Tumbling down the rabbit hole of time...


It was 2006/2007, and I wanted to harness the power of crowdsourcing. The idea was simple - a website for recommendations. Not algorithmically curated, but people curated.

Music, Movies, Books, and more. You'd search for your favorite, and see a bunch of user-submitted recommendations ranked in a digg/reddit style voting system.

I built it in PHP, launched it and then... I hustled to promote it. As most crowdsourcing sites, the fatal flaw I knew I was fighting against was building up the critical mass to keep the site rolling on its own momentum.

I did everything I could to help it take off. One approach was to feature lesser-known musicians, along with some of their tracks that people could preview. The idea was symbiotic: their following would see my site, my users would see the musician.

I got in touch with many artists, performers over the course of months - and while I'm sad to say my website never reached critical mass, and odd thing happened over the weekend.

While catching some Grammy news, I saw a familiar face on the red carpet. I couldn't place it at first - it wasn't the same feeling as trying to remember what other movies you'd seen a particular actor in... this feeling was one of familiarity - I'd interacted with this person.

After tumbling down the rabbit hole of time, I realized (as you may have guessed) it was one of the very artists I'd featured on my little website 16 years ago. Still a performer, and also the Grammy's Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador.

Our paths crossed for just a brief moment. While I doubt I played a role in her success - if there's any lesson to be learned here it's just simply about the pleasant surprises you'll have over the years as you cast a wide net when building your network.


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