Yash Daftary is the CEO & Co-Founder of FanBasis, the first Content Creator Monetization Ecosystem & Social Equalizer, designed to eliminate the barriers separating content creators from their fans. Yash is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business when he was 16 and has been fascinated with entrepreneurship since he was young.
Prior to FanBasis, Yash also worked in Venture Capital at firms called Storm Ventures and MBX Capital. While working in the VC world, he gained valuable experience that led to the roadmap and strategic foundation of scalability & success for FanBasis.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Yash Daftary: Thank you, glad to have this opportunity. I’m Yash Daftary, Founder & CEO of FanBasis, the first Content Creator Monetization Ecosystem & Social Equalizer, designed to eliminate the barriers separating content creators from their fans.
Ever since I was young, I was fascinated with the idea of building and owning a company– by the time I got to high school I had finally put myself in a position to make that come to fruition. I started my first venture and exited before beginning college, and it was through this experience I learned the fundamental X-factor for all entrepreneurs: your company will only travel as far as your ambition. Throughout college, I worked in Venture Capital at firms called Storm Ventures and MBX Capital. While working in the VC world, I gained valuable experience that led to a roadmap and strategic foundation of scalability & success for FanBasis.
In creating FanBasis it was important for the idea to occur naturally, and the inability of some of my favorite content creators to barely scrape together enough money to continue creating without the near indignity of resorting to glorified begging, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to solve a problem that was largely being ignored.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Yash Daftary: It would be naive not to expect challenges when going through the process of creating a startup and building a marketplace. The first challenge was getting our product to market as soon as possible.
We started working on FanBasis in late 2020. Our priority was to get our product to market quickly; it was the perfect time as COVID had driven everyone to become comfortable hosting and attending digital or virtual events from their homes.
We started our development process and launched the FanBasis MVP in February 2021. The development process took more time than we had anticipated, but in the end we were satisfied with our product and we were eager to get started. Lesson learned–budget development to take twice as long as you would expect it to. We would launch the beta version of our website in August, 2021 followed by our iOS app launch in January, 2022.
Our initial plan for the beta launch was to have 20-30 creators on the platform. We wanted to be able to manage and learn from these creators on what worked, what didn’t work, which creators were the most successful, which social media platforms we needed to focus on, etc.
We had 30 content creators within less than two weeks into our beta launch. Many of the original content creators loved their experiences with FanBasis and fully integrated it into their social media content and businesses. There was definitely a learning phase during the launch of our MVP, but we were able to learn/adapt quickly paving the path for onboarding many more users. Through our referral program and organic reach, we now have a vast marketplace full of celebrities, athletes, musicians, and creators of all types using FanBasis.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Yash Daftary: If you had a business before the pandemic, I would make sure you don’t spend too much time trying to figure out how to return things back to normal–the world has changed, industries have changed, doing business has changed. It is important to keep adapting to the rapid pace of the world and your customers.
If you’re young, the best thing to do is continue searching until you find that area that you’re extremely passionate about and work hard enough at it to create value. There are a lot of good ideas but the differentiating factor between success at that point usually comes down to willingness to put in the time to improve. I’m an entrepreneur, every day I do what I can to be a better entrepreneur today than I was yesterday.
That mentality more than any advice about who to network with, how to seek a problem to solve, etc. has proven to be by far the most valuable asset to me and in turn makes it significantly easier to keep creating opportunities to continue pursuing what I love to do.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Yash Daftary: The pandemic expanded my industry as FanBasis revolves around selling digital experiences. When would be a better time to interact with digital experiences like personalized cooking lessons, virtual meet and greets, video shoutouts, etc. than while everyone is sitting at home.
The entertainment industry took a massive hit since shooting was so difficult due to COVID guidelines. This sparked an opportunity for content creators, as they became the backbone and source of new entertainment for the world.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Yash Daftary: It is important to note that technological innovation will be greater than ever considering people have never used technology as much as they do today. Our focus is scaling. scaling. scaling. With the pipeline of creators that we have, it is important for us to keep the snowball going to grow our platform.
