We got a chance to interview Mahbod Moghadam who is on a mission to create the Wikipedia for the Snapchat generation. This is an exclusive interview with him with some really interesting answers from him and we are sure you will have a great time reading this interview.
You have got quite an unusual and really interesting name. Can you tell us the meaning of your name as well as any interesting stories related to it?
My name means Moon Power! It is kinda supposed to be the Persian version of my Hebrew name, Nouriel, which means “light of God”, which was my Grandfather’s name (I never met him). Apparently he had red hair which is interesting for a Persian. Until age 20 I went by “Matt” in school, but my hippie friends in college convinced me to switch back to my Persian name. I kind of regret it! It is strange to be so eminently Googleable – I actually win the search for “Mahbod” even though the author Mahbod Seraji used to win it.. but I’m crushing him now, even though he’s the Better of the Bods, for sure..
Your first venture was Rap Genius, what was the idea behind it and how did you manage the initial execution to scale it? Surely this will help a lot of young entrepreneurs to learn from your success.
Genius (f/k/a Rap Genius) tells you the meaning of lyrics and other texts. It was not my idea, it was the idea of my homie Tom Lehman. The way we scaled it is that I annotated pretty much every classic rap song ever. My annotations were mostly incorrect, but whatever! They were funny. So that got the ball rolling. Now there is a huge community working on the site and it is one of the biggest sites in the world!
You have been a topic of controversy for your outspoken and bold words at times. Can you share an experience which landed you in trouble and looking back would you do it differently or was it really fun?
Obviously, I regret all the times I got into trouble! My biggest error of all was when I wrote a primer on theft from the most upscale grocery chain entitled “How To Steal From Whole Foods”. The article has since been taken down, but if you go to the wiki for it, there is a link to the archived version, so you can still read it. I feel terrible that I encouraged young people to steal. Nowadays I don’t steal much anymore – only from the bulk bins, which I think is ok since come on, who is going to pay $14.99/lb for organic hazelnuts??! Just let me eat my filberts homie! Damn..
You eventually moved on to establish Everipedia which is frankly one of the fastest growing wiki sites out there and really well organized. Can you tell us the vision behind Everipedia?
Wikipedia is a relic from 2001. It is very difficult to use, very strict, has no incentives for users, celebrities aren’t allowed to use it, it has no developers – I could go on. Wikipedia’s problems stem from the fact that it is a non-profit, so they have no incentive to improve. And yet, it is the 6th biggest site in the world! Plus there are all these other shitty, backwards wiki sites like Wikia, Crunchbase, Wikihow, etc. – we aim to build a for-profit Wikipedia that is fun to use, with sophisticated software like Quora/Genius. There are incentives for community members to contribute too! It is going to be the biggest site of all time. We’re building Wikipedia for the Snapchat generation!
In what way is Everipedia better than Wikipedia?
The whole U.I. is way better, plus the fact that we have a dedicated team with a genius, Zuck-like CEO at the helm (he goes by the name of Sam Kazemian). But some of my favorite features are: we don’t delete pages, you can add gifs and videos, celebrities can get “Verified Accounts” with a blue checkmark, you get IQ points and merit badges for your contributions, and you can easily edit pages from your phone.
How has the journey been so far with Everipedia? Would you like to share any impressive numbers with us over here?
We are already one of the 7K biggest sites in the U.S.! We’re raised $700K in angel funding and are always on the lookout for investors who share our vision. We have 8 people working on the site full-time including 2 full-stack developers. We already have communities in China, Germany, Brazil and India.
Your website’s Indian part “Everipedia India” is also doing really well. Most of our readers are from India, so can you tell us about your expansion plan in India?
EP India was started by Shikhar Srivastava, a brilliant man. Check out Everipedia India on Facebook, it already has 20K fans! Crowd knowledge sites do especially well in India since everyone there is smart LOL – for example, Quora has a higher rank in India than in the U.S. So we think the EP India community is going to be one of our biggest verticals. We don’t have that much traffic yet in India – we are ranked 41,000 – but it is growing very fast.
Who are your star employees at Everipedia and how do you manage day to day work?
The entire team is incredibly dedicated. The dudes I manage are Executive Editors Angel Ordaz, Dave Liebowitz and Navin Vethanayagam – although it’s not really clear what “manage” means here since they are ultra dedicated to the cause and are really running the show. Our work consists of making hit pages, teaching others how to create and edit pages, getting press coverage for the site, and reaching out to potential investors. We call it “The Four Pillars” – it is our religion!
Any message for Tell Me Nothing readers from Mahbod Moghadam?
PLEASE JOIN US!! You can register for an account here. I’m sure a lot of your readers are involved in startups – the best thing you can do for your startup is to get a wiki started! There is a global black market of dishonest people who exchange money for Wikipedia pages.. we think this entire charade is stupid, so we are eliminating the corrupt middlemen.
Hope you had a good time reading this interview of Mahbod Moghadam. Please sign up on Everipedia and we hope you love the site!
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