Former Crack Cocaine Kingpin Credits Mark Zuckerberg as His (New) Business Inspiration

As with all unfamiliar bylines, the first thing FishbowlLA did upon landing on a fascinating interview with ex-con Rick Ross was to try and find out more about the article writer. Here’s the mini-bio for author and site executive editor Alan Van:

Alan is a mystery to everyone, including the staff at NMR. All that’s known of him is that he is the epitome of a brilliant writer. Accordingly, his works are often misunderstood and always under-appreciated. Expect to see his novels for sale on a bookshelf near you one day, but only if the bookshelf near you happens to be his bookshelf, and loose-leaf Xerox copies of his handwritten journals filled with the erotically charged tales of one Astronaut Johnny Danger Hughes and his sidekick, Pancho the Chow Chow, can be considered “novels.”

We’re not sure about those “novels,” but there’s no doubt the Ross Q&A is well worth reading. The high of a $2 million incoming daily West Coast drug business cash flow followed by the low of 20 years in jail can produce a lot of hard-knocks wisdom. (Ross was released from prison in 2009).

Topics covered include Ross’ odd celebrity status, current daily routine and new-look entrepreneurial aspirations:

“When I was sitting in my cell, I was studying MySpace, but I thought MySpace was like out of reach, you know? And then all of a sudden, this kid from Harvard popped up, and the name of it was Facebook, and I think the first time I read about him he had 23,000 members, or something like that.”

“And the kid was talking about catching MySpace, and I was like wow, he thinks he can catch MySpace! So then, I started studying him, looking him up and I find he was in Harvard, and he was in a dorm room. I was like, wow, I’ve been to some dorm rooms at colleges before, you know; I had friends who played tennis in college, and I went up and I said, wow, the dorm is not much bigger than my cell. I said maybe I can start me a social network, you know, and I just started doing everything I could to learn as much as I could about social networking, and I started Freeway Enterprise. Were up to over 20,000 members and growing.”

Read the full interview here.