(Rap) Genius was one of the most unlikable tech startups of the past decade-plus. On a purely aesthetic level, its founders dressed like this and wore sunglasses indoors. They were non-Black people making money off of an overwhelmingly Black art form. They went from Yale and Stanford to working at hedge funds and law firms to deciding their new corporate image should be “we’re not afraid to tell Warren Buffett to suck a dick.” They said their site wasn’t “just crowdsourced…it was homiesourced…then we decided we wanted it to be ballersourced.” One of them got fired for writing that the manifesto left behind by incel spree murderer Elliot Rodger was “beautifully written” and that he guessed that Rodger’s sister was “smokin hot.”
True Genius: How to go from “the future of journalism” to a fire sale in a few short years
Genius (née Rap Genius) wanted to “annotate the world” and give your content a giant comment section you can’t control. Now it can’t pay back its investors.