Visiting Building 43

A few weeks ago, Scoble was in NYC and we had breakfast at his hotel. After breakfast, he asked me if he could ask me some questions on camera. I said sure and we found a room off of the main lobby and did this interview. I don't think he edited it. And I think it still came out great. It's long (22 mins). I sure wish there was a transcript but I don't think there is one.

UPDATE: PhoneTag has an api and they used it to transcribe this. Wow. This is awesome. Here's the transcript:

Robert: So, who are you?

Fred: I'm Fred Wilson.

Robert: And one thing I've been getting around and talking people about is the 2010 Web which some people call Web 3 but, I think, I just don't like the term.

Fred: Right.

Robert: Web 2.0 or Web 3.0. I think…

Fred: Me neither.

Robert: They explain times in the web, you know, the 1994 Web was about getting a web page. In 2001, it was about adding people and interactivity to those pages. And the 2010 Web is…

Fred: Well, I think, it's real time, for sure. I think it's distributed in the sense that things are going to happen outside of where they start, the whole concept of sort of apps on the iPhone or apps on Facebook or Twitter apps, big part of what's going on now that's going to go mainstream. You know, the way you experience Twitter is through FriendFeed and that's not an entirely obvious thing to most people that, you know, they can use one service through another service and then maybe another service on top of that. And I think that's all part of the 2010 Web. I think games, not so much playing games because we all play games on the Web but, it started to take the notion of what is playing a game and bring it in to more Web services, the notions of virtual currencies and establishing status and just creating game play dynamic inside of services.

Robert: You're talking about Tumblr right?

Fred: Right.

Robert: The Tumblrity…

Fred: Yes, the Tumblrs are this thing called Tumblrity which is recognizing that just the number of followers isn't really what matters inside a social system. It's a combination of how many people following you and how many people really engaged with you and how many people click on a link that you send around or how many people reply or how many people resend stuff. And what Tumblr is going to say, it built an algorithm that sort of captures all that they've established Tumblrity. It's also how often you actually create content in the system. And so people have gone crazy over Tumblrity. Everybody wants to know what their Tumblrity is. They want to make it better, you know. It created some competitive juices and that's essentially a game. It's not to suggest that Tumblr isn't more than a game, it is more than a game but being that it is really, I think, self-reinforcing game play dynamic. So, I think that is a big part of the 2010 Web. And then, also, you know, the ability, virtual currencies, I think. Maybe that's too big of a word, but Facebook's launching a payment system. And you know, I think, a number of people have written that Twitter should have a payment system. I mean, I've often thought like, if I can say The Scobalizer, you know, and send you a message, why can't I say, (P?) Scobalizer $100?

Robert: You can do that anytime you want.

Fred: Anytime, but, you know, so we could maybe, start getting accounts in these social systems that, maybe get some value, accretion from what we do in the system and also allow us to use as accounts to move money around much in the way that people do this already in Second Life and people will start doing it in Facebook. People already do it in Facebook games. So, these are all the kind of things that I think…Mobile is another big part of the 2010 Web. I don't know if this is true, but, I heard that the 40404 shortcode is the most used shortcode in the United States now.

Robert: Yeah, that's Twitter's shortcode, right?

Fred: Yes, Twitter's shortcode. And if that's true, it's a big deal and I think it shows the power of mobile and Web being connected natively. I pull up my phone, I Twit something, you see it on the Web or you see it in front of you which is also on the Web, or you see it in Twit Deck. And that's a very seamless experience between mobile and Web and desktop. And TV obviously should be another piece of that. And so, that's all…

Robert: Now, we just had Adobe and they're showing up the new Flash Player that does 1080p Video.

Fred: Amazing.

Robert: And so, now, you can do a video with a camera like this one and distribute it to iPhones, distribute it to 60-inch TVs and it's (Boxy?) users.

Fred: I'm a huge fan of the TV as… You know, no, the third screen, right. So it's the desktop or Web top, the mobile phone and the TV in the family living room, and we've all known that, but it hasn't really happened. We're still watching more video on our laptops. And we, being geeks, still watch… I'm a geek. Are you a geek?

Robert: Yeah.

Fred: More video on our laptops than we do on our TVs and that I think is going to change. But, the thing I really want is… you know, how there's a Delicious Firefox plugin, so whenever you see a Web page, you can just hit your Delicious plugin and it just go… that your (apps?) gets posted on a map into Delicious. What I want is a video plugin, right, where I have a little thing on my browser, anytime you e-mail me a link and I see it in Gmail or you pass a link to me in Friend Feed or Twitter, or I see a link in Facebook, or I come across a video, I just want to bookmark it. But what… I really want to bookmark it. I want to queue it. And then, after I get home at night, after the kids, dinner with the kids and homework, that hour-long time that I have where I sort of lean back, linear video, I just want to go to my queue which I've built up over the past day or two and just boom, sit back and watch linear video, watch this video, and then the next thing is some funny clip somebody saw me and then go watch Charlie Rose and, you know…

Robert: It seems, yeah, I was driving and I just picked up my son… Marian was driving actually one day on a Sunday and it was during one of the golf tournaments. And Twitter was going nuts about Tiger Woods, right. Tiger just made the most amazing shot we've ever seen.

