‘I invested in Tesla in 2006 before Elon took over’: Will.i.am on two investments he made that changed his life

Abu Mubarik May 07, 2024
Photo Credit: Wiki

Will.i.am is a musician, producer, technologist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Born Williams Adams, the musician turned entrepreneur is also a seven-time Grammy Award winner.

He started as a solo artist before co-founding the musical group Black Eyed Peas. As co-founder of Black Eyed Peas, he became a worldwide sensation, working with chart-topping artists like Britney Spears while hanging out with tech pioneers like Google cofounder Larry Page.

Along the way, he reinvented himself as a tech entrepreneur, even though technology had always been part of his life. Raised by a strong mom in the crime-ridden projects of Los Angeles, he found himself drawn to tech at a very young age. As such, he specialized in science, engineering, and mathematics while in high school.

However, he left school after struggling with ADD and signing with his first music label at age 17, Forbes reported. His concentration is now on promoting robotics, AI, and technology.

In a recent interview with the “Drink Champs” podcast, Will.i.am reflected on two significant investments that changed his life. The host, N.O.R.E., asked him to choose between Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, as if in a game of “This or That.”

This caused Will.i.am to share how both CEOs have impacted his life. “I invested in Tesla in 2006 before Elon took over [the company]—around the same time,” Will.i.am explained on the podcast, according to AfroTech. “And then I was a part of Beats. And then Apple bought Beats from us. So you’re talking about two companies that changed my life. So, I say both.”

Will.i.am sparked the idea for what became Beats by Dre in discussions with his mentor Jimmy Iovine. Billboard reported in 2014 that with a founding stake in Beats Electronics, Will.i.am is guaranteed a big payday following Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of the company. Even though his exact share was not known, he could get a $30 million dollar pay out even if he only had a 1% share, Billboard added.

In recent days, Willi.i.am has been more focused on his latest venture, FYI. The venture is an AI-powered productivity app that enables creatives to collaborate and communicate on projects with digital asset management, Forbes wrote. FYI, also known as Focus Your Idea, is billed as “the first productivity tool designed to serve creatives first”.

“So the creative community was working across six different tools up until FYI existed,” Will.i.am said to Euronews. “We were on WhatsApp. To work off WhatsApp, you need a Dropbox. If your files were too big, you need to WeTransfer. But if you can’t open it up on WhatsApp, you need to send that Wetransfer to emails, you need email, you need a calendar, and you need Zoom and then a chatGPT.

“So you need seven things for creatives to get work done remotely on a phone on fire.” The rapper clarified that for FYI, all you need is a single tool.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 7, 2024


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates