HackerNoon Reporter: Please tell us briefly about your background.
I grew up in the world of entrepreneurship as the only child of two serial entrepreneurs. I chose CSU Chico for my graduate education because of a new Entrepreneurship major being offered as part of their Business College. After receiving my degree, I returned home to Petaluma, CA where I helped run Risibisi restaurant which I co-founded with my father in 2006.
What's your startup called? And in a sentence or two, what does it do?
Credder is the world’s leading news review platform, allowing verified journalists and the public to review articles, creating overall credibility scores for each article, author, and outlet.
You can think of Credder as the “Rotten Tomatoes for news”.
What is the origin story?
After receiving my degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, I returned home to run my family restaurant Risibisi in Petaluma, CA. After dealing with Yelp and Google reviews for the business for over 13 years, combined with my frustration with the lack of accountability in online news media and my role as co-host of the nationally syndicated media watchdog radio show Project Censored, I realized that a Yelp/Rotten Tomatoes for news was needed and timely.
What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?
As two friends from CSU Chico, my co-founder/CTO Austin Walter and I are unlikely heroes to reform online news media. But we felt the frustration first-hand as avid news consumers, understood how the advertising revenue model was causing a breakdown in the quality of journalism today, and took it upon ourselves to tackle the problem when we saw that no one else was. We were fortunate to bring on fantastic advisors like Patrick Lee, founding CEO of Rotten Tomatoes and Adeo Ressi, Founder of the Founder Institute. These two passionate, missionary founders have defied the odds at every stage of the company and continue to grow into their roles and responsibilities as the team that is connecting and empowering the world’s news consumers.
If you weren’t building your startup, what would you be doing?
I would be building a different startup, likely in the crypto space, or I would be a full-time investor in stocks, crypto, real-estate, and early-stage startups.
At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?
The core metrics we track daily are the total number of live reviews, total outlets rated, and total authors rated.
What’s most exciting about your traction to date?
Some key highlights include Credder’s over 10,700 live reviews, 213 outlets rated, 404 authors rated, winning the 2020 Mozilla Builders Award and cash prize, and winning the NBA’s Sacramento Kings Capitalize 2021 competition and cash prize.
What technologies are you currently most excited about, and most worried about? And why?
The technology I’m most worried about are blackbox content scoring AI that are not using an extensive training data set like Credder’s reviews to inform the algorithms. I’m most excited about decentralized technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, because as the only platform today that allows for the decentralized reputation of online sources, these other technologies prove that the world is moving in our direction.
What drew you to get published on HackerNoon? What do you like most about our platform?
I’m a big fan of HackerNoon’s community, would hope to consider myself friends with Founding CEO David Smooke, and love how open and welcoming HackerNoon’s self-publishing platform feels as it welcomes new writers and ideas.
What advice would you give to the 21-year-old version of yourself?
I’d say to go ahead and enjoy yourself because the next decade is going to be a lot of work and very stressful at times!
What is something surprising you've learned this year that your contemporaries would benefit from knowing?
Through my many interviews on the Credder Podcast with leaders in the content scoring and media rating industry, it is clear that a blackbox AI or machine learning algorithm is a hard sell to third-party platforms and customers because they need to be able to explain the technology to partners in their own supply chain. So if your scoring mechanism is not inherently obvious, accessible to all, and transparent every step of the way, you might have a solution that works but that no one trusts enough to use.