Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman: Brud’s Trevor McFedries
You might not know Trevor McFedries yet, but if you’re on Instagram, you’ve probably met Miquela. She has millions of followers, hit singles and lucrative contracts with brands. But she’s not actually real. Miquela’s the creation of Trevor’s stealthy creative media studio Brud, and the delicate balance they strike between artificial and authentic is a master class for any scaling company.
In this first-ever in-depth interview with Trevor, he shares his bold plan to create celebrity at massive, multilingual scale; his advice for entrepreneurs of color as they fundraise; and his guidance for anyone connecting at scale: That once you build that connection with your audience, they don’t care HOW you made it. All they care about is how it makes them feel.
Genuine and emotional connections
- Building genuine connections with customers is crucial for successful scaling. By listening and engaging with customers, entrepreneurs can better understand their needs and foster loyalty. Lil Miquela’s approach shows the power of authentic, two-way relationships.
- Building an emotional connection with customers is crucial for business success, but it requires genuine authenticity. Companies should aim to make customers feel like part of a community while staying true to their brand identity.
The paradox of authenticity
- Being artificial doesn’t mean it cannot be authentic. Being upfront about artificiality can lead to authenticity.
- Being transparent about a product’s nature and incorporating diversity helps build authenticity, connection, and success.
- Seek trusted feedback, embrace uniqueness, and challenge societal norms to innovate.
Staying true to yoSeek Feedback and Stay True to Your Visionur vision
- Get advice from smart people and listen to their criticisms to make your idea unique. Be authentic when pitching to investors, and research who to approach. Connect with other founders for insights, but always stay true to your vision and persevere.
- Take time to research potential investors’ track records and understand the power dynamics of having a financial co-founder. Unproductive partnerships may require shutting a company down to move on to better opportunities. Encourage VCs to seek out diverse talent for successful investments.
When developing your idea, seek out advice from the smartest people you know and ask them what’s wrong with it. If the majority of these smart people tell you it won’t work, you may be on a good path. By taking their constructive criticisms, you can make your idea stand out and become unique.
Don’t try to be anyone other than yourself when seeking investors, and do your homework on who to approach.
The power of authentic connection
In today’s digital age, the power of authentic connection with users is crucial for businesses to scale through their discussions and interactions with other people. This is particularly relevant in the creative industries, where the focus should be on the narrative rather than the technology behind the product.
The uncanny valley is this idea that when you’re taking an object and making it look and feel more human, there’s a place where we appreciate it.