Rap Genius Cofounder Tom Lehman Says The Best Businesses Start Out As Cool Projects
With Rap Genius back among Google's top searches, after the end much publicized feud with search engine giant, focus has now returned to the site's actual product, and its plans to change the Internet.
For the three co-founders behind Rap Genius, Ilan Zechory, Mahbod Moghadam and Tom Lehman, it's safe to say that they have already changed the way in which music is revisited online.
The annotations that users and verified artists can add to lyrics, adds a whole other dimension of intrigue to visiting the site. They have, however, no intention of stopping there as they plan to revamp the Internet with what they call "genius" technology.
"We think it's going to revolutionize media," Moghadam told Elite Daily. "Eventually, you won't even have to go to the site. You'll go to Wall Street Journal and the Wall Street Journal is going to be annotated right on their website, it's just going to be 'genius powered.'"
Like most relatively young entrepreneurs, Rap Genius' cofounders have plans to not only create a good company, but one that has a massive, generation defining impact. Lehman, however, says that thinking of the end goal is a distraction. You can't consciously think of what you're doing as a "business," he says.
"You can't start it thinking it's going to be a business if you're trying to build a massive phenomenon, because you'll judge yourself too harshly," Lehman said. "It takes too long to get going. So, if we had been thinking about it as a business for the first year we would've been huge failures at business, because all we succeeded at was a cool art project."
That "cool art project" has a resulted into the creation of what has become a fascinating site. One that just scored a deal with Universal Music Publishing Group, which will allow it to Rap Genius to publish lyrics by Universal's artists.
To watch Elite Daily's complete interview of Rap Genius, click here.
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