Ashkan Karbasfrooshan

Ashkan Karbasfrooshan
A finalist for the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for in the media category, Ashkan Karbasfrooshan is the founder of Granicus Group and CEO of WatchMojo, one of the leading producers and providers of professional video content to portals, web publishers, online magazines, academic publishers, blogs, social networks and video portals. The company boasts a library of over 8,000 videos on pop culture and infotainment and has served over 1.3 billion without any outside financing. WatchMojo has been profitable since November 2010. Its out-of-home network reaches over 40 million consumers per month in the US alone. A finance graduate from one of the top colleges in the nation, Ashkan started his career as in-house finance analyst at one of the original meta-search engines on the Web, Mamma. From there he worked in the online publishing industry where he headed up advertising sales for AskMen, generating $10 million of dollars in sales which culminated with the $13.5 million sale of the company to News Corp. He left News Corp. and established Mojo Supreme in 2006 as an incubator which spawned multiple projects, including WatchMojo.com, which took off and today counts media companies and marketers as clients. A prolific writer, he has written thousands of articles on business, sports, entertainment, lifestyle, pop culture, travel and much more. His articles have been published on MSN, AOL, Yahoo!, MediaPost, PaidContent, GigaOm and Tech Crunch and he and has been quoted in Forbes, the BBC, Business Week, CNET, etc. Ashkan is also the host of the HipMojo show on the business of new media and online video. He is the author of Course to Success: Everything You Need to Succeed Beyond School and The Confessions of Alexander the Great: 33 Lessons in Greatness. He holds a degree in Commerce and lives in Montreal and New York City. He is married with two children. CrunchBase profile →

Latest from Ashkan Karbasfrooshan

  • If Financing is Marriage, is M&A Death?

    If Financing is Marriage, is M&A Death?

    Not a week goes by where I don’t get an email that goes like this: “I wanted to reconnect, as I’ve recently left [the company that bought my startup].  Long story, but suffice it to say their executives and I did not share the same vision for the future.” Let’s face it, although there have been some smashing successes, more often than not, Mergers &… Read More

  • CEO Bloggers: To Blog or Not to Blog

    CEO Bloggers: To Blog or Not to Blog

    “Where do you get the time to write so much as a company CEO, and more importantly, shouldn’t you be closing deals or doing something more useful?” Fair enough. Do What Comes Naturally To You Some entrepreneurs are technologists, others are salespeople, a few are storytellers. Read More

  • The Future Of Content: Content Is The Future

    The Future Of Content: Content Is The Future

    Today, the Web’s infrastructure is built, the platforms have emerged; we’re now filling the pipes with content; mainly free, ad-supported content. Anyone who’s worked in user-generated/appropriated content aggregation recognizes its limitations: marketers want professional content since publishers filter audiences for advertisers. Tim Armstrong left Google (the mother of… Read More

  • Is Technology A Zero-Sum Game?

    Is Technology A Zero-Sum Game?

    In last week’s Get Rich or Die Trying article, I mentioned that “tech is a zero-sum, winner takes all game”.  A reader objected, arguing: “I think that may be an inappropriate use of the term ‘zero-sum’ – one company’s increase in profits (or revenue) does not mean a competitor must see declining profits (or revenue)”. History suggests… Read More

  • Get Rich or Die Trying

    Get Rich or Die Trying

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
    President Calvin Coolidge Determination is critical to success as… Read More

  • Why Entrepreneurs Fail And Most Startups Are DOA

    Why Entrepreneurs Fail And Most Startups Are DOA

    This isn’t an anti-entrepreneur rant. It’s also not a piece to discourage anyone from launching their own business. It’s a warning for those who seek to launch their startup to understand some of the lesser-discussed reasons why 99% of new businesses are Dead On Arrival. As outlined, success is 1) subjective, relative and fluid: i) we define success based… Read More

  • Entrepreneurs Are Difficult At Best And Abrasive at Worst — Get Over It

    Entrepreneurs Are Difficult At Best And Abrasive at Worst — Get Over It

    The greatest entrepreneurs follow their gut and as a result are perceived as difficult at best and abrasive at worst. Most people who know me say I’m too diplomatic, but last week my advisor told me that someone asked him if I was “difficult”. His answer was “if Ash was difficult, I wouldn’t work with him.” I was going to write something on the matter, but… Read More

  • What A Love Doctor Taught Me About Fundraising

    What A Love Doctor Taught Me About Fundraising

    Oprah Winfrey recently interviewed Anthony Robbins, who talked about “how we’re defined by the stories we tell ourselves”. Last month, I met two investors; one of them asked how come I’d never raised capital. I answered with the “story” I’d told for 6 years to the point I believed it: “No one really wants to invest in a producer of video… Read More

  • How To Get People To Do What You Want

    How To Get People To Do What You Want

    Leadership in management is the art and science of getting others to do what they don’t necessarily want – or don’t understand why they’re being asked – to do. Doing it at a startup is accomplishing all of that in the face of uncertainty and with little resources. Now imagine doing that without the war chest supplied to you by VCs as you bootstrap. Good times… Read More

  • Seize Your Opportunities Like Jeremy Lin

    Seize Your Opportunities Like Jeremy Lin

    Last week, Forbes contributor Eric Jackson published a list on the 9 lessons that Jeremy Lin can teach you; number 2 on his list was “Seize the Opportunity”. Lin’s not the first, and he won’t be the last, but his meteoric rise has reminded us once again that anything is possible if you seize the opportunity. In this article, we’ll expand on that and discuss how… Read More

  • Patience is a Virtue, for Losers

    Patience is a Virtue, for Losers

    Patience is one of the seven virtues, the lesser-known cousins of the seven sins.  And indeed, “patience is a virtue” – or so goes the saying.  But another saying states that “fortune favors the bold.” So which one is it? It’s not that patience isn’t valued; it’s that no one else is actually all that patient.  Whether you are growing a business… Read More

  • Mark Zuckerberg’s 6 Ingredients For Success

    Mark Zuckerberg’s 6 Ingredients For Success

    Leadership guru Warren Bennis asked whether leaders are born or made. When asked if Wall Street would accept a young Mark Zuckerberg in his early 20s as CEO, Facebook investor Peter Thiel said: “Well, we’ll wait until he’s over 25 to file”.  Wise move, considering that Mark’s title on his business cards read “I’m CEO, bitch”. This week… Read More

  • To Pivot or Not to Pivot

    To Pivot or Not to Pivot

    Ah, the internet – how you hijack our vocabulary.  A few years ago, “embedded” had connotations of journalists following soldiers.  Today, it’s most associated with YouTube clips.  Similarly, a pivot was something that I vaguely recall my basketball coach talking about.  Today, it’s the repositioning of a company and without a doubt, 2011 was the year of… Read More