In addition, FanBasis will be a part of the digital revolution by integrating tokenized experiences onto our marketplace. Imagine being able to do a virtual meet and greet in the Metaverse with your favorite celebrity, athlete, or content creator.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Yash Daftary: I don’t think this digital revolution is going anywhere but up. Whether you like it or not, the Metaverse is coming and all of these avenues will continue to get optimized, regardless of how the markets do in the short term.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Yash Daftary: I spend at least 10 hours a day in front of my screen. It’s difficult not to when you’re founding a tech-company that has an emphasis on social media.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Yash Daftary: Storytelling is essential in any business as it is the most engaging way to connect with your audience. That audience can be your customers, employees, viewers, etc. I use storytelling on a daily business to explain nearly all of the strategies we use. Whether it is implementing a new feature with my development team or testing new onboarding strategies, using storytelling to explain the process is by far the best way to communicate effectively.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Yash Daftary: Right now, we are focused on scaling our platform in an organic and efficient manner. The challenge is getting in front of our creators to tell our story. Once we get on the phone with them, our product speaks for itself, but as we continue to generate brand awareness and recognition along with going viral on social media, this is becoming less and less of a concern.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Yash Daftary: I started an NFT marketing agency called The Social Bag with a buddy of mine, Kyle O’Connor, at the beginning of 2022 (socialbagllc.com). With my network of influencers, experience with influencer marketing, and knowledge of the NFT space, I was able to partner up with Kyle as he has extensive experience with digital and social media advertisements to start an innovative NFT marketing agency.
We have built proprietary strategies that enable us to reach conversions for new community members at the fraction of cost compared to competing marketing agencies. NFT technology is being used in an interesting way right now and is going to be a market that continues to evolve and grow at a rapid pace in the coming years. What you see NFTs being used for right now is not likely what you’ll see 5 or 10 years from now.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Yash Daftary: I definitely believe that humans have a natural cognitive bias that favors themselves, as proven by the Dunning-Kruger effect. Many of these bosses hold top positions at these companies due to their high intellect; they have proven themselves in their respected field and have climbed the corporate ladder.
Some of them are definitely egotistical and believe they are a perfect boss, but I believe true leaders that see these statistics would reflect on their performance and question what improvements they could make. I think we need more bosses with the latter mindset who are humble enough to ask their employees for constructive criticism so they can be the best boss they can be.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Yash Daftary: I would pick the gift of infallible communication. What I mean is I would want the ability to not only produce perfectly worded and comprehensible messages and reports, but also the ability to verbally inspire and motivate those around me without fail.
As a leader, I have an entire company looking to me for direction and reassurance. That’s a lot of pressure. Should I fail in this regard, I risk the security of the entire operation. Without direction, employees lose sight of our goals and vision and without reassurance they grow more inclined to burnout and are less impassioned by their work. Neither of which are things I want to have happen in my organization.
I would use this gift to appropriately commend my employees, both interpersonally and in demonstrating desirable behavior to their colleagues. My superpower would prevent me from saying anything disingenuous and allow my words to hit those who hear them in just the right place. I would use my gift to produce communications that both expertly inform and effectively encourage employees to rise to the occasion, step outside of their comfort zones, and excel.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Yash Daftary: Success to me is having the opportunity to work on FanBasis every day, it may sound cliche, but it doesn’t take long working for yourself to start to understand the real underlying wisdom behind a lot of these cliches. Moreover, success is watching this passion of mine grow a little more every day and become closer and closer to the ultimate vision I have for it.
If you try to view success as some tangible outcome, you’ll quickly get crushed by everyday challenges, most of which are mental. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Redefining success to serve the every day, taking pride in the continuous cultivation of something, opens the possibility of making every day a success rather than feverishly chasing its coattails.
Our goal at FanBasis is to magnify the creative impact that anyone can have on the world.
A big part of our mission is to ensure creators can effectively monetize their fame, skills, and talent in a way that gives them a solid income stream while they exponentially grow their communities. Creators should be able to offer what their audiences truly want and benefit from which means more than just offering occasional exclusive content. It can also come in the form of coming together to support a good cause, offering fun experiences, and genuine person-to-person interactions.
Success for us would be building our platform to the point where any celebrity, content creator, creative person, athlete, or musician can find a tool on FanBasis that they can use to monetize in order to build a successful business using their own brand and skills. We want to give creatives as many opportunities as possible to provide the content they’re passionate about, and get paid for what their work is worth. Ultimately, we want Fanbasis to give creators the opportunity and support they need to take any idea they have and run with it.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Yash Daftary for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Yash Daftary or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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