Happy Independence Day!
Today we are chatting with one of my heroes, Todd Galloway from my favorite guilty pleasure, Fafarazzi.com.
(Here Todd is pictured with pop culture icon Perez Hilton.)
Thanks for dropping by, Toddles. I mean, Todd. Please tell our readers, what the heck is Fafarazzi and how did you come up with the name?
Fafarazzi.com is the original Fantasy Celebrity Leagues site, it works like fantasy football, but you pick a team of celebs instead of athletes and they score based on the amount of publicity they get each day. We also do games based around reality TV shows like Big Brother,Rock of Love, Project Runway, and all the other big ones.
We came up with name by kinda tossing around some celeb related words- and then putting F's on them, for "fantasy" When we said Fafarazzi it sorta struck us as a good one. We figured people would shorten it up to Fafa which is kinda nice, short, and quirky -- which they did! We kinda put "Fafa" in front of everything now.
We've talked about your decision to get "unstuck" from a job
that wasn't making you happy to starting this online mecca for people like me who love pop culture. How did you go about making the move from whatever you did before to whatever it is you do now. And what exactly do you do now? Sample day?
Making the move....I had always been tinkering w/ the internet, starting up little sites,learning more and more. Additionally, I'd helped start a small business with my friends that we all ran on the side. I always kinda knew I'd like to get outta the corporate world and do my own thing --but making that jump, of course, was pretty tough. I'd toiled with it for months before getting serious about making a decision.
The thing that really got me over the edge was a blog post by Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy. It's a simple thought exercise -- What's theworst that could happen? If I quit my job, what is the absolute worst thing that could happen to me? I wasn't gonna starve to death and I wasn't gonna be left in the cold homeless -- I knew those for sure.So the absolute worst case scenario was that my ventures failed and I'd have to get a new office job. Totally not the end of the world. Not jumping would have left me always wondering 'what if?'
Another factor was that I was single and had no kids, so a jump then was infinitely less risky than a jump w/ a mortgage and family to support.
What do I do now, Sample day....I work from a home office alongside 2 other Fafa employees/owners. There really isn't a typical day (which in itself is cliched!) -- butI just kinda run stuff. Sometimes its talking among ourselves aboutwhat new games and features we want to create, and then starting in on the design and development of them. Sometimes its marketing projects or contests we want to run. A few meetings here and there w/ people outside the company we're working with. Aside from that I love talking to everyone on the site in the Forums and in the leagues I play in w/ my Fafa friends. Reading gossip and watching reality TV is part of the 'work day', too, which I can't complain about. When you deal w/ celeb gossip there's no such thing as NSFW!
What kind of background do you have that helps this business (schooling, job experience, etc) and is there something you wished you had more background in that would help you now?
I majored in MIS in college, Management Information Systems -- which is a blend of computer science and business, basically. It's basically how to apply technology to business. Besides that I had been teaching myself "internet stuff" since I was 16. Early webpage coding, design/photoshop stuff, and databases. Really -- the self taught part turned out to be more valuable than the curriculum. Not just from a knowledge standpoint - but moreover in learning how everything worked and having to do problem solving on your own.
When you were in high school, did you see yourself living a different life than you are now? How so?
A little bit - I don't think I realized I'd have such a strong desire to work on my own. I think it took being in that office environment everyday to realize that. I did have some thoughts about doing freelance web development or running a small web design/development shop a few times. Which woulda been cool, too, but more client-focused.
If you got to go back in time and tell TeenTodd one really cool thing about his future, what would it be?
College is gonna be frickin awesome. You're gonna wanna stay 5 years,and you will, and it will be worth it.
We yammer about prom all the time on this blog...do you have agood prom story?
Haha,, yes! I kinda forgot about this til you asked. Apparently some people at prom didn't think the DJ was very good - they kept requesting songs, and he wouldn't play them. The DJ got pissed about all the requests and, without notice, played "Come On Ride The Train"as our last-song for prom. Everyone just figured there was another slow song coming afterwards, but nope. I think he had to write our class an official apology the next week.
I know the readers who aren't still in high school are gonna ask me, so you may as well spill now--Happily Single, Single but looking,or In a relationship? Don't blame me for the question, it's not my fault you're cute.
Haha,, thanks, i'm flattered and single.
What surprises you the most about Fafarazzi now that it's coming up on it's second anniversary? (and yes, I've been there since I think the second week of the public launch. I'm very loyal. And gossip is usually the only news I know.)
I think the thing that surprises me the most is all the different ways we've been able to expand Fafarazzi. Our first focus was only on the Fantasy Celebrity Leagues, and we've expanded into social networking stuff, tv games, and other pop culture related games. Another cool thing is seeing the different ways everyone play on Fafa. Some people have been really creative with creating leagues with themes, special rules, trivia, prizes, etc.
Do you have anything you want to plug?
TV Fantasy Games for Project Runway, Big Brother and VH1's I LoveMoney are all starting in the first weeks of July!
My signature interview quesion. You are stranded on a deserted island and your iPod has only three songs on it. What do you hope they are?
Well, if I'm stranded I better have something upbeat on there.
- Happy Frappy by Guster. It's overly cheery, great song.
- Happy Kid by Nada Surf. I'm obsessed w/ Nada Surf right now, and its a great upbeat one.
- Over The Hills And Far Away by Led Zeppelin
Thanks for the great interview Todd!