There are not a lot of startups who’ve both raised $15 million from a top investor like Andreessen Horowitz but have also told Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet to fellate them.
We’re not shy about controversy, though, so I’ll be interviewing the founders of lyric, law, and religious text explanation site Rap Genius on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, April 27th and 28th.
The Silicon Valley scene has gotten a bit too safe. Most founders only talk with a PR handler at their side. Not these guys.
Mahbod Moghadam, Ilan Zechory, and Tom Lehman pull no punches. They’re not afraid to lay out what’s wrong in the tech world, where they see the future going, or even their own shortcomings. They’re just a couple of guys from Yale who saw a big hole in the universe — there’s too much information out there that people don’t understand.
Their solution started small. Rap Genius was built as a site where anyone could explain the meaning of hip-hop lyrics, often dense with obscure references and dense metaphors. It was their grander vision that attracted a huge Series A from A16Z. They want to help the crowd decode everything from rock songs to the Declaration Of Independence, the Bible to Marc Andreessen’s own essays on building a company. Since then, the Rap Genius founders have ruffled a few feathers while building out their product.
On stage at Disrupt NY, I’ll grill Moghadam, Zechory, and Lehman about their refusal to censor themselves, how they’ll ever make good on their $15 million in funding, and fulfilling Ben Horowitz’s Netscape dream of annotating the web. They even have some outrageous outfits planned for their time in the TechCrunch conference spotlight. So learn more about Disrupt NY, buy your tickets, and come watch the sparks fly.
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[Image Credit: Danny Ghitis for The New York Times]