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“I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’ve always had a side hustle no matter what it was.” –Steven Galanis
Steven Galanis’s career has spanned from options trader, to film producer, to now CEO and Co-Founder of Cameo, a platform where fans can book personalized video shout outs from their favorite celebrities. Founded on the idea that “selfies are the new autograph,” Cameo has more than 15,000 notable talents on the platform today, making it larger than any agency on earth.
Cameo is changing the way the entertainment industry has traditionally worked. It used to be that an agent represented the talent and booked work for them. Now, Cameo provides talent the ability to opt-in only to opportunities they want, which creates an authenticity Cameo can thrive on. Big names such as Cassius Marsh, Brett Farve, and Snoop Dogg have joined and love the platform, which just raised their $50 million dollar Series B round and are hiring new staff.
Prior to founding Cameo, Steven was an options trader for the Chicago Board of Trade, where he quickly realized that the trading pit was hierarchical and slow to adopt technology.
“Everybody was always talking about what had been,” Steven said. “When I moved to tech, everybody was talking about what could be.”
Steven didn’t settle on the trading floor for long. He quickly found his way into the film industry, where he produced movies and television shows and eventually was introduced to his co-founder of Cameo.
“You hear about product market fit a lot,” Steven said, “but founder market fit might be even more important.” Each founder filled an important role with specific skill sets that worked well together for founding Cameo.
In this episode, Chad and Steven discuss the founding of Cameo, how the company is changing the way the entertainment industry has traditionally worked, and the importance of founder market fit.
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Quotes by Steve:
7:02 – [On his time in the trading pit] “Everybody was always talking about what had been and when I moved to tech, everybody was talking about what could be.”
9:17 – “I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’ve always had a side hustle no matter what it was.”
14:24 – [On finding his Cameo co-founders] “You hear about product market fit a lot, but founder market fit might be even more important.”
26:48 – [On the response from agents in the entertainment industry] “We have not grown because the agents have embraced it. We’ve really just built such a great talent experience that the talent loves it so much.”
31:55 – “At Cameo, we are huge on the concept of growth mindset. I tell my team all the time that 5 years from now you aren’t going to be doing the same job as you have today. This company is growing so fast that we are going to need you to grow new skill sets because there’s whole departments here that don’t exist yet.”