Meet Lars

Lars Mapstead

Meet Lars Mapstead

Meet Lars Mapstead

Lars Mapstead is a tech entrepreneur, road racing enthusiast, and 2024 Libertarian Candidate for President. He grew up in poverty, living out of a small barn in Big Sur, California until the death of his grandfather in a hit-and-run accident. Bounced around from relative to relative, he overcame alcohol, drugs, and incredible odds to found and co-found multiple companies, including FriendFinder Networks, Fupa Games, and Legendary Speed.

As Lars built his businesses, he has watched as in election after election third parties and American voices are being silenced. Americans are being forced to vote for the same two parties, and nearly the exact same candidates, over and over again. Lars is running for President in 2024 to unrig our economy, our election system, and our criminal justice system, and ensure every American has a fair chance at achieving the American Dream.

Meet Lars

Lars' Story

I Took On The Music Industry and Won.

I Took On the IRS and Won.

Now I’m Taking on the Two Old Parties.

Growing Up in Poverty

Growing Up in Poverty

I grew up in coastal California, with hippie parents who raised me traveling the West coast from Big Sur, California, to Mazatlan, Mexico, in a Volkswagen bus. When we arrived in Big Sur, we didn’t have much, not even a bathroom. Without much parental supervision or money, I made the canyon my home. I was the King of the Canyon if kings have outhouses instead of running water.

From here through high school, life was a series of short stays with family members and no place for me to fit in. I bounced from school to school as I moved from family member to family member. Each city required a new set of friends and relationships, a new home, and a new life. I was eventually sent to live with my grandparents in Santa Cruz.

For a short while I almost got something resembling stability, until my grandfather was killed by a drunk driver as I sat next to him in the passenger seat on a trip to see my mom. It was one of the most devastating events in my life. I struggled with drugs, alcohol, and the wrong groups of friends for years afterward, and this became the basis of my Libertarian beliefs to “Live and Let Live.”

My Introduction to Silicon Valley

At twenty-three I was working a minimum-wage job at Fry’s Electronics when I got lucky. On a whim one morning, I turned left instead of right on my usual route, and I found myself at a dead end with a single building ahead with a giant Highway One sign on it. The name triggered one phrase in my mind "internet store" and whatever that might be I walked in determined to find out.

What I found wasn't an "Internet Store." For me, it was more like a "Destiny Store." A young man approached me and asked if I needed help. I tell him I do internet stuff too. Twenty minutes later, I'm in a basement with a group of other young men, confused and unaware about what's to come. A guy points at me and says you get 20%. A week later, the Olympic swimmer I shared a building with no-showed and I was awarded his 20% too.

My Silicon Valley career began when I stumbled into being the majority owner of that company. From these modest beginnings, I went on to found multiple startups, from gaming companies to social media companies. The largest of which, FriendFinder Networks, grew to be one of the largest early social media companies, with over 6 million subscribers, six hundred employees, and nearly a half-billion per year in revenue.

My Introduction to Silicon Valley
Fighting and Winning

Fighting and Winning

Growing these companies was a fight. In 2002, an entertainment company I helped found with my brothers was at the epicenter of the attacks, doled out to companies like Napster by the music industry. With millions of dollars & high-powered attorneys, they threatened to take everything we had. In the end, I won a striking blow for internet freedom and search engines couldn't be held liable for what they linked to.

Later, in 2012, we sold Friendfinder Networks, and the IRS showed up at my door. They spent years auditing our company, sending document requests, and harassing us and our employees. Like the music industry, they threatened to take everything we’d worked hard to build. After five years of abuse, they canceled the audit, admitting that our big crime was paying taxes in the wrong year. I'm still waiting for an apology.

Right Now

I beat losing my family before I was 18.
I beat the odds and built a successful career in Silicon Valley.
I beat the music industry despite sending everything they had.
I beat the IRS with its tax-financed upper hand.

The two-party system is my next contender.

I hope you’ll join me.

-Lars Mapstead

Right Now

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