"Readocracy is on a mission to bring integrity back to the internet." Get credit for what you read online. Prove you are well-informed on any subject.

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#FixTheInternet leader

Read oc ra cy

Reading x Meritocracy, Democracy

About Us / Our Story

Hi. Our names are Mario and Matei Vasilescu. We’re brothers and co-founders of Readocracy. This is the third platform we’re building together. More on our backgrounds, and our team, below.

First, let us tell you how Readocracy came to be, and why we have committed our lives to it.

Readocracy

We first had the idea for Readocracy in 2016, and it hasn’t changed much: what if we could give people credit for all the attention they invest online? Not just for a few ad dollars here and there, but in terms of their relationship to knowledge. Don’t we live in a reputation-driven, knowledge economy? What if you could use your time to prove yourself?

2016 was long before Cambridge Analytica or any of the infinite scandals, studies, and documentaries that have made people intensely mindful about their time online. As a result, at the time, we were told the idea was too niche: “who cares about their attention / internet habits this much?”

Early trials proved otherwise. And we were convinced that the market would come around in our favour. The way that attention was being monetized online was on the path to collapse. It’s something we’ve written about and spoken about at the world’s leading media and journalism conferences. (Long before the recently published Subprime Attention Crisis.)

So we did something unconventional: we decided to build a strategic pre-product that would allow us to test and scale our attention-verification technology with publishers first. That was Readefined, and it processed over 100 million page views for publisher partners who piloted with us. It also won recognition and support from IBM, Thomson Reuters, and others. Critically, it also gave us an extremely deep understanding of the broader content ecosystem, including the impact Surveillance Capitalism was having on publishers, audiences, and society. There had to be another way to value our attention, and we felt we were sitting on it.

So we took the plunge and finally pursued the vision. In the year since we’ve let in the very first test user, the private beta has seen our early members read over 45,000 articles and earn over 95,000 subject matter credits. in November 2020 we won a Mozilla Builders Award for their FixTheInternet Open Lab, only 1 of 3 winners out of over 1,500 applicants. In march of this year we were a Finalist at SXSW. And we’re just getting started.

Why we are so committed

To understand our passion, you need to understand our backstory.

We’re the sons of first-generation immigrant parents who escaped communism not just to give us a better life, but more specifically to raise us in a democracy: where you had freedom to think, and there were no limitations on speaking truth to power and doing what was right. So we’ve heard the powerful, personal stories, of what happens when you need to start from scratch and prove yourself with nothing. And the stories of what happens when democracy disappears. When information is weaponized.

These same parents left behind a family with an incredible story. Grandparents, and great grand-parents, who were humble pioneers that shaped entire industries and fields — inventors and teachers and leaders — who accomplished incredible things but were most notable for their intellect, integrity, and kindness . These were the role-models we grew up with, the stories we heard.

And on this backdrop, we grew up increasingly frustrated with the state of the world. To put it bluntly, why were charlatans everywhere winning? Why did it seem to be a handicap to be honest and informed? A financial risk to focus on quality instead of quantity? It seemed to be a world ruled by the polar opposite of everything those role models stood for. Ignorance, manipulation, superficiality.

The name Readocracy comes from Reading x Meritocracy, and Democracy. It’s our way of fighting back in a systemic, sustainable way. We believe it can help shape a future where being well-informed and helpful can be proven and rewarded. Where power and influence aren’t defined only by the quantity of attention you get, but equally by the quality of attention you give. And where we are more mindful of how we invest our attention, rather than perpetually mindless.

So that we can live in a less easily manipulated world, one where more people who put in the work get the recognition they deserve, regardless of their background. A world where democracy isn’t so effortlessly threatened.

We guarantee you will not find founders more committed to their big picture problem, or who have thought more deeply about it.

A little more detail

Mario, CEO/CPO/Co-Founder
Robotics engineer turned
multi-prize winner
social x future of
work digital innovation projects.

Matei, CTO/Co-Founder Built pre-Facebook
network driving 40M hits/mo by age of 21,

and proprietary social platform architecture
supporting 500K+ users for global clients.

Adriana, Embedded Exec/COO
30 years making the most complex tech
projects deliver for IBM, TD, RBC.

And a team bringing experience leading projects
with NASA, Bloomberg, and the Obama White
House
, including both Media and EdTech execs.

Matei: I taught myself to code at age 15, and had built a pre-Facebook social network with over 200K users, driving 40M hits/month, by the time I was 21. Since then I created a proprietary platform architecture, MWE, which powers micro-networks for global clients supporting over 500K users.

Mario: I’m a robotics engineer turned product designer. I’m a multi-prize winner on digital innovation, and led digital strategy projects for national organizations in both Canada and France. Some of my most important lessons learned came from researching technology and gamification in the context of the future of work, at BPI’s Institute for Leadership think tank in Paris.

Adriana, our Embedded Exec/COO brings over 30 years helping the most complex, at-risk technology projects scale and succeed with IBM, TD, and RBC. Our BD lead, Graham, led his own agency that drove content projects with NASA, NOAA, Bloomberg, the Obama White House, and others.

Our advisor team is highlighted by Richard Tuck and Jake Hirsch-Allen. Richard is the former CEO of Riipen, an education startup he grew from 3 to over 30 people with contracts across North America. Today he is CEO of Wakopa Financial, empowering atypical and underrepresented entrepreneurs, startups, and social enterprises. Jake works with North America's governments, workforce development organizations, colleges and universities to leverage LinkedIn Learning Solutions to close skills gaps. He founded Lighthouse Labs, has taught Global Health at McMaster University, and is on the Board of Directors of the Information Communication Technology Council.

Backing us up are a growing team of passionate, unconventional talent. We are proud about having a team that embodies Readocracy’s ethos: great potential is usually where you least expect it, and having a meandering career, or lack of experience, can be an asset, rather than a disadvantage. What matters is your commitment to learn and the integrity with which you tackle what’s in front of you.

We are a quirky bunch - our team includes a vintage keyboard collector, table top gaming connoisseur, fashion photographer, a guerilla “serendipity artist”, and professional literary translator, amongst other things. By day, we are coders, designers, researchers, and strategists. Above all, we are deeply passionate, open-minded, values-driven people. We are based in Toronto and Bucharest, with an increasing presence in NYC. Our office dog/ mascot is Mica, which also means “the little one” in Romanian.

If you have any questions, we would be happy to hear from you.

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