Fred: Right.

Robert: I was just…hundreds of them, right, you know. And so, that told me that there was something really interesting on TV but I couldn't watch TV right then. I wanted to click a button and save…

Fred: Save that for me.

Robert: And save that for me and bind that moment because I don't want to watch the whole two-hour tournament.

Fred: Exactly.

Robert: I just wanted to see that shot, you know. It's sort of like the nightly news, you know. And it's really hard to do that, driving and so…

Fred: And I think when we do that, when we create services like that with Microchunk Video that allow us to essentially queue up that video. I mean, you know, we've seen a little bit with TiVo remote, right. Like you can hear about something and through TiVo you can somehow log on to the Web and tell your TiVo to record it but that's way, way too hard, right. You know, we need to be as simple as your seeing Tiger Woods hit an amazing shot in your Twitter feed and you need to be able to do something right then and there. Maybe through a Twitter and that goes and grabs that thing and puts it into some queue that later on at night, you can sit back and there it's going to be for you. When that happens, I think, video on the Web is going to take off big time.

Robert: So, you've been investing in all sorts of interesting stuff at Twitter and, right? And the…

Fred: I'm not an investor in but I'm a big of the guys who did That was John Borthwick and Andy Weissman of Betaworks.

Robert: How did you get involved with Twitter?

Fred: I was using it and…

Robert: You chased them. I saw you on the blog.

Fred: Yeah, yeah. What happened was, I was using it and Ev wrote a post on his blog, this is why you got to read blogs. Ev wrote a post on his blog that said, we are going to spin Twitter out of Obvious Corporation. Obvious was the successor to Odeo and I happened to be in San Francisco. I called Ev, he said, yeah, you know, I was coming to talk about it. It turned out I couldn't come in that day. Our schedules didn't work. I flew back to New York. I sat down with my partner, I said, you know, we should make this investment. So, at that time, it was just the two of us. We now have a third partner, Albert, but at that time, it was just Brad and myself. The next week we flew out there. We had a two-hour meeting with Jack and Ev. We basically convinced them that we were good guys. We came back, I called Ev. I said, what do you think? He said, we liked you. I said, can I send you a term sheet? He said, yes. I sent him a term sheet. He called me back the next day. He said, I think we can do this. We did the deal.

Robert: Where do you think, I could spend a whole lot in two hours just typing on my Twitter. For regular businesses on the street, you know, a restaurant, a bike shop or a small manufacturing company. How do you think they're going to use the real time, the Twitter, the Friend Feed, the Facebook from the future?

Fred: Well, I think that we need a lot more stuff built on top of these services. I see Facebook and Twitter and Friend Feed emerging as public channels. I call them public because it's a way for people to communicate with each other publicly. And the problem with those channels is they're really noisy. And I think we need services built on top of them. I think Facebook and Friend Feed and Twitter are building a lot of those services into their services. But I think way more people are building services on top of them. And I think they're going to be people who built services for the small guy, the local merchant, to be able to do what they need to do. There's a company called CoTweet that's here in New York that's building an application for businesses to engage on Twitter. A good example of that is that we have a company called Clickable which is built to service on top of the Adwords API. So, for small businesses who want to buy and sell, who want to buy Adwords, Clickable is a better interface for them. And there's going to be somebody who builds a great interface for the small business on there for Twitter. It could be Clickable. Actually, it's a smart thing for them to do. But, it will probably be somebody else just because they've got a lot of do already. And that's the great thing about these open APIs which is another big part of the 2010 Web, is that services are going to be built on top of services are going to be built on top of services. And you know, how we always have these layers, these stacks and then the next layer comes, the next layer comes. That's happening faster and faster and faster just like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And developers are just building amazing stuff. I'm going to a meet up tonight in Brooklyn. Three of our portfolio companies, all my blogging tools and they're having a blogging API meet up so to discuss outside in and (Samantha?) all have really cool blogging tools, all of which have APIs. And they're doing a presentation to developers who want to built blogging tools on their APIs and other APIs. And that's, there's just going to be more and more of that.

Robert: Yeah, it's pretty crazy how the blog is changing. What I'm doing now is doing cut and paste programming, you know, cut and paste programming.

Fred: Exactly.

Robert: And so, on my blog, I have a whole bunch of widgets on the side, one of which is Friend Feed, one is a Google Latitude thing, one is a Facebook Connect thing, and those were just copied and pasted…

Fred: Right.

