Interview by Chief Executive
May 2020 5 min read
Chinedu Echeruo a serial entrepreneur is co-founder of the Love and Magic Company. During the aughts, he created Hopstop, a pioneering travel app that helped millions of users navigate public transportation in major metropolitan areas around the world, Apple Inc acquired the solution. As a special feature in our Amplified interview series, Chinedu discusses his work’s creative process today, partnerships, and view on innovation in the world.
(VC) The phrase “Love conquers all” has been said all over. But some experts in interpersonal communications would say everyone or every client has their love language. What are your general thoughts on this given the name Love & Magic?
(Chinedu) I suspect what we mean by “Love conquers all” is that in the finality of our human experience, Love will be the most meaningful of our stories. We chose to call our business Love & Magic Company because we believe human consciousness, intention, and information are real resources that can be used to solve human problems, start and grow companies and make our collective stories come true. We show leaders how to tap into human imagination and then mechanize it to manifest the abundance they want in their business and community.
(VC) When should a digital outfit or business look to go public, and what would make it attractive for investors or brokers?
(Chinedu) Go public if you need to grow fast and require large amounts of capital or if you need to change your capital structure. Generally, your investors will look for growth in your cashflows as well as lower risk in your business. However, in the next few decades, the strict distinction between public and private markets will cease to exist, driven by blockchain and other trust technologies.
(VC) Your industry like many others was inevitably affected by COVID-19, what kind of long term impacts do you see with the consumer market?
(Chinedu) COVID-19 slowed the machinery of work for billions. Many of us asked deeply personal and existential questions during this pause. “Is this really what I want to do with my life?” “Is corporate work right for me?”. The seed of another vision of ourselves was planted for billions of people. I think this self-examination will result in a shift towards more self-directed professional lives. There will likely be an uptick in entrepreneurship, tools to empower individual creation, and new forms of work.
Photo courtesy Love & Magic Company
I see transhumanism as the inevitable direction and use of our intelligence to unearth existing potency. The use of this potential in a human-centered way is uncertain
(VC) What is your go-to approach or practice today in terms of claiming your creative power of inspiration and imagination, while working alongside many diverse individuals?
(Chinedu) I’ve found meditation and walk or runs in nature to be a great way to connect to new ideas and my imagination. Fear is probably the biggest killer of creativity in organizations, so while working with your team, laugh, smile, joke around, and share what is meaningful to you. Your team members have to feel psychologically safe for creative risk-taking.
(VC) In our present times, AI and Big Data are no longer buzzwords but a reality. What are your thoughts on Transhumanism? Do you foresee dangers, or are there more societal benefits to reap from this converged trajectory?
(Chinedu) I see transhumanism as the inevitable direction and use of our intelligence to unearth existing potency. The use of this potential in a human-centered way is uncertain. That’s why I believe we need to have proactive policies around Artificial Intelligence safety and more public education around the issues.
(VC) Does your Igbo/Nigerian heritage play a significant part in your serial entrepreneurship approach or would you say you move with your present environment and topics of the times?
(Chinedu) My approach to entrepreneurship is shaped more by a holistic approach towards business creativity and science. I’m very interested in understanding the why and how of entrepreneurship. What are the first principles of creation? How do ideas turn into things? Much of what has written and practiced about entrepreneurship is a caricature of true and optimal mechanics.
(VC) Some mention different historical times as a period they admire for affluence or culture. If you can time-warp to any era to collaborate with its culture, what time would it be?
(Chinedu) I’d go back to Brussels in 1927 and attend the Solvay Physics conference, where 29 of the greatest scientists, including Einstein, Dirac, Bohr, Planck, gathered to discuss the new theories of Quantum physics. In my suitcase, I’d have the top 100 scientific papers available in 2020, which I’d then share with the group and collaborate on a more robust description of reality.
(VC) Thank you, Chinedu for taking the time to chat with us. At this stage of your collective accomplishments, If you can work alongside any public figure, brand, or enterprise. Who would it or they be, and why?
(Chinedu) Entrepreneurship is the engine of economic opportunity. This is the case, especially on the continent of Africa. I’d love to work alongside a true change-agent, who genuinely is looking for a more effective way to utilize the resources available in the United Nations to deliver results, not rhetoric. There is a way to coordinate information, stakeholders, and processes to distribute the technologies of wealth creation to billions of people.