Photo: Courtesy of Joseph Maddalone
When Joe Maddalone was 20, he cold called T. Boone Pickens for 30 days straight until the billionaire’s office finally picked up. Maddalone wanted an internship and he got one.
This past New Years Maddalone, who is now 22, reached out to another hot shot — James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley. This time Maddalone wanted a sales position.Gorman was not amused. “If you want to work in this industry use some judgment and don’t contact CEOs over the New Years weekend,” Gorman emailed back.
Business Insider wrote about both of Maddalone’s gutsy stunts. Each article received 30,000 page views and 600 readers emailed Maddalone. Half of them called him crazy but the other half admired his persistence. They shared similar personal stories with him — some were pages long.
The 600 responses gave scrappy Maddalone a business idea.
Two weeks ago, Maddalone launched a startup, Loquiveri. Loquiveri (which means “speak truth” in Latin) is like Kickstarter for content. It is a site where anyone can share their stories, triumphs and tribulations with others. Commenters become content creators on Loquiveri.
“You don’t have to be a big-time founder or writer to have good ideas,” says Maddalone. “There’s a market for people who want to share stories; they share to learn.”
Maddalone, a contributor for Forbes, realised some of his articles received more page views than paid writers. Loquiveri’s content is generated entirely by contributors, making it more cost-effective than most other publications. Bleacher Report is a similar model; all content is created by unpaid writers who post articles because they’re passionate sports fans.
“A personal blog can feel a lot like talking to a mirror,” says Maddalone. Maddalone wants to create a larger network and put an end to one-sided conversations.
Two weeks after launch, Loqueveri has attracted 10,000 unique visitors.
Maddalone says Loqueveri is an action network, not a social network. Instead of his readers thumbing up articles, he hopes the stories on Loqueveri will resonate and encourage them to take action of their own.
“I just wanted a seat at the table,” says Maddalone. “I wanted my ideas to be heard, so I’m creating my own table.”