The Five Stages of Fame

By Rasheed Richmond   December 11, 2016

Let’s just be honest with each other. Everyone wants to be famous. Even if you don’t admit it out loud, deep down inside in a world of 7+ billion people, we all have a desire to “be somebody.”

Most people will never grace the cover of a major magazine publication or even have a local newspaper write an article about their life. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all strive to become as famous as possible for the fun of it.

I’ve been fortunate to be part of the team that created a handful of famous people. Most notably, I was instrumental in raising the funds that led to President Obama‘s historic victory. Subsequently, I joined Obama’s finance committee and watched his career propel to global stardom.

Rasheed Richmond Obama fundraisng

Prior to that experience, I was involved in creating the internet’s first pop music success. Before there was Justin Bieber and “Baby” there was Cassie’s “Me & U” chart topping single that took the internet by storm.

My business partner & music producer Ryan Leslie and I essentially took an unknown model from faceless to the face of a new era of digital media celebrity.

This leads into what I believe are the five stages of fame:

1. Faceless

Inevitably, unless you are born into a famous family, this is where you begin your journey. My story starts in Oakland, CA as the son of a doctor with four sisters.

Rasheed Richmond sister

I grew up in an environment where education was heavily emphasized and three of my sisters graduated from Harvard University with two earning advanced degrees from Harvard Business School.

These accomplishments may seem awesome but in the grand scheme of things, there are plenty of people on this planet with equally as impressive resumes and credentials.


The followers stage of fame is characterized by a desire to want to achieve something great and showing early signs of excellence. This can be academically, athletically or demonstrating a special talent or gift.

The byproduct of this ambition is usually reflected by the beginning of a social media following. After the first 1000 followers, you want more. I was able to get over 20K Myspace friends and personally know how strong the desire to amass a large following.


3. Footnote

My first project was building one of the world’s first social networks. As a recent UCI grad, with my technical co-founder David Horlick, we launched Collegester. It grew quickly within the California college community but was bypassed by Facebook’s astronomical growth.

Our company was documented in The New York Times best-selling book “The Facebook Effect” by David Fitzpatrick. It is the only profile on which Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have officially cooperated, and is a best-seller in countries including Taiwan, Japan, and China.


The Collegester project was my first footnote but certainly not the last. Once you demonstrate some potential in a craft, you can progress along a path that leads to greater opportunities to create more footnotes.

Following Collegester, I turned my attention to search marketing and used Google to promote Cassie on MySpace. This experience led to numerous footnotes including a NY Times cameo.

Rasheed Richmond New York Times

4. Footprint

If you can accumulate enough footnotes, you will begin to make a footprint. This stage is defined by the reach of the media publications and the volume of stories published about you & your accomplishments.


This is the level I’m striving to reach with Fame Bible. We were first to break the news regarding DJ Khaled son’s birth and were referenced by International Business Times.

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-11-10-16-amIf you would like to become part of our journey, please feel free to email us at FameBible @

5. Face

The final frontier is the face of a generation. These transformational individuals define an era and their remarkable achievements go down in history.

Most of the people that make it to this level are leaders of a movement. They have a particular cause and usually are up against tremendous odds to further their movement.

These generational figures show humanity the extent to which we can, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”


Rasheed Richmond is Editor-In-Chief of Fame Bible, LLC. His current focus is using search data to draw social, cultural and financial insights. He can be reached @RasheedRichmond

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