Robert: (Without a script?). If you're a more adept programmer, then you can actually play with the APIs to build even something cooler, right?

Fred: Right. Yeah, and what people do is they post it for themselves.

Robert: Yeah.

Fred: And they put it out there and other people like it too. Etsy has an API and…

Robert: Etsy is a really cool service for people who want to sell handmade goods, right?

Fred: Yeah. It's an arts and crafts marketplace on the Web. It's really the best way to think about it, and many of the sellers are women, and there is a small but meaningful subset of Etsy sellers who are married to geeks, and so, a lot of them have, you know, said to their husbands or boyfriends, "Hey, can you build me something on top of the Etsy API?" And so we see a lot of activity where, you know, sellers want some widget that they can put on their blog or on Facebook and, you know, Etsy doesn't really have that for them, so they get their significant other to build it on top of the Etsy API. And then, once it's out there, other sellers see it and say, "I want that, too" and starts to propagate. I mean, I have this single blog roller on my blog. I just wrote on my blog, like, I don't want to do a blog (roll?) because the blogs are being changed and the idea of constantly managing a blog (roll?) is too hard for me. What I really want is just a Firefox plugin that watches what I read and decides what the most important blogs are to me, and over time, it will evolve and change. Some guy built it. It's called BlogRollr and it's just a widget to put on your blog, you download a Firefox plugin, it basically looks for pages with RSS feeds on them, counts them up, and then the one that you visit the most is first on your BlogRollr, and you can have a…

Robert: That's awesome.

Fred: Isn't it cool?

Robert: That's awesome.

Fred: I just wrote about it. Someone built it. You know, that's the amazing thing is that with all the tools out there, it's not that hard to build stuff. It's about building stuff that people care about.

Robert: Yeah.

Fred: So, this is sort of a five-year trend, not a one-year trend. But what we see, these engineers are even more important than ever. Most of our companies, at least half the headcount is in engineering, and I don't see that doing anything but continuing to go up. The other area that we're seeing a lot of headcount in is what I call environmental remediations, sort of trying to deal with all the bad stuff that happens in these systems, spam, hacking, fishing, abusive behavior, you know, squatting, like one of the issues Twitter has to deal with is people squatting on people's brands.

Robert: Yeah.

Fred: Someone had Scobalizer, you know, that wouldn't be right, you know, so they have got to deal with that. And so, that's basically large customer support infrastructure and engineering that's dedicated, so, you know, you can't scale… those kinds of problems you can't scale with just adding more humans, so you just have to start building detection systems and moderation systems. And so that whole area is just a huge call center for anybody that's involved in social media, and most of our companies are involved in social media. Discuss, for example, has been building their own comment spam system. They're using all the existing systems that are out there.

Robert: Yeah.

Fred: And now, you know, they sort of mash them all together, and now, they're building their own proprietary algorithms that use a lot of the data that they've got inside their system. You just got to do that.

Robert: Yeah. Are you saying that physical infrastructure is changing? You know, 10 years ago, people have to buy their own servers or use…

Fred: Oh, we see most people building on a Cloud, you know, the small startups building on a Cloud. Some people, as they…

Robert: Completely on the Cloud or a hybrid (frame?)…

Fred: Hybrid mostly. Some people pure Cloud. We are seeing some companies as they scale go to a collocation, you know. You know, I think servers the size of Facebook or Twitter, you know, it's unlikely that they could run that entirely on the Cloud and they don't. But it's amazing how many services do still run on the Cloud.

Robert: Yeah.

Fred: And I think we'll see more and more of that.

Robert: Yeah. Anything else that you're seeing? It's 2009, we're in the middle of a recession, depression, whatever you really want to call it…

Fred: The only thing that I would say is we would talk a lot about sort of horizontal, you know, innovation, what's… you know, what's happening kind of across all sectors. We're very interested in, you know, a lot of what the internet has changed, disrupted or whatever you want to call it over the past 15 years has been the media business.

Robert: Yeah.

Fred: And we think that education, finance, energy, government, health care, those are all sectors that we should look for really disruptive internet services to evolve either into or build up inside of… we're particularly excited about education and energy and finance. Little less excited about government and health care, but we're looking to cross all these sectors and there's lot… lots of interesting innovation going on.

Robert: Sometime in the next 10 years, there's going to be a revolution in education due to the cell phone.

Fred: Yeah, not just the cell phone but you know, this whole home schooling, un-schooling movement, you know, which I thought was sort of like the lunatic Fringe but it's starting to become more mainstream and I think entrepreneurs are starting to build services for that movement. And that movement's just really hungry for any kind of service they could leverage and I think there will be businesses that will ultimately disrupt the entire education system that will start in the home schooling and un-schooling movements because that's the place that they can get going first.

Robert: Yeah. Tell me about the tools that you're using. Yeah.

Fred: What do I use?

Robert: Yeah. I see you on Twitter all the time.

Fred: Well, I'm pretty old school. I… I'm the anti-school…

Robert: I love your blog by the way. It's one of the few that I read everyday and I'm sending…

Fred: Thank you.

Robert: Pretty crazy.

Fred: I'm very old school. I mean, I'm embarrassed to say that I use the Twitter Web app and SMS as the two ways I interact with Twitter which is pretty, pretty (log-eye?) when compared to what's our there.

Robert: I turned off SMS three years ago. So…

Fred: And…

Robert: But that's because I, I just couldn't deal with it… with having to manage, you know, that many users. So…

Fred: I still visit Techmeme everyday and try to keep track of what's going on out there. I, I use Gmail just actually switched pretty much from Outlook to Gmail. It took me a while, I kind of force myself to do it. I'm loving it now. What else? I don't use Instant Messaging very much because I'm away from my desk. I spend most of my day in meetings or like out on the road, meeting people like you…

Robert: That's why Twitter works so well. It's like you can do it while in between things…

Fred: Right.

Robert: You know.

Fred: Exactly.

Robert: I (never?) said to the congressmen that I talked with who are on Twitter loved it because they could do it in more other way – going from session to session or…

Fred: Exactly.

Robert: From the meeting to…

Fred: I snack on Twitter.

Robert: Yeah.

Fred: You know, it's like, I wrote a twit over the weekend. My son and I were waiting in line at the shopping market and we both pulled out our phones and I went to Twitter and started, you know, catching up on Twitter. It was, we knew we were going to be in line for like two or three minutes. So I'm catching up on Twitter and he goes in, he plays his game of Mafia Wars on his iPhone and he goes in and plays two or three hands of Mafia Wars and we both snacked on our particular mobile app and then, you know, it's our turn to pay and we left.

Robert: Yeah. The (road?) really site that because I have a 19-month old son and he already knows how to turn on an iPhone and find his game, so he knows how to page through the apps.

Fred: What's his game?

Robert: Well, Monkey Ball. Yeah, it's Monkey Ball, I think. It's the one that he likes or SmackTalk, he loves that. It's little animals that you talk to the iPhone and it talks back to you with a monkey, with a funny voice. But he knows how to pick out his app and start it up and how, you know…

Fred: It's amazing!

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Carl Rahn Griffith

    What’s interesting is as bandwidth increases and becomes a more generic/low-cost/high speed commodity, for all devices and in more environments, what will the implications be for ‘traditional’ news/reporting/entertainment, etc as it is rendered on the ‘net?We are still primarily text-driven (eg, the success of Twitter, with the concise use of text/language, with URL referrals, increasingly).So, will video become the default methodology for conveying opinion, news, entertainment, etc?

    1. fredwilson

      video is hardway less people will watch this for 22 mins than would have read (or atleast skimmed) a transcript

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        True. I think an amalgam of the two is the answer …. interesting.Linking key segments of a transcript to the corresponding video part would be cool and effective – seeing the speaker articulate the text can really enhance the message, especially in topics of complexity/rhetoric. Would be cool for education applications also.Just rambling.

        1. streaktowin

          Just saw Delve speak to this at the Onfronts. Apparently they offer a video player that indexes audio from any clip; you can then enter a search term within the video player, and the timeline returns a heat map of where that keyword (or similar keywords) are discussed.

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Cheers – shall check that out.

          2. mrclark411

            that’s one option, but I’d like a version that showed the transcript like a blog post and then every word were clickable back to that exact spot in the video (or at least each sentence or line). I can glance at a transcript and pick up keywords that i’m interested in. I can’t just type in all possible keywords of interest to see if they are in that video.

          3. kidmercury

            agreed, something like that would be fantastic

          4. loupaglia

            The technology out of BBN that EveryZing uses does this.

        2. Ruchit Garg

          This is very much possible and is the next thing if I can read the market.I got a semi-prototype for this hybrid media presentation working.

      2. James Sherrett

        A quick and easy way to get a transcript is to source it through Casting Words — cost about $30 for their standard delivery, about 5 days. We use them for our AdHack Live videos and have been very happy with the whole experience.

        1. fredwilson

          That’s too long from now. If I can’t get it real time, its not useful to me

          1. obscurelyfamous

            That sentence basically sums up everything about today’s media and tools.

          2. Fraser

            Exactly. I love the quality that vimeo offers, but it takes twice as long to encode as YouTube. Convenience trumps most everything online.

      3. loupaglia

        Fred: Would be a lot easier with the video bookmarking, queue to your TV functionality that you discussed. 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          A boxee app came out yesterday evening that does just that. You can read about it a blog.boxee.tvI’m trying it out today

          1. loupaglia

            okay, be honest, did you know about this before you said it on the video? 😉

          2. fredwilson

            I had no idea. The video was made three or four weeks ago

          3. loupaglia

            I’ve tried several times today. I can’t get the videos from boxqueue to play back on my apple tv. I’ve tried two Revision3 videos and ironically, also tried to pull up a couple of building43 videos including your interview with Scoble.All I get is the first screen of the video when trying to play it back and nothing. No audio, no video even though the boxee counter keeps incrementing as if it was playing it back.I’ve had a lot of problems with Boxee on the AppleTV, I wish I went the route of the Mac Mini, think it just needs more horsepower.

          4. fredwilson

            Apple TVs processor is underpowered for boxee. They could develop a lighter version for appleTV and maybe they should.It worked well on my version of boxee. But boxeequeue is still very much a prototype

          5. loupaglia

            yes, I know you are running the mac mini in the living room if I remember correctly. i am regretting going with Apple TV, I’m not that much of a fan of the syncing features anyway so going with Mac Mini would have been a much better decision in retrospect.

          6. fredwilson

            I bet yoiu can buy a used one on ebay cheap

      4. GraemeHein

        I’m your proof of concept here – I was going to watch the clip “later” but had no problems reading the transcript in ~5mins.Great service from the phonetag API!

        1. Siminoff

          Graeme, Thanks, glad you like the transcript

          1. Prashant Sachdev

            was this transcript a fully automated one? quality is super so definitely humans should be involved…in my opinion.can i get an access to the API to check out

          2. fredwilson

            Humans are the secret sauce of phonetag/simulscribe

          3. Prashant Sachdev

            with humans technology is not that scalable…but yeah automated + humans approach is always best for quality.last year @ NAB, I got to know that closed captioning is very big business and even with heavy competition, for each hour of video the costs are exorbitant! There needs to be innovation…Apart from that with the huge boom in online video + video pull on TV + ‘videos audience’ becoming global (u can watch any country show from any part of world), the need for data about video (could be transcript, tags, subtitle) is fast increasing…exciting market to be into 🙂

          4. Siminoff

            We beg to differ on the scalability. With just humans you would be correct but our business is not “just humans”

          5. RichardF

            That’s the same sauce (a call centre) that Spinvox (Simulscribe competitor) use and try to hide that fact.I wish someone could crack voice to text technology.

          6. fredwilson

            Its hard. Both spinvox and simulscribe are pushing technology as fast as they can. But they still need humans. I think a hybrid approach is how you get there

      5. Steffan Antonas

        Video is hard, but I think egoboss’s question is valid and I think that the answer isn’t as obvious as it might seem – I’d be curious to see the analytics (I’m sure you’re right, Fred, but I’m curious what the true spread of post views to video views actually is). I’m usually delighted with video – length generally has nothing to do with my choice. I treat video on the web like I do audio books at the gym – I work on something else while I “listen” to the video and combo task. I also tend to skim other articles while I listen, I just don’t watch the video. I think there are a lot of people out there like me who see the advantage of this. Also, some people are auditory and prefer to listen rather than read. I’d be curious to see any data that supports one argument over the other.

        1. fredwilson

          The delicious for video ‘watch later’ tool could change this for me

          1. Steffan Antonas

            Huh. I wasn’t aware of a delicious for video “watch later” tool. Are you talking about tagging the video as watch-later or is there a tool like created by delicious?

          2. fredwilson

            Its more than delicious for video. That’s the front end. I want to be able to tag video wherever I find it (web, video, email, twitter, facebookm etc). That part is like delicious. But I aslo want a “lean back” experience on my tv to “watch later”

      6. daryn

        Absolutely, I queued up the video to watch later, but it was 100 (maybe 1000) times more efficient to skim the transcript. PhoneTag did a great job, did it do the multi-voice stuff automatically? Go Jamie!

  2. danaardi

    Great Interview. Really informative and insightful. D

    1. fredwilson

      Oooh. Dr D is in the house now. Two comments in one week from longtime silent observers. What a week its been!

  3. Geoff

    Impossible to even begin to watch on a hotel connection in Peru 🙁

    1. fredwilson

      Video players need a download in the background option just like they offer embed codes

        1. fredwilson

          Thanks robert

      1. GraemeHein

        Absolutely – I’ve had that problem so many times. Typically if my connection is flaky I’ll press play and then pause, but an actual feature like that would be ideal.Don’t know why I never thought of that or why none of the providers do it. Hopefully it will get implemented after your note. I can’t see a business reason against it – you’re still on the page, still seeing the ads and everything. You can get download plugins but you can’t asynchronously stream…

  4. josephkelly

    You’re right about the importance of Apps being built on top of API’s. Right next to these API’s lives static datasets that can be explored through similar services. Static data like the US statistical abstract and the human genome.The tools (AWS, Google Fusion, Hadoop, etc) are here that will help bring these massive sources of data to human scale. Websites for the exploration of API’s and datasets will just be stamped out, cookie cutter style.Great interview!

  5. Gonzalo Arzuaga

    Very insightful Fred, thanks. It got me thinking the “cue for later”: maybe it could be good to “store links to check later” not only for videos, but aggregating links to (static) content as well you get or you sent or both, by email/MSN/twitter/FB. Just an idea.P.S. Am I the only one that sees Fred way too similar to kevin spacey (in the frozen picture at the beginning of the video)?

    1. kidmercury

      hahahaha i do see the kevin spacey resemblance

  6. Jason

    it would be really nice if an advanced version of IBM ViaVoice (or other speech to text translator) sat on top of these video aggregators for instant transcription that could differentiate between each subjects voice. maybe even include an option that told the program how many voices were in the video, and then tag each one so the transcripted conversation could be followed.great interview, what a day to have it considering that our skies are freeing up for more internet, so exciting…

  7. Dale

    Nice shirt. I was about to divorce my wife but she got me the same shirt and we’ve stayed together for another week

    1. fredwilson

      Hmmm. Not sure how to take that

      1. Morgan Warstler

        send him your shirt.

    2. fredwilson

      Hmmm. Not sure how to take that

  8. adamwulf

    Loved the interview, thanks for posting – and how timely! less than 10 items later in my RSS Reader, I find out about Boxqueue:…It’s /exactly/ what you were describing for saving all those videos you find on twitter etc to watch in a queue later on your tv. See video -> bookmarklet -> watch on boxee later

    1. fredwilson

      Well I’ve been saying that to anyone who would listen for the past year. Avner is one of the people who did listen

      1. daryn

        I whipped together something similar to Boxqueue, but using for the bookmark storage, which is handy if you’re already using for all your other bookmarks (although their feeds have been a little lagged and flaky recently).No registration required, just start tagging video pages with “L8R”, and then point your browser to<your-delicio….The Boxee app has also been submitted, and should be in the App Box shortly.

        1. fredwilson

          Sweet! I want to try all of these out this weekend and then post about them on monday

  9. Cody Brown

    Former MIT Prof Henry Jenkins delivered an excellent speech that mentioned the role of gaming in civic media.http://www.ethanzuckerman.c…This is an element that is about to become a big piece of the way interfaces are designed and thought about. It is ripe for a big integration into online journalism.

    1. fredwilson

      Its hard wired into the dna of my kids. I think its an evolutionary development thing

      1. kidmercury

        for sure. wait till the kids born after 9/11 get old enough to start thinking creatively and constructively. i gotta make my money before i have to compete with them

  10. Brad Anderson

    Fred, at the 3 min. mark, you talk about payment systems in Twitter. It’s possible you haven’t heard of, a product of Atlanta Startup Weekend. @ivey and @tensigma have built a great system that is friendly, and also compliant with regulations (cough Tipjoy cough).edit: I just twitpay’d you a beer 😉

    1. fredwilson

      BradI’ll check it out.Thanks

      1. Brad Anderson

        Fred, you still have some funds waiting from me for that beer 😉 Also, as of today, Twitpay is now powered by PayPal. Just give your paypal email address as a way to associate your account, set a pin, and that’s it.Cheers,BA

        1. fredwilson

          I saw that

  11. fredwilson

    i am testing disqus’ new “logged out” comment flow. i am posting as a guest here.

    1. ShanaC

      I’m still having trouble claiming, FYI. the direct email is shana dot carp at gmail dot com.

      1. ShanaC

        So now it thinks I exist if I try to reset the password- but not if I try to set the password. In the meantime- I don’t get any emails about how to reset the password… interesting problem…

  12. Scobleizer

    The transcript really rocks, thanks! I’ll have to play with Phonetag. The video is also over at and iPhone playable versions are there. We’ll link those in. Thanks so much for an interesting conversation, I’ll be in New York again next week for Jeff Pulver’s Twitter Conference. Hope to see you again there!

    1. Morgan Warstler

      Scoobie, if I can give you a video player that comes with the clickable transcripting built in, you’ll leave

    2. Siminoff

      Robert, we would be very happy to do the transcripts for all of your videos. Email me, [email protected]. Glad that you like it. Jamie

    3. fredwilson

      It would be cool to try phonetag/simulscribe’s api to get transcripts of every building43 videoThat would be a real differentiator

  13. whall

    The transcription thing is the most interesting to me. There is so much out there to be transcribed – and I’m thinking of all the audio/video media that’s been created recently on youtube, utterli, etc. I waxed about this on utterli some time back here:…For me, utilizing my blog/comment/thoughts time without using my hands is key. Walking the dogs, on the commute, or whenever – recording the spoken word would really help us get the consumption of information down pat.

  14. joshpower

    40404 shortcode isn’t close to the most-used…its still the aim shortcodes which are blind to most users — and nested in the desktop:mobile IMs and vice-versa….the carriers had to build unique shortcode gateways for aim traffic 5 years ago which has only grown

    1. fredwilson

      That’s good info. Where can we get this data. I’d love to see it

      1. joshpower


        1. ShanaC

          Pity- would love to see that data.

          1. joshpower

            You can – if carriers will share it.

  15. Paul Higgins

    Hi Fred,I think the API is amazing but i do worry that people will miss nuances of the conversation – hard to transfer humour and irony in the written word when it is so dependent on body language and the nuances of our voices. Having said that and reading the comments it provides a great tool for seeing whether I am want to watch the video or not. I do tend to save video to watch later and then hardly ever get back to it. Also provides a tool for you to add links in to the transcript that significantly adds value to people’s experience.So I think it increases the value of high value video content and gets rid of the low value stuffCheersPaul

    1. fredwilson

      Paul – I think transcription (way to go simulscribe) and the delicious for video ‘watch later’ queue together may be the answer. Skim the transcription and then tag it for watching later if it seems relevant

      1. Paul Higgins

        Thanks Fred – Good ideaI reblogged the video on Tumblr as well because I did watch it through and liked your thinkingPaul

  16. Prokofy

    That was inspiring and interesting, and the video — and Scoble, who seems to have learned to get himself out of the frame more these days — is what made it more interesting than the transcript. It’s always good to be able to hear tone of voice and facial expressions and see shirts that wives have approved of — all good.I have to say that every time micropayments and monetarizing content online comes up, somebody mentions Etsy, yet it’s often with this patronizing tone, because it involves RL “handicrafts” and not the more fabulous thing, digital creations, widgets and code. And you epitomized that attitude here by talking about those 1950s-style wives that make colourful trinkets for Etsy, while their geeky hubbies make fun little APIs for them to work their cute online business. Sigh.Fred, I want the Internet to provide more opportunity for me and other normal non-geek people than just selling my used toaster on ebay or a knitted doily on Etsy and gawking in wide-eyed fascination at an ever growing multitude of APIs growing like kudzu on Web 3.D (which is what I still prefer to call it). I mean, does the Internet/Cloud/thingie have the capacity to absorb all those widgets and APIs and stuff?!. Is there a point of no return?I look forward to the day when the attitude towards the tools changes, and becomes more one an attitude about mere tools that serve some other human venture, instead of themselves being stones in a Cathedral of API Miracles for widgeteers.I’m also wondering about Tumblr. Why don’t I like Tumblr? Well, in part, because they deliberately make it in-your-face simple and with LARGE TYPE and lots of white and green space so I feel like I’m already in the old folk’s home reading the LARGE TYPE books as if I’m a dummy consumer he needs LARGE TYPE because I’m STUPID. When I go there, it’s filled with vulgar teenage spam and the searches on terms are even more hilariously random than Mahalo.Would putting a reputational game into it make me use it? Maybe, but…I’m from a virtual world and we hate reputational games because they are…gamed. And only the lifers and friends of the devs get to win in this gamed game.You echo a concept that Ed Castronova said in his book about virtual worlds, where he predicted that all the gamingness of games would start migrating into real life and make it “more fun” and that there’d even be a “Ministry of Fun”.But, that really needs some thinking about, because frankly, I don’t want real life to become like a world with men in tights and orcs where people are instantly slain or can skill grind mindlessly for days on end or entertain themselves by ganking newbs. The culturing of online gaming that you’re enthusiastic about pumping into every other widget out there to get people to “stick” is…unattractive and medieval. How will this end? Will I find that I can’t buy bread at the supermarket because I haven’t done my dailies and didn’t reach Paladin 70 level? Or will that just prevent me from getting the best jobs? Castronova isn’t kidding when he actually recommends having these kinds of notions put into hiring, work, every aspect of RL.Finally, there’s your notion of destroying the educational village in order to save it, which sounds worse every time you re-tell it. In this bit you’re talking about business actually serving its own interests by invading the non-profit educational space and destroying the educational system because it’s “broken” (geek code word for “not doing what I like”). Who decided that business gets to do that? Here we all are on blogs and tweets, congratulating each other that we realized WOW that the factory society doesn’t work anymore and we can’t have factories OHNOES determine how education is structured. But don’t you just get the same damn thing if a lot of geeky IT companies decide now how education will be structured?!When you talk about education, I’d like to hear more about the really solid practical things you mean to do with all this destructive business power and “unschooling” and not merely about the need for destruction. I’d like to hear if it’s just a cover to insert all kinds of geeky cultural affectations like wikis and “code is law” and the whole enchilada. Be truthful about it, please.

    1. fredwilson

      This is all a work in progress for me and most everyone working in these areas. I read all of your comments and they weigh on me and impact how I think about this stuff

  17. Greg Neichin

    “We came back, I called Ev. I said, what do you think? He said, we liked you. I said, can I send you a term sheet? He said, yes. I sent him a term sheet. He called me back the next day. He said, I think we can do this. We did the deal.”If only the entire venture world operated so smoothly, we’d all (investors and entrepreneurs) be so much better off! =)Great interview.

    1. fredwilson

      Well this was a special situation. We knew we wanted to do this deal from day oneBut a lot of our investments are done this way

  18. ShanaC

    I’m gonna lay a challenge for you as an Etsy user. ( as a Buyer. I could possibly turn into seller- I’m the target demographic of buyer and seller…) That website is too female.XX Factor claims that the crafting is the female version of soul craft (I’m inclined to agree, seeing my own attraction to learning and practicing this sort of stuff).Can the 3d- party APIs be turned into something Etsy-like. Soul Craft for guys? Even end up merging the two?

    1. fredwilson

      They are working on it

  19. Glenn Gutierrez

    Crazy as it sounds… A delicious for video… Linear video watching… Sorry for self promoting but I promise that out of all the times I’ve read your blog I wouldn’t post something I didn’t believe was related to one of your posts (almost to private beta)… I think we’ve got a solution for you =P

    1. fredwilson

      When can I use it?

      1. Glenn Gutierrez

        If you prefer to wait for the public beta (it will be when we get most of the bugs out… about 3-6 months) then you can sign up at… We’ll launch our private beta next week to a limited and exclusive audience. I’ll happily sign you up if you’re interested, just email me your email to [email protected]. I swear that emailing me will be spam free.

  20. Mark Essel

    Watched the video when Robert opened up building43 and commented there (great stuff off the cuff meistro) but the incredible find for me today, voice transcription. I’ve been recording blog post fodder while out walking and sadly gave up on dragon natural speaking. I will definitely give simulscribe a chance, the transcription worked out great.Wish friendfeed comments seemless integrated with disqus.

  21. jeremystein

    its really interesting that the human problem is now creeping into social media. ive been helping out at stocktwits part time and our problem is that we have to monitor the feed 24/7. id like to build a system to help automate the process but im afraid it will become outdated too some level i don’t think its economical for small startups to commit a ton of resources to maintain a clean community (although its paramount).do you think we will see social media security companies pop up?

    1. fredwilson

      Yes. I think this us a huge oppty

  22. Paul Higgins

    Fred, used a quote from you in an article we had published in the Age in Melbourne Australia today and thought that you would like to see it. It related to social media and I was not sure how to get it to you but it relates to the interview in principle although the quote is from elsewhere so I thought i would put it in here. Please tell me if doing so is inappropriate….RegardsPaul

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks. I’ll check it out

  23. charliepinto

    It’s a late post, but I just got to your video. I wish I built this video into my queue.

  24. remypro


  25. paulhart

    Perhaps something to do with the whole Blogger thing (his dogged stick-to-it-ness, he was babying that platform for years before Google started to take an interest). Ev’s handling of Odeo is instructive too, making all the investors whole out of his own pocket when things were looking poor.Of course, I’m just telling my story – I’m interested to hear Fred’s opinion too.

  26. fredwilson

    Jack was the ceo back then, not Ev. Honestly, it was the product that sold me. I love jack and ev but our conviction came from twitter itself

  27. fredwilson

    Yes. At the end of dinner when its time to split the bill is but one example

  28. fredwilson

    Jamie – i nuked the comment and moved the transcript up to the main post. thanks so much for doing this. phonetag/simulscribe rocks!!

  29. fredwilson

    Hard to say. We do both and in the case of twitter, we got both

  30. ShanaC

    I would say that very much depends how you define social. I would look at you gogglely eyed if you did that while standing in my parent’s synagogue.

  31. GraemeHein

    You’d look in askance at most everything that people do on Facebook if they did it in the middle of a synagogue. And not just the bacon fan pages!This is another example of how social nets are small and large at the same time – what trips people up in posting “fun” photos that really shouldn’t be published or held in hard copy. So while your small network might not involve too many transactions (certain ex governors and Charlie Sheen excepted) your larger one will. Navigating the transition will be interesting and challenging for everyone.

  32. ShanaC

    My parents’ more so than average (It’s super huge and Centerist-Orthodox). It would be looked on in askance because no one carries a wallet on the Sabbath. During the week conducting business during prayer is considered rude, especially because people are rushing to work- for the vast majority, people want to pray quickly and quietly with a minimum of a distractions.The question is when and how to transact based on a variety of social and personal clues. I would not expect purely the same uses of a lot of media today, nor the same drive of APIs, for all socio-economic groups, nor all cultural groups.The base use of the technology may be the same, the top needs often reflect our identity far more.

  33. fredwilson

    Its summer. Casual shirts and I rode my scooter to breakfast!