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42: Ryan Leslie: “Every single conversation is critical”

Ryan Leslie

Ryan Leslie is a Harvard graduate, a Grammy-nominated recording artist, a record producer, entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of SuperPhone. The startup (still in beta development) allows artists, writers, marketers or entrepreneurs — anyone, really — to connect with their friends, followers or fans directly and independently in a completely new way. Leslie discusses just one facet of SuperPhone, using himself as an example: “What we’re building at SuperPhone is an…extension of me, and it becomes a brain in my phone, which remembers contexts and can build and measure metrics…and then it can assign a relationship score based on those metrics.”

During the podcast, Leslie touches on many aspects of his life and career, where it seems he’s always ahead of the curve. After he graduated from Harvard (at the age of 19, no less) he pursued his musical ambition, meeting with great success, including that Grammy nomination. He moved on, though, from his label, seeking independence in releasing his music and a better, smarter way of doing things. And the nascent SuperPhone is just another result of the way he operates. As he adds, “First of all, I love building…and to do this on a software level, where we have an objective versus a subjective value is just an incredible journey to be on.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Leslie’s decision to go independent. (4:11)
  • Balance and the allocation of time: Leslie discusses his Dymaxion Polyphasic Sleep schedule. (5:43)
  • How do you communicate with 65,000 people? (10:58)
  • SuperPhone: Is it Leslie’s greatest creative offering? (14:33)
  • The power of conversion and engagement: Defining success for SuperPhone. (19:55)
  • Ryan Leslie is widely and wildly available. (28:40)