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LOS ANGELES – Videos emerged from social medias of a huge mansion party were Soulja Boy was performing on December 31st.

On wednesday the 25th march 2015, Mark Zuckerberg went all-in on his company.
At Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Zuckerberg announced the latest iteration of Facebook Messenger. It included a direct integration of PingTank, the social-media app Greene created that lets users customize photos with animation overlays.

12362217_1626445690941696_679746224_nOvernight, PingTank was on 600 million mobile devices. The app is regularly touted by celebrities like Tyga, Akon and Mel B., and is backed by legendary venture capitalist Tim Draper.

It’s a story torn from the script of The Social Network: Brilliant software engineer goes from reject to red carpet after his app takes the world by storm.

Jeremy Greene isn’t an engineer. He barely graduated high school. He grew up in Waterville, Maine, not Silicon Valley. And a year before the F8 announcement, he was living in a trailer park, on his last five borrowed dollars. He spent his formative years lost in the foster system. “They took me away because my mom couldn’t care for me and put me in a kid’s shelter,” Greene says of his troubled upbringing.

Despite his struggles, he conceived, built and launched PingTank — and then sold Facebook on his vision — without spending a day in the shoes of the tech elite.

Greene’s meteoric rise from Salem’s Lot to Silicon Valley was achieved through extraordinary hustle and deathless determination, irresistible salesmanship and a team he hired of mad geniuses who work and live out of the “PingTank mansion” in Hollywood (not Silicon Valley)—where the team’s latest marketing stunt involved Greene getting “arrested,” a helicopter and an impromptu performance by Tyga.

His speed, unconventionality and boldness make him dangerous to competitors and have brought in millions in venture capital for the young company. His latest move? He made 12-year-old Sammy Parsley PingTank’s VP of youth marketing. It’s just one example of how Greene acts instantly on things you’ll see everyone else hesitate at.

“Jeremy is a force of nature who creates value out of thin air and runs through brick walls that stop others in their tracks. And that’s exactly the kind of person investors like me like to back,” says Rafe Furst, co-founder of Crowdfunder and a PingTank investor.

The school of hard knocks

Jeremy’s hustle, salesmanship and knack for leveraging star talent came from some lessons learned in the school of hard knocks. When he was 15, his mother relinquished her possession of him to the state. He tried to run away and the state put him in juvenile prison.

“You’re in your boxers in a room with no windows that’s freezing cold and smells like piss,” says Greene.

When he got out of juvie, a series of positive role models helped him get an education (he’s the first in his family to graduate high school) and move into his own place. He started working on his lifelong dream: music. “I realized music was my only way out, and I started using technology to get there,” Greene says.

His timing was perfect. Before the days of 10-second messages and live-streaming video, MySpace was king, especially among musicians and their fans. So Greene started creating music and uploading it to the social-networking site. His popularity grew fast — a little too fast. People started distributing his music illegally instead of paying for it. One day, he confronted a hacker who was giving his tracks away.

“The hacker said, ‘Look, I’m actually helping you. I’m putting your music out into the world,’” Greene says.

Most people would thrash back. But Greene was hustling to survive; he wanted the most exposure possible.

“I asked him, ‘If you can hack my page, can you also hack MySpace?’” The answer was yes. Greene convinced the hacker to promote his already popular music further by gaming the MySpace algorithm. In one of those anecdotes that seems less strange the more you get to know Greene, MySpace didn’t shut him down; they offered him a record deal.

“MySpace said, ‘We know you’re hacking us, but we don’t know how, and we can’t prove it. But your music is so good, we’d like to sign you,’” Greene says. He met with the head of MySpace’s record label, and walked out with a deal.

What followed was massive popularity on the social-networking site and a record deal with mega-producer Diddy, who found Greene through the site. Greene soon was collaborating with, Pitbull, Chris Brown and LMFAO.

But the success didn’t last. He parted ways with his record label and, eventually, went broke. His friends stopped calling. And prospective record deals dried up. He couldn’t afford his own place, so a friend bankrolled his rent at a trailer park while he worked on revitalizing his music career.

“I just knew there was something bigger for me,” Greene says, when asked why he didn’t just quit. “I knew something would eventually happen if I kept going.”

He was right. Something did happen. Greene saw a movie about the world’s youngest billionaire.

Related: How a Coffee Lid Turned into a Million-Dollar Idea

Building a better social network

Greene and his longtime friend (now PingTank CTO) Derek Myska watched The Social Network late one night in 2012 and realized they’d found their rocket ship.“ After watching The Social Network, I instantly knew we had to build something,” Greene says. He went to bed that night on fire with the idea of starting his own company—and woke up with the idea for PingTank fully formed after having a dream about it, he says.

PingTank was born. Greene envisioned it as a new way for people to communicate. While users could “like” content on Facebook, there weren’t many creative ways for them to vividly express themselves through photos. PingTank wanted to change that. The app allows users to choose from hundreds of animations and lay them over photos on Facebook Messenger, iOS, Android and apps like Instagram. Users can “ping” the creation (the app’s version of the “like” button) or “tank” it if they dislike the photo.

Myska, who has a computer-science degree, built the app. Greene, already a master promoter, sold it along with their third co-founder Christopher Dawes, who did event promotion. PingTank attracted 2,500 users in the first few weeks after launch through an email list Greene had from his MySpace days. And that’s when the trio knew they were onto something.

There was just one problem: They were all broke.  Success wasn’t just the best option, it was the only option.

Salvation came in an unlikely form. Greene connected with acclaimed music producer Lars Halvor Jensen on, of all things, Facebook by cold messaging him about his producing career. They bonded over music and set up a Skype call to talk further.

“The first time I Skyped with Lars, I’m sitting wrapped in a blanket,” Greene says. “He asked me what was going on, and I told him I had nothing.” Greene’s heat in his trailer had been turned off, and he couldn’t pay to turn it back on. Jensen immediately sent him money to survive.

The music producer didn’t just invest in Greene, he invested in PingTank. He’s now the company’s President and CFO. With Jensen on board and cash in the bank, Greene turned his sights on a man he knew could turn his social-network dream into a Silicon Valley reality.

‘You’re probably looking at the founder of the next Facebook.’

In one of his trademark bold moves, Greene cold emailed legendary venture capitalist Tim Draper. He got Draper’s email by reverse engineering his secretary’s email address and plugging in Tim’s name instead of hers.

Just 20 minutes later, Draper invited him to come pitch the company in-person at his entrepreneur accelerator program, Draper University.

There was only one problem: The pitch was happening the next day in Palo Alto, Calif.

“I told Lars that Tim wanted to meet with us. The very next day.” Greene says. “And we were on the other side of the country in Maine. But Lars said, ‘You get one shot.’ We had nothing: no presentation and barely a website.”

Jensen stayed up all night writing a business plan and putting his own unique spin on their pitch to appeal to Draper’s unconventional ways. (For example, he has had people do jumping jacks or give high-fives before pitching.)

The PingTank mascot was a penguin, so Jensen rented a penguin costume and picked Greene and Myska up from the airport wearing it (nearly getting arrested by airport security in the process). They drove straight to where Draper was, and wearing a penguin suit Jensen stood beside Greene as he pitched one of the world’s most prominent venture capitalists in front of a room of young entrepreneurs.

“I told my story, that I had just come from a trailer. I was honest,” says Greene. The team’s passion, honesty and commitment to standing out from the crowd paid off.

Related: A Young Entrepreneur’s Quick Path to Profitability

“When I was done, Tim turned to everyone in the room and said ‘You’re probably looking at the founder of the next Facebook,’” Greene recalls.

Draper should know. He passed on an early opportunity to invest in Facebook. But he didn’t make the same mistake with PingTank. He invested right after Greene’s pitch.

“I told Tim, ‘I don’t need your money, I need you.’ I knew that once I had Tim, I could get everybody,” says Greene. He meant it. With Draper as an investor, Greene sold everyone from celebrities to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (thanks to Draper’s connections) on the app.

Most seem to see what Draper does. “PingTank has the potential to allow a whole new brand of communication,” he says.

