IAM1609 – Founder Brings People Together Through Intuitive Social Platform

Podcast Interview with Amir Shiekh

Why it was selected: It was great to hear about this startup business with Amir about how we can create more conversations and different perspectives and how it makes the world better but on a deeper level I think having different and diverse perspectives only makes our ideas stronger and also from a leadership give us the chance to build stronger organizations.

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Previous Episode:



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Amir Sheikh 0:00
Yeah, I think that not having a specific lane in the sense that, we don't have a core consumer, our consumer is everyone and our purpose is to bring people together. I'll use kind of political example because it's easy analogy,  you have your Fox News listeners, and then you have your CNN listeners, and they're very distinct. And those networks cater to their audience in a very distinct way. Now, they both claim that they're objective, and truthful, and all of that, but if you look at their main pages, they'll be very different and their stories are very different. And so obviously, both of them can't be right. I think that for us to be unique is really is to be able to bring everyone together on the same platform.

Intro 0:29

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:57
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Amir Sheikh of 4b. Amir, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Amir Sheikh  1:05
Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.

Gresham Harkless 1:07
No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Amir so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Amir is the Founder and CEO of 4b, a social platform bringing together original controversial news and topics from both sides. The unique concept came from years of frustration listening to divisive and biased content from all media sources. Amir is committed to bringing people together through respectful and productive fact-based content in an intuitive social platform. Amir, are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Amir Sheikh 1:40
Yes, sir.

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Gresham Harkless 1:41
Awesome, let's do it. So to kick everything off, I want to rewind the clock a little bit and ask you what I call your CEO story, and get to know how you started your business.

Amir Sheikh 1:50
Yeah, for sure. So, you know, in your intro, you kind of mentioned it, but I think we all see it today, just divisiveness and the energy and passion. And obviously, with COVID, and the economy and just all the things going on, is magnifying that. It had nothing to do with the timing of this platform. But it kind of goes to what the need is of today in that marketplace. And so we have people that consciously and subconsciously stay in the bubbles of their lane, and they're only absorbing information that really, they can relate to. And you know, the danger with that is that you're not getting the whole story. The solution is our platform, which is exposing to the other side, exposing ideas and also to other people. A big part of the platform is making sure that it's fact based, it's cited, and that it's in short form. It's intuitive, so that, you know, we're all busy with life and family and work and what we're working on, and so just to be respectful of time, and to make sure that we can make an effective, effective method of connecting with the news and engaging with it in a two way format.

Gresham Harkless 3:24
Nice. Yeah, absolutely. Appreciate that. And I know when we were initially connected, I loved that aspect of it. Because as you said, and as I read in your bio, definitely can be divisive, some of the topics that people are thinking about, and often it can be sometimes difficult to even show the other side of the coin, so to speak, let alone have that opportunity to see that within the platform. So that's why I love everything that you're building, working on and creating.

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Amir Sheikh 3:49
Yeah, no, definitely, I think the biggest issue, in my opinion, is that we're not even listening. You know, we say that we listen, we say that we're open-minded, but we're not. And in most people, it's probably subconscious. I think there are people that will admit it. But all of us employ different internal strategies, or if you want to call it that, to kind of stay in our bubble in our lane and feel good about how we look at the world. And unfortunately, there are consequences with that. We see a lot of those consequences today with everything that's going on.

Gresham Harkless 4:28
Absolutely, so I know you touched on it a little bit. Could you take us through how exactly your platform works and what exactly people will find and the ways that they're able to create that connectedness and interact with your site.

Amir Sheikh 4:42
Yeah, definitely. So we're on App Store, Google Play Store and the web. But when you come on, you create an account, and profile and you subscribe to different categories ranging from, beauty and makeup to sports science, whatever your interests are. From that, you'll get articles that are pertinent and that relate to those specific categories. As we publish new content, you'll get notifications within those categories. The articles are unofficially around 500 words. That's, that's kind of our target. And there are two writers, which are opposing. So and I'm going to use this extreme example, to make a point. But let's say if the article is “is the earth flat?”. So you'll have a writer that will say it's round, and you have one that will say it's flat, they'll each have approximately 250 words to make their case and cite it and reference it. Then there'll be a fact box, which is created by our team internally neutral, and not make any case of just listing facts. Then there's voting. So there are voting questions after you read through that, and there's comments section, so you're really engaging with the content, you're not just only being exposed. As you interact with the platform, you also have a profile, which is similar to like Instagram, where you have a feed and in different boxes, the difference is, the platform actually generates your profile for you. So when you comment, when you vote, when your any kind of interaction is kind of documented in it in a nice, pretty way. So if I am following you, or if I look up Gresham, I'll be able to tell what your views are, and what your opinion is on important issues. So it's kind of Instagram except just on your brain or your thoughts on important issues.

Gresham Harkless 6:52
Yeah, that that makes a lot of sense. And kind of having that visibility to be able to understand that. But as you said, as well, too, is getting to see and read and understand even that opposing thought or opposing perspective is so huge, because I think so many times those conversations never happen and getting an opportunity for that or getting the platform by which to facilitate that is something that's huge.

Amir Sheikh 7:13
Yeah, I think that, you know, again, there's a variety of tactics that the network's immediate use, but there's probably, you know, many more tactics that we use as individuals. When we're speaking or communicating, we cut people off, or we get emotional, or we use hyperboles, extreme examples, and just all kinds of things. I think creating a platform where everybody has an equal opportunity to make their case. And it's, really structured in a way that it's, fact-based so that we can eliminate some of those tactics that are unproductive and they get away from the core of the issue, and it basically divides us. To limit that is really, really a big part of what our platform does.

