My guest today is Trevor McFedries, the founder of technology startup Brud and the creator of virtual pop star Miquela, a Gen Z icon with millions of fans worldwide. Trevor’s background is fascinating - he worked as a DJ and producer, toured with Katy Perry, worked at Spotify, and done just about every interesting thing I can imagine. In our conversation, we discuss the music-industrial complex, the creation of Miquela, and what Web 3.0 will mean for creators and builders in the future. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Trevor McFedries.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:54] - [First question] - What unites the diversity of his career
[00:03:39] - What inspired him to pivot away from football and step into creative arts
[00:05:50] - Lessons learned from being a touring DJ and producer that apply to the creative tech sector
[00:07:40] - A view of the music industrial complex from the inside
[00:08:57] - How the internet deciding who becomes popular affected already established artists
[00:10:57] - Interesting opportunities in the music landscape in 2021
[00:11:40] - Time spent at Spotify and the spark of insight that led to founding Brud
[00:16:02] - The sequence of creating a digital artist like Lil Miquela
[00:19:02] - What it feels like to be “othered”
[00:20:24] - Embracing one's intersections and applying it to a business model
[00:21:18] - The team behind Lil Miquela and her design process
[00:25:49] - Ingredients required for building a great narrative
[00:28:35] - What social media platforms matter today, and the state of the social landscape
[00:32:21] - Expanding Lil Miquela’s world and digital media monetization
[00:36:32] - Differences between web 2.0 and 3.0 that may directly affect creators
[00:38:27] - Ways innovations like NFTs make spawn new network participants
[00:39:49] - Programmable art and media experiences
[00:41:03] - The most cutting-edge ideas in the digital persona space
[00:43:21] - Technology that wasn’t available that had to be built to enable new experiences
[00:45:49] - One of the hardest decisions he’s had to make in Brud’s history
[00:47:16] - The furthest they’ve ever pushed the envelope
[00:48:06] - What’s the thing that keeps him going every day
[00:50:12] - Finding cultural white space and inventing a character that could speak to investing to inspire new generations
[00:52:01] - Units of media contribution and creative container experimentation
[00:53:27] - What has him the most excited about the future of his industry
[00:54:32] - Missing technological components that could inspire new digital creatives
[00:56:53] - Work ethic through the lens of developing a jump shot
[00:59:00] - One business lesson that he believes in deeply
[01:00:05] - The kindest thing anyone’s ever done for him