We had the good fortune of connecting with Calvin Goah and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Calvin, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Rivrb, taken from the word reverberations, is helping to build a more informed online community by outsourcing research to AI automation and human experts. The impetus for Rivrb originated from the observation that social media has become the primary medium through which most people receive their news. In fact, it is usually the first place people learn of current events, not via typical news broadcasts or articles, whether online or via newspapers. So then, what is wrong with receiving news primarily from social media? Well, the problem is that a significant amount of content that’s shown on social media is typically biased or contains unverified information. Given the viral nature of social media, sensationalized content tends to fare better than more detailed, researched content due to the entertainment and Ad value associated with the former. Additionally, the pace at which content is generated on social media tends to outpace the rate at which current social media companies are able to verify, and/or contain the spread of unverified information. How does this affect the health of online communities? Well, access to a wide breadth of accurate information is not always readily available to certain marginalized communities. The time and effort it takes to research content in order to get a full picture or understanding of a subject matter could range from 15 minutes to up to 2-3 hours–potentially days–just to encapsulate the full-breadth of information associated with that content alone. With a little over 80% of the American population being middle or lower class, that’s time that needs to be spent working to provide for ones family. This obviously puts 80% of the US population at an information accuracy disadvantage, as they may not have the extra funds to have others research content for them or the spare time to spend researching content themselves. This should not be the case. It forces 80% of the American population to be extremely selective about what types of content they research, leading users to opt for quick assumptions of content validity based off of knowledge that’s most likely tainted by the echo-chamber tendency of social media algorithms. Rivrb’s full vision will be able to meet the information needs of these individuals.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an aspiring musician. I picked up music in high school when I was introduced to the piano for the first time via an intro to keyboarding class. I later got into learning guitar on-and-off, and then finally started learning to sing during my Senior year of college to help cope with the passing of my cousin the semester prior. Since then I’ve been honing my skills and talents in both vocal, instrumental, and music production settings. I’ll be releasing my first single called Toxic, which is a Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B track with elements of funk, in July of this year. It’s super exciting, and I can’t wait for the world to hear it. In terms of musical career, I want to be able to produce music that conveys the feelings my lyrics invoked in me when I first heard or encountered them. Words are very powerful and carry a lot of emotions, and as a guy I tend to harden myself sometimes because of this very realization. Being vulnerable is difficult because it opens you up to being hurt. I want my music to express some of these vulnerabilities but in a way that connects with the modern audience. You can follow me on IG @greysinofficial to keep up with my artisanship.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a huge sports fan, so I would say you got to check out a Lakers game at the crypto.com arena (sad to see Staples go). Then you got to check out the Bowl, especially if you’re into classical music–which I am! Other than that, I would just recommend checking out the various food truck spots around the city, and taking a trip to Manhattan Beach for a chill/fun day in the sun.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This one goes out to my 9th grade World History teacher, Mr. Teverbaugh. I didn’t know how smart I was until I met Mr. Teverbaugh. He made me realize and accept that I had exceptional intellectual talents. Social Studies had always been my strong suit, so I naturally excelled in his class and didn’t really think much of it. I was under the impression that my understanding of the subject was commonplace and that most others could do what I was doing. It wasn’t until Mr. Teverbaugh started praising me publicly in his class and then even suggesting that I switch from his regular World History to his AP World History class the next semester (World History was a two semester course at my high school) that it hit me that he might actually, really believe that I was smart. I took the offer, and I think that single decision shifted the entire trajectory of my high school career. I had some catching up to do, since the pace of AP WH was much quicker and they had covered quite a lot of material than we had in regular World History, but I was able to hop into his AP WH class a semester late and still pass the AP exam. This was a huge eye-opener for me. It made me realize that I had something special that was most likely going to go unnoticed if Ryan Teverbaugh had not stepped in and shown me the genius that laid dormant within me. From then on I took summer classes and ended up passing every AP class I took (~10-13 if I recall) and finishing ranked 6th in my class of over 550 students. The icing on the cake was when I received my Columbia University acceptance letter. I think teachers like Mr. Teverbaugh who go above and beyond to ignite the intellectual potential of unaware students is truly priceless. If he hadn’t seen it in me I don’t think I would’ve seen it either. Much love Mr. T!
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@teamrivrb