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Gresham Harkless 8:03
Yeah, absolutely. Getting all that information out there is definitely huge, that visibility, and transparency is something that we all hope and crave for. And so, do you feel like that is what I would call your secret sauce, and it could be for yourself as an individual or your organization or combination of both? What do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Amir Sheikh 8:22
Yeah, I think that not having a specific lane in the sense that, we don't have a core consumer, our consumer is everyone and our purpose is to bring people together. I'll use kind of political example because it's easy analogy,  you have your Fox News listeners, and then you have your CNN listeners, and they're very distinct. And those networks cater to their audience in a very distinct way. Now, they both claim that they're objective, and truthful, and all of that, but if you look at their main pages, they'll be very different and their stories are very different. And so obviously, both of them can't be right. I think that for us to be unique is really is to be able to bring everyone together on the same platform.

Gresham Harkless 9:18
Yeah, absolutely. And kind of being aware of that other opposing viewpoint, as you mentioned, as well is so important. To be able to, as you said, create that platform where it's not either or it's a combination of both on that platform, you get to see those different perspectives from granular as the individual users is definitely huge. So I want to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be like an app, a book or habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Amir Sheikh 9:50
I think that for me, I really looked at people who are, quote and quote successful across different industries. One thing or a few things that I've seen that are in common regardless of what they do is success is not just measured in metrics and money or, transactions. But, I think that you have to be hard working, you have to understand clearly your direction, and you have to be able to stay consistent. I think that, when you're dealing with something like what we're doing a startup and you're entering, you're basically creating a marketplace, right? There's nobody in that space, there's nobody doing it. And so there's so many obstacles, a lot of them are mental, and a lot of them are doubtful. A lot of people not able to connect or understand because they haven't seen it, and just stay focused, to make sure you work hard and understand your vision and stay on path. I think that is really important for me, and it's really helped to get this platform to where it is today.

Gresham Harkless 11:07
Now I wanted to ask for what I call a CEO nugget. This could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell your younger business self.

Amir Sheikh 11:19
Yeah, for me it would be, do less, or focus on less things and do those things better, or put more resources and attention on fewer things. Work on doing those better than trying to do too many things at one time.

Gresham Harkless 11:41
Absolutely. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is a definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote and quote, CEOs on the show. So Amir, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Amir Sheikh 11:52
Yeah, I think for me, personally, it's getting results. If you look at all of the obstacles, regardless of what business you're in, they're going to come, it's just it. That's the reality of being in business. It's how you deal with them. Whether you make excuses, whether you give up, whether you decide to change direction, whether you decide to hire or fire, whatever the decisions you make along the way, at the end of the day, a CEO's job is to make sure that you get the result, not that you give an excuse. And I think that, to me, that's personally what a CEO represents and what the purpose is.

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Gresham Harkless 12:40
Yeah, absolutely. A lot of times, it's what are you doing to kind of move that needle forward? What are you doing to get those things done that need to be done? I think so many times, when you're in the position, or have that title, whatever that title might be, that's often how we're measured and your ability to make an inch show in providing the opportunity for that impact that we all hope to have. But if you're not actually doing it, then what exactly are you doing to kind of have that impact? I think if we remind ourselves of that, then we can definitely put ourselves in a position to be that person that gets things done, and to be ultimately that quote and quote, CEO. So, I truly appreciate that definition of mirror, and I appreciate your time even more, what I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get ahold of you, and find out about all awesome things you're working on.

Amir Sheikh 13:33
Yeah, definitely. I think that outside of a business sense, on a personal note, a big motivation, the motivational factor was just on a good note bringing people together, I think that, if you look at humanity today, and how much if you measure levels of wealth, pain, suffering, all of whatever metrics you want to use, and you measure it from 100 years ago, and hundreds of years ago, were outperforming on just about every metric. But if you talk to people today, you don't see that. You see people that are depressed and oppressed and whatever other words you want to use, and it's really an extreme level. And so there's a difference between what we feel and what the reality is, clearly. Something needs to be done. And I think that, what the media has been doing, it's financially motivated to really divide people and use extreme examples to get people's emotions going and all of those things. There's consequences for that. We're going to feel that, our children are going to feel that and so on and so forth. I think the right thing to do is to work the other way. Let's work together on solving these problems not blaming each other and saying, hey it's your fault or my fault or whoever's fault it is. I think that for me personally with this platform, that's, the biggest accomplishment that we can make is to, bring people together, even if we just get people to just listen to the other side, not even change their mind. I think that would be considered a success. Absolutely. Yeah. I think, for us, we're just 4b.worldonline, if you go to the app store, or the Google Play Store is just the number 4 and then B. We're the only 4B so that should pop up. I really appreciate your time.

Gresham Harkless 15:51
No problem, definitely appreciate you. We will definitely have the links and information in the show notes. But I appreciate that reminder, as well, too, as I think so many times we want to see the world in a certain way. I think the best thing that we can do is to create that change ourselves, be the change that you hope to see in the world. I think by providing that opportunity and the platform by which that can happen, I truly appreciate you for championing that . I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:19
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO.CO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear a www.CEOgear.co This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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