Entrepreneur, investor celebrates Silicon Valley in rap song
A Silicon Valley rap is born.
He's not giving up his day job, but entrepreneur and investor Shervin Pishevar is getting props for a rap homage to Silicon Valley he penned.
"Platform" was inspired by and samples from rapper Jay Z's "A Star is Born." Instead of “clap for 'em,” Pishevar substituted the word “platform.”
Pishevar, founder of Social Gaming Network, put the video together with the help of GreetBeatz -- a startup that creates songs for customers with professional rappers. The video features cameos from some of Silicon Valley's brightest young entrepreneurs including Causes' Joe Green, Blippy's Philip Kaplan and Flixster's Joe Greenstein. It also tells some of the stories that have become Silicon Valley lore, such as the genesis of Facebook.
This Silicon Valley evangelist (see here his article on global entrepreneurship) says he got the idea late last year when he was wandering Europe on one of Dave McClure's Geeks on a Plane adventures. Inspired by an evening at the Betahaus in Berlin, Pishevar decided to create a cover version of the Jay-Z hit that would capture the spirit and resilience of Silicon Valley.
"Anyone can move here without anything and if you have the work ethic, the skills and the intelligence to do something innovative and creative, you are going to get supporters here," Pishevar said. "My mission as an entrepreneur and as an angel investor is to spread that culture around the world. The more opportunity for connectivity, the more opportunity for peace."
After coming up with the lyrics, he teamed with European rapper Thunda. There was some back and forth. Thunda pronounced Mark Zuckerberg's nickname “Zuck” as “Zook.”
Here’s an excerpt:
"I've seen Zuck do it, seen Ev do it
Andreessen came through, caught lighter fluid
Still I came through it, Platform
But I'm the blueprint, I'm like the map for 'em
I dropped another classic, make Dustin pass it
Nobody could touch Gates back when Gates had it
Reid's scorching, I'll applaud him
If he keep going, pass the torch to him"
The Silicon Valley dream has special meaning to Pishevar, 35, who emigrated to the United States from Iran as a child with his parents. His father drove a cab and his mother cleaned hotel rooms to make sure Pishevar and his two siblings could get a good education and get ahead. Pishevar started his first company in his senior year at UC Berkeley. "I haven't stopped since," he said.
-- Jessica Guynn
Photo: Shervin Pishevar, center, speaks at a conference at Stanford University Credit: Kevin Krejci