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Episode 014 – Steven Galanis, Co-Founder & CEO, Cameo

Amber Case, author of Calm Technology sits with Steven Galanis, co-founder of Cameo, to discuss how Chicago became the home base for one of the country’s flashiest startups. He shares how the platform is a fun way to hire a celebrity to surprise or friends and how the startup accelerated from novelty to a full-fledged advertising platform and more.

:44 – Discuss Steven’s transition from trading to entertainment/advertising
4:45 – Realizing opportunities—selfies as the new autograph
6:04 – Why Chicago? From 1871, Mike Gameson to Chicago as the flagship
11:17 – Gaining additional funding— Steven discusses leveraging networks serendipitous encounters that led to investments
15:40 – The silver lining of success in Cameo’s first video fail
21:50 – Gaining talent with a new strategy
26:16 – Steven reflects on early notoriety & guidance from the Ikigai Japanese framework
30:22 – Amber discusses, “the thing” that changed her career trajectory
33:42 – How to start a start-up—compressing 40 years of work into a couple of years
35:05 – Cameo’s transition to remote work during the pandemic & benefits of remote work
44:48 – Steven discusses handling PR nightmares and solving address them
48:29 – Steven discusses consumer requests, B2B elements of Cameo & determining pricing
52:18 – The first big name and first major coverage of Cameo


Calm Technology

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