“You Have To Start, Going From 0 To 1 Is The Hardest Step To Take And Is The Most Important” With Chris Roselli
“Kim Kardashian gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to post to social media. While that is a model, it’s not our model; we want to democratize the ability to capitalize on influence and we as the LAND provider only make money when everyone else does.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Roselli CEO & Founder of THE.LAND
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thank you so much for the opportunity! Our team is very excited. I’ll start from the beginning. I grew up in the States. My mother was into fashion; she was a designer. I grew up in these disciplines of the aesthetic of design.
My father was in technology; I always had a computer around me, so I learned more of the design aspect of computers. By the age of thirteen or fourteen I was very fluent in this discipline. That’s the background of really why all of what we’ll go on to talk about fits together.
Sports was always a huge part of my life. I was a professional soccer player for 13 years, in Brazil, the U.S., in Italy, in Croatia. I was grateful enough to have that, and I think that plays very much into what I’m doing today. As an athlete, you have a certain type of discipline, goal setting and understanding of team play. So, being a CEO and owning my own company, as a team we set goals and all the players are capable and have 100% understanding. All of it really plays in to me as a person, and to the idea of THE.LAND and what it actually does.
After working and building a digital entertainment platform for years, I started to see a void, and a slippage in the value of influence and influencers.
What wasn’t clear then that is today is that the influencer is the most important element in driving social media forward. And after studying the tools available to them today, it was apparent that their existing options, while good, are limited. We felt as though we needed to bring things into a bigger opportunity for everybody. And that’s why digital real estate was created, for us, and we called it THE.LAND.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
I feel along the journey of starting this company it is very interesting how sometimes we speak things into existence. In fact, a great example of this is my experience at CES 2018. Before the show I felt that Gary Vaynerchuk, whom I respect tremendously, would be a great person to meet and present THE.LAND. It just so happened that I was on on my way to a meeting with Hitachi, one of our partners, and I cross paths with Gary. I took this as an opportunity and simply changed my course so that I could share THE.LAND.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
THE LAND was founded on the principle of true digital ownership, so we created a place where brands and influencers could express themselves through digital real estate that they 100% own. When someone visits a LAND, they experience a rich, ad-free experience that is all about the brand or influencer in a way that really hasn’t been done before.
Unlike other social media sites that focus on monetization through affiliate links and ads, we focus on direct integrations and partnerships with brands so they can be tagged by anyone. This enables us to provide consumers with an experience where they can watch a piece of content and buy the products in it without ever leaving THE LAND.
It also enables us to allow influencers large and small to tag brands and products and immediately start making money from the audiences they have. No endorsement required. Let’s say an influencer (ex: David Beckham) really enjoys wearing Ray Ban. Both Beckham and Ray Ban are now able to monetize through his LAND. He can simply take a selfie, and we can enable the product to be “transact-able,” and Ray Ban is now able to track products through David Beckham as his own retailer. In this environment, David Beckham shares in the profits whether or not he has an endorsement deal with Ray Ban.
Kim Kardashian gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to post to social media. While that is a model, it’s not our model; we want to democratize the ability to capitalize on influence and we as the LAND provider only make money when everyone else does.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Yes, but I’ll keep it short because our team is the energy and momentum behind THE.LAND movement and we don’t feel we need the recognition. I’m extremely grateful to my team. There is no one particular person to give credit, but rather a whole community of people that have made the journey possible. These are people who have shared the same values and vision of what THE.LAND is and what it does. It takes a team to accomplish this.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Actually, in developing THE.LAND, we thought about how it must bring goodness to the world. One of the first things we realized is brands and influencers spend a considerable amount of time, energy, and money on causes which they care for deeply. Whether it’s Charlize Theron’s Africa Outreach Project or NBA Cares and all of their initiatives, we understand the importance of community and giving back.
Through THE.LAND, we sought to create an environment in which our users can contribute to the charitable efforts of their favorite influencers and brands. We found it to be very difficult in the current landscape follow along with the charitable efforts of our favorite artists, so with THE.LAND, we put everything in one place. Not only can you keep up with what LANDowners are doing, but you can donate directly to their charities. We allow our users to donate as little or as much as they want. We do not take a profit; donations go directly to the organization.
We also sponsor and collaborate with existing campaigns. Most recently, we raised money for the victims of Hurricane Maria, creating T-shirts that were sold to contribute to the Unidos Por Puerto Rico movement.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- You have to Start. Going from 0 to 1 is the hardest step to take and is the most important.
- Learn from everything and everyone. Make sure to listen with the intent to understand and then respond.
- Get your checklist going. Keep track what needs to be done and what has been finished. You need to be organized.
- Seek a great team to work with and and always empower them. Always be empathetic.
- Make time to be creative. I don’t care if you are not the creative type. This will help open your mind and heart.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Tim Grover would be my ideal choice. Because of my sports background, I understand what being “in the zone” is all about, and I apply that today in business. Tim is a master of being in the zone. He has guided some of the best athletes in the world such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, and has helped them understand that being a legend is not something you’re able to turn on or off. It’s a state of being. If you don’t know of Tim, I highly suggest you look him up.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
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