and Sam Kazemian – CEO of Everipedia – are two of the biggest ballers in world history. They are right up there with Zuck! These are dudes who built their own product, but also have the power to lead a team of thousands of people. It is a rare combination. As an investor, as well as a cofounder, this is the ONLY type of person I will work with! Someone who built the product, and can also lead the team. I guess I’ve been spoiled.
You might be asking yourself, then, if my cofounders have so much talent: what do I bring to the team? I consider myself the guru of both Rap Genius and Everipedia. My job is to make everyone feel good. If you want to feel good.. follow me.
Tell us more about Everipedia.
Everipedia is Wikipedia for the Snapchat generation – you can easily make wikis from your phone, you can add gifs, videos – it’s a lot of fun! Celebrities can get “Verified Accounts” with a blue checkmark, like on Instagram. I got really excited about the product and asked to join the team when Sam showed me my wiki – I had always wanted a wiki. Someone made me one on Wikipedia in 2013, but they deleted it, they said I’m not important enough to have one!
What are some of the ways in which Everipedia is better than Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is from 2001 – it is a relic of the old internet. The software has hardly changed in 16 years! Everipedia is inspired by sites like Genius/Quora/StackOverflow – wiki sites that have far superior software, but have different goals than Wikipedia. The best way to test Everipedia is to make your own page! It’s a lot of fun and very easy.
How do you tackle every day challenges like striking a work-life balance being an entrepreneur?
The key is the GYM! Everyone on the Everipedia team is required to go to the gym every day. We are basically a fitness cult – we just happen to also run a website. We go to the UCLA gym since we are very close to campus. It is the bomb.
Is winning important to you or are you someone who focuses on the process and isn’t too concerned with the outcome whether you win or lose?
I don’t care about winning at all! I just care about having fun. My favorite part about working at Rap Genius was that I could use the company card to buy myself expensive sushi lunches at Whole Foods – as soon as Everipedia is making enough money, I’ll be doing the same thing again at Everipedia! As long as I’m eating sushi, and making something cool with my friends, that’s all I care about. The best part about working at Everipedia is that I am surrounded by homies! My teammates are the best. Our CTO Travis Moore is basically a street philosopher – I consider him my rabbi.
Are there any entrepreneurs that you have always looked up to?
ZUCK! Nobody else comes close to Zuck. The reason I decided to dedicate myself full-time to Rap Genius was that I saw the movie “The Social Network” and it totally made me lose my mind. I found Zuck’s character to be very inspiring! Facebook has changed my life more than any technology in the world. I am completely immersed in it – I live a “Facebook First” existence. Facebook is real life – the rest is just shadows, like Plato says in the “Allegory to the Cave”.
Can you share a personal experience with our readers that has had a profound impact on your life and how has it helped you become a better entrepreneur and a better person?
My article “How To Steal From Whole Foods” got me into a lot of trouble. Ben Horowitz personally called me and yelled at me. The CEO of Whole Foods called me and threatened to ban me from the store for life! It was awful. The big lesson I learned from this experience was this: if you are stealing stuff, then don’t tell the whole world about it! Just keep it to yourself. It was reminiscent of what happens to Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” – I just couldn’t resist sharing my secrets! And I got burned.
What is the long term vision with Everipedia?
Everipedia is going to be the biggest site of all time. Wikipedia is the 6th-biggest site, and it doesn’t have a paid staff, or cool software. Being the “for-profit Wikipedia” is going to send us into the stratosphere. Wikipedia has about 5 million pages – we will eventually have billions of pages, just like Facebook has. We want to be the “Facebook wiki” and cover ALL the world’s information! It is going to be huge.
Do you have a message for your fellow entrepreneurs from around the world who might be reading this?
JOIN US! Register for Everipedia, it is still a young platform so you can get a lot of attention. Make a page about your startup and I will help you share it! It is the best way to get a lot of eyeballs on your product, and it is 100% free.