Annafi Wahed is the co-founder and CEO of The Flip Side
In 2017 Annafi Wahed and Jihan Varisco set out to create a shared news source that could help find common ground and bridge political divisions… and The Flip Side was born. The Flip Side is a short daily newsletter that presents all sides of key issues in concise summaries of political analysis from both conservative and liberal media.
As co-founder Annafi shares: “We spend hours each night scanning the news, fact-checking, and debating one another, so your 5 minutes each morning can be well spent.” Before starting The Flip Side, Annafi left her corporate job to campaign for democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. Annafi obtained her BA from Bryn Mawr in 2012, majoring in Economics and Psychology.
In 2018 Annafi went on (partisan) Fox News to offer a different perspective.
In today’s divided world, The Flip Side and platforms trying to find common ground, could be the perfect antidote for a hyper-polarized world. But the question remains, how does one tread the fine line of being unbiased? Annafi and Jihan found the perfect balance by partnering up with someone of opposite ideologies (Jihan identifies himself as a "staunch conservative" while Annafi is a liberal).
As Annafi mentions, the Pew Research Center states that over 40% of both Democrats and Republicans think the other party is a threat to the nation’s well being. And, as she adds, “a functioning democracy requires that opposing parties work together and compromise.”
We had the chance of connecting with Annafi and asking her a few questions about starting The Flip Side:
How did the idea for The Flip Side first come about? And how did you and your co-founder connect? (did your differing political ideologies catalyze your venture?)
In July 2016, I left my corporate job in New York City to campaign for Democratic party candidates in New Hampshire. Walking door to door, I saw firsthand how even next-door neighbors could be completely isolated from one another by the news they consume. In the months following the election, as talk of "fake news" and social media bubbles became commonplace, I set out to create a shared news source in a world of a billion news feeds. It’s no secret that politics and the news are increasingly toxic. There have been thousands of op-eds and hundreds of books written about the problems of polarization and social media bubbles, but few people are offering real solutions. I launched The Flip Side because I wanted to be a problem solver. I am trying to make it easier for people to have genuine conversations in the polarized world.
Check out how much research goes into making The Flip Side here.
What were some of the first obstacles you had to overcome?
Being the boss is all fun and games until you make a decision that ends badly or doesn’t pan out. Few people will understand the stress of being an entrepreneur, and that’s okay.
Although this number has slightly fluctuated in the last years, less than 3% of VC funding goes to female founders, how was your experience pitching/seeking investment?
It is so important to find the right investors and people who are going to be passionate about your mission & believe in you and your mission.