5 Lessons From Unicorn Founder Mahbod Moghadam


There is no one better at getting attention for himself than Mahbod Moghadam.

Mahbod was one of the founders of RapGenius, a company that went through YCombinator, received money from Ben Horowitz and many other big name investors, is a top 1k site in the world, and is worth over a billion dollars. For those of you less fortunate than I to not know Mahbod, he is likely one of the smartest men you will meet having attended Yale undergrad and Stanford Law, he has passed the bar and has his real estate license, is known for his piano playing skills, and has read most literature. With a resume as long and an intellectual background as esteemed, I am sure you can think of a few quirks that may come with the package.

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Mahbod is now my co-founder, meaning that we share a penthouse with the rest of the team and I have spent a good share of the past months sitting and living beside him. These are the things you need to know about living with someone who has founded a billion dollar company.

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1) Diet is key

Most entrepreneurs have some variety of a diet that they will swear to. For some that is Red Bull and pizza and for others it is Soylent Soylent Soylent, but for Mahbod it is hard boiled eggs, kale, salsa, bean curd, and rice cakes. Even further Mahbod has placed a ban on sugar, gluten, and dairy on the office and has thrown away a good chunk of office/house warming gifts from visitors and investors because they were of the chocolate variety.

2) Sick days = no work days

If you are in bed with a fever you aren’t making your company expand and that is a problem. For this reason Mahbod takes extra precautions to ensure the office stays healthy. Everyone must go to the gym daily to stay in shape, get some sunlight and fresh air, and also just so we can get a bit of variety in our lives. Additonally, we may never run the A/C or heater because it circulates the same set of germs when a group lives in close proximity.

3) Your chairs are the thrones of your empire

In the office we likely are sitting down chugging on the site for about 12 hours a day 7 day a week. This means we can only sit on the best chairs to keep us comfortable and in peak working condition. Everipedia is powered by Aeron chairs which run upwards of four digits a piece not including the additional headrest which is a few hundred on top of everything. This may seem an excessive expense, but if it is the difference between having a sore back, neck, legs, etc. and getting a full days work down, you can see where this is truly an investment in both ourselves and the company.

4) Care for nothing more than your product

Mahbod summed this up well in saying “If something is good enough to take time away from your product, you don’t love your product enough.” No one in the office has a girlfriend, no one takes a day off (that includes not taking weekends), and no one spends time on any other site for more time than on Everipedia.com. We are not allowed to sleep in, watch movies, or anything else that would take time from the site.

5) If you drink, drink only expensive wine

I’m not entirely sure if there is an adage tying expensive wine to the success of one’s company or if it is merely he is both successful and 33, but all the same if you are drunk you aren’t in a clear state of mind and that means you can’t fine tune the company. Always practice moderation and always be alert.

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