This week’s episode of Found features Courtne Smith, founder of NewNew, a social app where people pay to vote on your decisions. The platform takes the concept of social polling to the next level, essentially allowing everyone to monetize their choices by turning them into a kind of social stock market where others can purchase shares to accumulate more or less decision power based on what they’re willing to spend.
Courtney’s path to NewNew was immediately preceded by the creation of Surprize, a social trivia and prize-giving app that leveraged crowdsourcing to pick and award its prizes. But long before that, the Toronto native made a bold decision — encouraged by, of all people, her pastor father — to drop out of school and work for Drake at the very outset of his career as his assistant.
We talked to Courtne about making that risky deviation from a relatively traditional and safe path and about how she eventually moved on from many years of working with Drake during his rise to global success: Another counterintuitive decision to go from something that was already working out well, to pursue something unknown. Courtne tells us about her overall entrepreneurial drive, which has always stemmed from a desire to create something game-changing, and about how when it came time to attract investors for her ventures, she opted not to leverage her deep-pocketed connections and instead sought capital on the merits of her ideas alone.