How can you discover your superpower when you're following another's path? Careerwise, I was initially reticent about my strong interest in technology and intimacy. When I finally embraced it, I wrote a definitive pop culture book and even created a popular app acquired less than a year after launch. It comes down to respecting your interests and trusting where they take you.
It was the same experience for Chander Chawla, co-founder of the new app, Ever. His unusual background? Fashion.
"I was advising [women's fashion retailer] Crimson Mim, and I noticed certain clothing sales number were up," he says. "I asked a colleague and she said, 'Of course, they are up. It's because of House of Cards.' In the Bay area, women would watch House of Cards, pause the frame with the lead actress, take the picture to the store and say 'I want to look like Claire.' I realized there was something there."
That was the beginning of Ever, an app that plays wardrobe guru to TV shows and movies. Wondering who the actor is, what kind of suit he's wearing and where he is located? Ever will show you the info, real-time, without interrupting the show. You can also click through to get your piece of the content, like ordering the garment.
It has some serious partners, too, including the aforementioned hit House of Cards and YouTube star (and recent Inc. cover girl) Michelle Phan. Popular TV host Howie Mandel is on its advisory board and, as of this writing, Ever is closing in on deals with major studios.
"The future is all about fashion, commerce and technology connecting," Chawla says. He did work at tech companies, most notably leading T-Mobile's Wi-Fi business, but the Ever opportunity would have been lost to someone who wasn't already plugged into the fashion world. It is a reminder to embrace whatever niche you love, as it is more likely to take you to places others wouldn't know to look.