Draper’s involvement was just the beginning. PingTank has raised $2.2 million to date, has 17 employees and boasts over a million users.

Not everyone, however, is bullish on the company. One investor who passed on the company, Zachary Zeldin, said he isn’t sold on the company’s vision.

“We don’t believe that the influencers and partnerships that [PingTank is pursuing] will be as large of a driving force as [PingTank is making] them out to be,” Zeldin says.

It’s a valid concern. But it’s not slowing down Jeremy Greene or his vision for the company.

Greene has been the voice of the company since the beginning but that role is taking on new meaning. He’s rebooting his music career as a way to promote PingTank. He’s launching concerts on college campuses to spur student adoption of the app. He will also soon be rolling out a Snapchat competitor called ReallyYo. Like everything Greene does, you can be sure it’s going to be big.

After all, Greene did his time in the foster system and the trailer park. Now that those are behind him and the chains are off, he’s moving at a pace that makes even Silicon Valley look slow.


NFL Fines Antoine Winfield Jr. $7,815 For Taunting Tyreek Hill During Super Bowl



The NFL has fined Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. $7,815 for taunting Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill during the Super Bowl, earlier this month. Winefield explained that the taunt was revenge for all the times Hill had done the same move to receivers throughout the season, including against the Bucs during their Week 12 matchup earlier in the year.

”The taunting, it was something I had to do,” Winefield said after the Super Bowl. “When we played them earlier (Tyreek)Hill went off on us. He back-flipped in front of my face and gave me the peace sign. So it was only right I gave him the peace sign right back. It felt amazing to be able to do that”

Hill torched the Bucs for 269 yards and three touchdowns during Week 12, but in the Super Bowl, he was held to just 73 yards. Winfield threw Hill’s taunt back at him with 4:06 remaining after successfully defending a fourth-down pass.

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Winfield was drafted by the Bucs with the 45th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In his impressive rookie year, he finished with 94 tackles, one interception, six passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.

The Bucs dominated the Super Bowl, winning 31-9, and securing Tom Brady’s 7th championship.


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Tim Tebow To Join New York Mets For Spring Training For 5th Straight Year



The New York Mets have once again invited former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow to join their spring training roster. Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, first returned to professional baseball in 2016. He’s been invited back to join the Mets for spring training each of the last four years.

In 34 games with the Mets, Tebow has batted .151 and hit his first home-run last spring.

In 2019, Tebow said he’s still optimistic regarding his hopes of making it to the major league: “That would obviously be something that would be special, and I think another part of the dream,” Tebow said. “Part of it’s just playing every day and enjoying it and competing, which I love. Obviously, that would be awesome. It would be a lie if I said that wouldn’t be super cool. … But I wouldn’t say it would be a success or failure if that did or did not happen.”

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Due to coronavirus precautions, MLB teams are only allowed 75 roster spots for spring training.

During the rest of the year, Tebow works as a football analyst for SEC Network.

In the NFL, during the 2011 season, Tebow led the Denver Broncos to their first playoff victory since 2005, after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime.


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Tamar Braxton Breaks Silence On Suicide Attempt, Blames Reality TV



Tamar Braxton is finally speaking out about her recent hospitalization due to a suicide attempt this month.

The reality television star has been recovering from an alleged suicide attempt and, today, she confirmed the reports, claiming that her career in reality television pushed her to the edge.

“First and foremost, Thank you. Thank you to each and every individual who has prayed for me, thought of me, sent me their love and has showered me with their support,” said Tamar in her new message. She goes on to hope that her own experience can help somebody navigate their own hard time.

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“Over the past 11 years there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave. I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid. I wrote a letter over 2 months ago asking to be freed from what I believed was excessive and unfair. I explained in personal detail the demise I was experiencing. My cry for help went totally ignored,” she says, blaming the executives at WeTV. “However the demands persisted. It was my spirit, and my soul that was tainted the most.”

Her lengthy message explains all that she went through as a member of the entertainment industry and how it took a toll on her as a person. She concludes by saying that what happened on July 16 was her “attempt to end my pain and my life.”

Continue sending prayers, love, and positivity to Tamar Braxton.

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