Ever wonder what the life of a young start-up looks like? The Everipedia team embodies the true beginnings of a start-up on the rise. Everyone living together under one roof, coding, contributing product content and taking the occasional breaks for dancing and workouts.
We had the pleasure of speaking with the entire team of Everipedia a young company that is looking to revolutionize human knowledge as we know it, taking on the big established players such as Wikipedia and Facebook. At the helm, Sam Kazemian and Mahbod Moghadam his co-founder, the self-anointed “adult” leads Everipedia’s growth strategy and vision. Mahbod himself is no stranger to controversy having been at the center of several pr fiascos as Co-founder of RapGenius and even surviving the removal of a brain tumor of which he partially blames for his past erratic behavior. That said, Mahbod expresses regret for his numerous public outbursts and somewhat wacky sense of humor which often lands him in trouble. His new more humble self now prefers kindness over anger. These days when someone angers him he resorts to writing positive and wonderful entries in their Everipedia page. because as he puts it, “when you make someone’s Everipedia page, its impossible not to like them”
Mahbod and Sam connected in 2014 when Mahbod who had left Rap Genius and planned on retiring was giving a talk at UCLA. Sam approached Mahbod and showed him his Everipedia page which resonated with Mahbod because he had always wanted his own wiki and had tried but had been denied. A partnership was born. Everipedia is the 2.0 version of Wikipedia, building on the existing knowledge base and adding social and transparency features. Other members of the founding team include Travis Moore and Angel Ordaz who also joined us in the conversation.
Everipedia aims to correct and improve upon many of the frustrations voiced about Wikipedia such as the inability of non-notable figures or startups to have their own pages, the lack of diversity of topics due to admin policing and deletionism, which is also related to the fact that most of the admins are predominantly white western males. Wikipedia has been criticized because essentially it’s these admins that control site content and determine what is and isn’t notable , so even popular trending topics are not necessarily covered in Wikipedia.
Everipedia by contrast allows anyone to create a page about anything, provides Verified accounts for celebrities who can also edit their own pages, provides reputation IQ points for adding reputable content, only allows for working URLs as reference, and is transparent and social with links back to Facebook & Twitter.
The question the Everipedia team asks themselves regularly is what would Wikipedia look like if Mark Zuckerberg built it? And that is what they are striving to build.
Sam originally came up with the project out of a desire to be able to post a page about anything essentially democratizing knowledge for the masses. Yet, he knew competing with Wikipedia the 6th's largest site on the web would be challenging given the vast amount of content Wikipedia already has, he knew it would be hard to compete starting from scratch, so why not build on top of it?
Everipedia uses the building blocks of Wikipedia, with pages linked back to reference original Wiki content, yet with the ability to build upon that creating the potential for an even larger encyclopedia of knowledge. Top page editors are listed visibly on the page unlike Wikipedia so you can see who has done the work. Creating a social experience is also a big difference to the site where people can comment and interact with page editors. Everipedia is taking the best features of the most popular sites today Facebook, Wikipedia and RapGenius and integrating them into one experience.
As you can imagine, the team spends A LOT of time together and their fun is centered around building site content, a term they call “Ewoking” which comes from the Rap Genius user named after EwokABDevito, who has the highest IQ on the site.
And the hard work is paying off, according Mahbod in fact “blowing up” and hitting milestones at a 3x rate to what he achieved at RapGenius. The company is currently hosting a Wefunder campaign that allows anyone to invest in the company which is very much in line with their philosophy of democratizing knowledge and now the funding process.
For a nice musical interlude, check out Mahbod's piano mastery of Bach.