Have you ever heard of an app called Cameo? Is the brainchild of entrepreneur Steven Galanis and it is quite unique. It allows people to pay a fee in order to get celebrities to send them a personalized video message via the app. That whole idea sounds both intriguing and somewhat difficult to pull off unless you have a lot of ties to certain celebrities, that is. All that aside, the very concept of such a startup makes most people want to learn more about the person behind it. That curiosity grows even more when you consider the fact that he has now made about $1 billion with the startup, the first one that he has ever been involved with. What is it about him that allows him to pull these types of things off? Here are 10 things about him that might help clue you in.
1. He used to trade stocks
Back before he decided to become an entrepreneur, he traded stocks on Wall Street. He has openly talked about the difference in pace between being an entrepreneur and trading stocks. He says that while there are similarities, such as the constant drive to do better and the amount of competition involved, he very much prefers being an entrepreneur as opposed to running himself ragged on Wall Street just so he can make someone else rich.
2. He also worked at LinkedIn
He also tried a stint as an account executive at LinkedIn. He says it wasn't a bad job, but it just wasn't for him. He's always had a penchant for thinking of new ideas and then turning them into new ways to make money. For him, the structured 9-to-5 lifestyle just wasn't working and he wanted to do something different with his life.
3. He definitely doesn’t have any trouble getting celebrities to participate
That is one of the driving factors that eventually caused him to create Cameo. While a lot of people might think that it would be difficult to get celebrities to participate in such an app, that hasn't been his experience at all. In fact, he has more than 40,000 celebrities on his list of regular participants and he's constantly signing more every week.
4. He’s amazed at how quickly the company has grown
He says that in a time span of just four years, he's gone from zero clients (and zero celebrities) to the aforementioned 40,000 celebrities and more than one million people who have booked a video message. That's a huge amount of growth in a very short amount of time, something that has amazed him over the years. He says that while it's definitely a good thing, it can also be overwhelming at times. For example, he's now managing more than 200 people who all work remotely. He says that is the biggest challenge for him, especially given the fact that he's never managed that many people before in his life.
5. He came up with the idea for his business at a funeral
Of all places to come up with an idea for a new business, he got the idea for Cameo at his grandmother's funeral. It was when one of his friends came to the funeral and showed him a video that an NFL player had made, congratulating someone on a monumental event in their life. He says that as soon as he saw the video, he got the idea for Cameo and he started working to make that dream a reality the very next day.
6. He finds ways to feel like he has more time
He doesn't particularly like to feel pressured when it comes to time. As such, he is currently living in Miami, but he actually has his calendar and everything else set to Pacific time, which is three hours earlier. For him, it's all about having the time to get creative and get the day started off on the right foot, something that he says is absolutely crucial for his success.
7. He realizes that creativity is the key to success
He realized a long time ago that creativity is indeed the key to success in any business, but especially when you're an entrepreneur. You always have to be thinking ahead of everyone else. That is precisely why he gives himself that creative time in the morning. Without it, he says that he would never have been able to grow Cameo to the point where it is today.
8. He has a natural ability to attract people
This goes back to his ability to get celebrities to sign with his company. Some people just have a natural charisma about them and that makes people want to do what they are asking them to do. He seems to have been born with this and says that he's used it to his advantage throughout his entire life. In this case, it definitely helps him grow his business.
9. He thinks his whole team is more talented than he is
He genuinely believes that his entire team of more than 200 people have far more talent than he has himself. He has said many times over that he is probably the worst employee out of the entire company. Moreover, he's gone on to say that the people who work with him could easily run the company in his place if necessary. In short, he surrounds himself with people who are talented, passionate and driven and he doesn't worry about the rest.
10. He doesn’t try to cover up his mistakes
He also doesn't make an effort at covering up his mistakes. It's always baffled him why so many people try to cover up their mistakes as if they never made any. Mistakes are part of being human. It's impossible to get anywhere in life without making them, so why cover them up? As far as he's concerned, it's much better to admit to them and move on then it is to try to act like you never made them in the first place because everyone already knows the truth.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee