Palo Alto – Ken sits by the pool and runs the numbers….
My business partner, Ken Krushel and I have been out in Palo Alto trying to raise money for an idea- Citizenews
We started talking about this more than a year ago when we were both speakers at the Eurasian Media Conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
I had come to Almaty for two reasons – one, I had never been in Kazakhstan. Two, one of the other speakers was going to be the founder of Ohmy News, the Korean citizen news website. I had an idea. I wanted to talk to Mr. Oh to see how he did it. I wanted to try it in video and in English. Ohmy is in Korean and in print.
Oh did not show, but Ken did.
Ken is both an online entreprenuer (he has founded and sold several new media companies), and a former Executive VP at NBC. I thought his combination of entreprenerial success plus his GE training and experience would be of enormous value. I was right.
In a few days we had met with almost every major venture group in Palo Alto. We met with the same people who had funded Google, Yahoo, Apple Computers, PayPal and lots of others. They are a frighteningly smart group and it is a real pleasure and education to meet and talk ideas with them.
I think things went well.
I think there is the potential here to re-invent news.
News is moribund, and has been for some time. It is static, boring and predictable. It could be much more.
For more than 60 years we have had a broadcast news operation that has remained pretty much unchanged. A guy in a suit behind a desk reads the news and they roll some stories. Go to the Musuem of Broadcasting and take a look at the Camel Cavalcade of News from the 1950s and it looks exactly the same. Exactly.
This was how news had to be delivered in the 50s because it was the best that that technology could allow.
The technology has changed, but the way we gather and deliver the news is fundamentally the same.
There are hundreds of thousands of people with cameras and laptops. Hundreds of thousands of people with ideas and opinions. Their opinions and insights are valuable – as valuable as those of Brian Williams or Katie Couric.
Now we can harness them – liberate them – give them a voice. And pay them.
We can move news from being a ‘broadcast’ to being a dialogue, or more properly, a ‘multilogue’ – a place were we can explore the world, discourse on important issues and discuss them and participate in an ongoing global vlog.
It’s an interesting idea.
I think we can fund this.. or at least get it started.
But to prove to these guys its valid…. to prove that there are really intelligent people out there with important ideas and stories… with video cameras or laptops….
we’re going to have to ‘prime the pump’.
In the next few days you might get an email from me explaining how this works and how you can get involved.
If you like what you read…. please let me know…
if you have questions… please ask
if you want to know more… please let me know…
I have an idea of something really unique and important we can do….
I need your help….