Who Am I? – Christian Levis (president/founder)

Hey there,

As part of this blog series we are going to give everyone some background on the people that make up our company. Hopefully that will help you get a sense of how we came up with these ideas and maybe of where we are going. I will try to leave out any app related info in this post so you can get a feel for other things I like/and am interested in. Hope it helps.

Growing up I never thought I would be involved in the tech world. For most of my life I have dreamed of being a musician. I began playing piano when I was 7 years old and started playing in various bands when I was in middle school. I attended high school at Fordham Prep in the Bronx and though I was an all around good student, left with the intention of becoming a record producer some day. My parents were not thrilled. That’s not to say that they made me do anything I didn’t want to, but just that explaining to a father who is a dentist and a mother who is a teacher that you want to go to music school doesn’t go over too well.  So I made a compromise. I ended up choosing to go to NYU instead of Columbia so that I could study music while getting a “real” education.

Turns out the music school bit didn’t work out as planned. After taking only one class in music production I was bored. Having already landed a job as an assistant in a recording studio, I knew most of what was being taught. So I stopped taking classes and learned the old fashioned way – by working. I stayed at NYU and continued with “real” school – majoring in biology and English and picking up a certificate in marketing in my spare time. Yea – not exactly what I planned either.

Like every good 22 year old I graduated college not knowing what I wanted to do. I was good at a lot of random things but there was unifying goal. So I decided to take a year off to try out somethings and see if I could figure it out. I spent most of that time touring, recording other bands, and working in Borders Books in Scarsdale, NY. I learned a lot that year. I got to make a great album, Archea by a band called Mem which you should all check out. But I also figured out, in a bittersweet emo way, that music production wasn’t for me. The more I did it, the more I hated it. Now I have always been a music lover so the thought of someday hating music freaked me out. That point aside, I just wasn’t happy like I thought I would be. Admitting that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but it was for the better.

So I sat around for a while and thought about what I liked to do and tried to figure out some way I could tie it all together. I loved music, like science, and was interested in a whole bunch of other creative things. I’m not really sure how it happened but at some point I realized that everything I liked to do was connected by one common theme – they were all types of intellectual property. Up until this point I hated lawyers as does most of America, but I thought back to this one entertainment law class I had taken while at NYU and how cool my professor had been. I realized that if could unify most of what I like to do, still keeping a hand in several industries, under one umbrella I could possibly be happy in life. And so I set out to do that. I studied for the hellish test that is the LSAT and applied during the worse year for graduate school applications ever; turns out everyone who lost their job in the “great recession” had the same idea! Somehow I ended up at Fordham (having been wait listed at Columbia and NYU due to the “high volume of qualified applicants” bs) and that’s were I am today.

In the end it looks like everything worked out. With privacy becoming a growing concern, a background in IP and Information Law certainly cant hurt in running this company. It also makes me more sensitive to people concerns and more adept that thinking of a solution to the problems we might face in the future as we grow. Trust – privacy scares me too (ever think about where all those random photos of yourself are going to be 20 years from now?) but it is an evolving fact of life in this society. I don’t think sharing is a bad thing but I certainly don’t think that a “bare all” policy is the way to go about this. You will hear more about my views on this at a later date.

Anyway that’s my life story. The short version at least. Stay tuned for Nigel and Raul’s. They will update soon.

~C

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About clevis1

Christian Levis is the creator of EchoFriendly, a location based chat application for the iOS. He is a graduate of NYU's College of Arts & Sciences and holds degrees in biology and English along with a professional certificate in marketing. He also a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, and deeply concerned about privacy and the impact that social media has on intellectual property. Christian is also a jazz pianist. His favorite band is Steely Dan. His favorite book is too hard to choose. He enjoys seafood but not really lobster and drinks more coffee than is probably healthy for a normal human being. You can find him on Twitter @echomeback Or on Facebook as...Christian Levis
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