The Rocketeers in GeniusRocket

One Washington, DC based company certainly deserves the buzz, is GeniusRocket founded back in 2007 by the internet pioneer Washingtonian, Mark Walsh, the founding CEO of Air America, the former CEO of VerticalNet, and Internet adviser for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., during his presidential campaign in 2004. Advertising is in Mark Walsh’s DNA. Both his father and mother come from similar background.

First time, I heard about Mark, was back in 2000 when he was heading VerticalNet and I was heading my first internet company, His company offered me $20 m for mine and I wish I had took it. In stead, I made the classic first time entrepreneur decision – the wrong one of course. I will spare you all with the details. In a nut shell, I was an idiot for turning it down.

So, now that you know my connection with Mark, back to his present amazing company, GeniusRocket. The company is the destination for all your creative marketing needs because it uses crowd sourcing – tapping the wisdom of the masses for ideas and solutions, rather than paying high-priced agencies to do that work. It’s like “American Idol.” If the talent is out there, a wide casting call gives it the chance to rise to the top. Believe me, it is all true. I am saying that from my own personal experience when I was heading my D.C based social search company, Searchles.

They have about 13,000 Creative artists who have registered for free on GeniusRocket’s site as “creative collaborators.” Businesses like mine who need creative talent issue project proposals known as RFB (Requests For Brilliance), attach prize money and open the competitions. Here are the steps on their site.

Prior learning more about GeniusRocket services, I spent about three month meeting and talking with various traditional advertising & marketing companies about the right online video we wanted for Searchles. We needed something to position searchles the right way in the world of Google, facebook, and Digg. The price quotes we received from the companies were from $25k to $45k. With limited budget we had in the bank, paying that kind of money was totally out of question. Not to mention the time it would take them to create it for us. With a small fraction of the price quotes from traditional marketing media companies, we got the following videos made by four different creative collaborators of GeniusRocket in two weeks:

SearchlesSocial Threesome Game Show

Searchles Music Video

What Brought the Social Threesome Together

A Very Social Threesome

Based on the votes from their audience and of course our own taste, we picked the first one titled “Searchles – Social Threesome Game Show”

They have been adding more cool stuff since then. They recently launched a new service called GeniusRocket Select. It is “curated crowdsourcing” which means before anyone creates anything, they are screened for their concept and ability, and only then the small few that meet your creative needs are able to move forward with direct feedback during the production process.

As for what GeniusRocket gets out of this, they take 20 percent of the total award.

So, if you are going through the same challenge I was going through two years ago, I strongly suggest you give them a try. They worth every penny.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

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