Since her departure from Drake’s entourage (where she worked as his longtime individual assistant) Courtne Smith has introduced a line of hair products; a giveaway game that dropped boodle like Yeezy shoes and Kardashian appeal items called Suprize; and now, NewNew, a social media based on the videos its users like and share.
Think of the pitch as TikTok meets Facebook, where users gather and produce networks based on the images, videos and memes they share.
When Suprize introduced in 2018 with the pledge of tickets to a Drake program and a special deal for a jacket from the artist’s Scorpion trip, sites like Complex and Refinery 29 took notice.
After a year in operation, so did financiers. The business Smith co-founded with Filip Diarra, a graphic designer and developer, brought in the attention of Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Canaan, Dreamers VC and Shrug Capital.
“We raised it actually to transition Suprize into a social discovery platform based upon ranking sharing and linking over cool things that you connect and that you agree with,” said Smith. “After time running Suprize we saw NewNew taking control of as the smarter, more scalable and more mature item to concentrate on actually.”
Social media services have tried to use ranking, list-making and sharing to establish a following, with companies like Wishbone and The Tylt utilizing lists and voting to generate traffic and as the hook for the site.
NewNew, by contrast, plans to produce a social graph around shared interest in videos or visual content, in similar manner in which Instagram produced a new platform for social networking. The difference is that NewNew won’t focus on material developers, but rather the passive fans who magnify those developers.
“We saw an opportunity to do something around ranking,” said Smith. “We’re consumed with short-form media and who it’s shown. The creation of your own social networks content. That’s tough … our focus is how it’s shared and who it’s shown rather than creating new material.”
Image Credits: NewNew Smith said that her business will exist in a “symbiotic relationship” with all the other content creation platforms. “There’s not actually a location to arrange the discussion around all the content that’s being shared. And that’s what NewNew is trying to do.”
For Smith, the launch of NewNew is simply the most recent step in a lifelong journey toward entrepreneurship, the young creator said. “I always wanted to be a business owner,” she stated. “My father was entrepreneurial. He had actually gone through a lot of career modifications in his life time. He was a football gamer, and then a real estate entrepreneur and after that a teacher.”
Another entrepreneurial role model was her pal and longtime employer, Drake. The 2 satisfied when he was just becoming well-known as a teenage actor in Toronto on the program Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Smith informed Vogue, “Drake and I have been buddies given that we were kids. I always discovered myself helping him arrange his things for work and travel years prior to he was the ‘6 God’ we now all like and know, so it was a quite natural transition from arranged buddy to assistant, at the time,” she stated. “I consider Drake among my good example and an excellent example of knowing your strengths and striving to get what you want in life.”
While Smith has actually worked in style and home entertainment, the tech industry always beckoned, she stated. “Tech was the important things that was impactful and huge and has the method to make the most distinction on the planet,” she stated.
Eventually, the hope is for NewNew to end up being an utility in the very same way that other huge social networks platforms have actually ended up being.
“There’s generations that matured on those platforms. We see ourselves becoming an utility down the road,” Smith said.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.