If a picture is worth a thousand words then you already know that Chamillionaire is having a great time with his new startup Convoz. He’s here on stage with Snoop Dogg and they had just dialed in Shaq to record a live video for his platform. It was just announced today on TechCrunch.
We’ve known each other for nearly a decade and he’s been a friend, a co-investor in startups and a mentor to many startups with whom I’ve worked. As you can imagine, when you introduce tech professionals or VCs to a grammy-award winning rap artist they start with pre-conceived ideas but of course that “pattern matching” is what leads our industry to underestimate people. Cham is generationally talented and his insights about what make audiences tick has led him to be a valued investor and mentor at companies like Maker Studios and Cruise (acquired for $700 million and $1 billion respectively).
So of course when Cham wanted to build his own startup I was first in line asking to fund him. In creating Convoz, I have watched Cham literally dissect every screen interaction, UX navigation, social integration, etc. He has embodied the typical founder journey you would expect from any dropout kid from Stanford or Harvard. I would put him high on the list of startup founders who have a deep knowledge of the users they serve, what is unique about their app and how to build a product for scale.
Along with his co-founder Nsilo Reddick they have been active users in their app and have embodied what is truly unique about Convoz. In a world in which influencers are tired of people trolled on social platforms and everyday users are tired of superficial social promotion, he is built a video application in which real people can have asynchronous conversations that matter and are curated to avoid trolls.
If chameleon is a metaphor for somebody who can cross over and fit in with any environment in which they inhabit then choosing the public name Chamillionaire was a stroke of genius because the man that I know well is a cross-over genius who has mastered both worlds.
I don’t really want to tell you about his presentation because it was such a masterpiece, so profound & insightful that I’d urge you just to watch it yourself. I promise you insights, entertainment, emotion, thoughtful challenges and a bit of celebrity guest appearances 🙂 TED — eat your heart out.
Next up for Cham? He will have to prove that he can hit the fund-raising trail as hard as he’s hit the product development phase of Convoz and if history is any lesson for me, I predict continued success.