Many years ago, at the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), I watched a movie (I don’t recall the name) about three Asian school dropouts and how to eke a living; they sold themselves. The most intelligent of the three sold his soul to enjoy maximum luxury. A similar video on Nas Daily about a man who converted himself into a currency more enjoyable than the cryptocurrency grabbed my attention two days ago. Today, it is NewNew by Courtne Smith and Filip Diarra, a dystopian prototype of the future when we all are on sale.
So, if you ever fancied controlling someone or being controlled as an asset in the human stock market, you have got CEO Courtne Smith and Co-Founder Filip Diarra of NewNew to deliver it. Bizarre? Well, the ancestry of this idea to me is very Japanese or East Asian. Last year, StartuptoEnterprise did an article on a breastfeeding device for fathers. The device, as weird as it might sound, was by a Japanese technologist. So, it comes as no surprise when Courtne admitted to The Cut how she was always fascinated by outside-the-box products made in China and Japan.
It took two years for the black woman entrepreneur Courtne Smith to develop NewNew and make it available to the world of control freaks. Based on the concept of social polling but at an advanced level, the app allows creators to monetize their choices by turning themselves into some currency, much like the man featured on Nas Daily. This way, social media applications reach a new height and turns into a social stock market.
After a decade-long experience at Drake’s, Courtne informs how her drive for entrepreneurship always urged her to create something game-changing. As a female tech founder, Courtne didn’t leverage her deep-pocketed connections to get investors to fund NewNew, but the merit of the app alone. Nonetheless, Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Canaan, Shrug, and Dreamers are the top investors in NewNew. Hollywood actor Will Smith and top executives from Twitter, Google, and Facebook also have a stake in the app.
Wait, you should learn more about this app as Courtne and Filip are yet to unleash this insane app with all its features. Launched in September 2020, the NewNew app helps create personalized polls and communities around certain topics, has dynamic uploads with video clips and GIFs. With such throwaway features, creators on NewNew can monetize their existing fanbase from Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok. Well, it is some strategy that many Indian creators tried to fly their fans from TikTok to Instagram to leverage the death of Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Let’s not digress, back to all NewNew.
NewNew app is exciting for the Generation Z industry built by the Millennial. Courtney and Filip know it right. Their investors, too, and those high net-worth executives from the privacy-violating social media giants are mindful. Down the lane, NewNew will be one of the newest apps contesting the who-is-who social media platforms tapping the era of social media influencers. The founders of the NewNew will then rise to the power of summoning Congress for withholding bills encouraging more black and minority creators and founders to have access to business funds.
But brighter the flame, darker is the shadow. Seven years ago, in 2014, TechCrunch did an article on Zabosu that could send some poor souls to be your eyes and ears at a place you couldn’t be. It was a mind control remote at its bootstrapping stage trying to crowdfund the idea, but it didn’t take off. Maybe seven years ago, people weren’t ready to fathom the idea of remote controlling another human, which in the last five years is the new cool. The shadow: On one hand, we want to break free of organized control of Twitter and Facebook, and on the other, we are rising to the occasion of decentralized control to assume a stake in our decisions. Anyway, it’s NewNew as we continue to watch it beast up.
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