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Brett Marl of Wants To Make You Famous

Brett Marl, founder of, wants the American public to choose the next big singing superstar. Sound familiar? Ever heard of a little TV show called American Idol?


Marl and his team at FameMe are taking the simple idea that anyone could be the next singing superstar (and that the American public is fit to judge who that person will be) and transforming it from its television version into a contest for the Facebook generation.

Fast forward ten years to 2012 and the world looks a whole lot different than it did back when American Idol first aired in 2002. Facebook began its world domination in 2004, allowing people to connect and communicate in completely new ways. In 2005, YouTube started letting people show the world whatever random video they created and Twitterjumped on the bandwagon in 2006, suddenly making instant communication between potentially thousands of people a very real possibility. FameMe decided to take all of those new mediums and use them to their advantage.

What is it?

Launched 4 months ago, Marl describes FameMe as “American Idol meets Facebook.” His goal? To help talented people reach a larger audience. If that sounds too much like YouTube, consider the fact that 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Getting noticed in that crowd is almost impossible, unless you’re an adorable baby or a kitten.

How does it work?

FameMe structures its site as a contest, just like American Idol. Unlike American Idol, however, the “judges” are people sitting at home on their computers and the voting is done right on the website, with three votes allowed per day per Facebook account. FameMe utilizes already existing social media (Facebook and presumably Twitter) to allow both performers and fans to campaign for votes. The format is hands-on, addictive, interactive and feeds into everyone’s desire to feel important. Basically, it’s touching on a bunch of basic human wants, which is almost always a key to a successful startup.

How To Turn Your Idea Into A Business

The idea seems obvious—take a super popular interactive TV show and turn into an even more interactive and accessible website—but Marl points out that no one has done it successfully yet. He’s relying on his team, a seasoned group of bootstrappers who know how to work hard and work well together, to take FameMe as far as it can go. There it is again: the team. It seems like no matter who you talk to, it’s always about the team. No matter how amazing your concept is, it’s not going anywhere unless you have a good group to make it happen.


Marl says another key to success is to stop hiding your idea from everyone else as you’re figuring it out. The old saying “there’s nothing new under the sun” definitely applies to the startup world and just because your idea is awesome doesn’t mean it’s unique. Share it, get feedback, and believe that you and your team are the only ones who can turn that idea into a successful reality.


The site is obviously still new, but Marl has confidence that it will be a hit. Judging by what he’s working with—an idea that feeds into basic desires, utilization of existing popular media and a solid team—I’d say he’s probably got something here.

Photo Credits


Author : Emma McGowan

Emma is a proud native of Burlington, Vermont, who has lived in six different countries over the past two years. She's living and loving the global nomad life and writing about technology and startups everywhere she goes. Check out more of her writing about tech on (the more titillating stuff) KinkAndCode.. Follow her on Twitter @MissEmmaMcG.

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