One of my favorite people in the tech business is Anthony Volodkin, founder and operator of the Hype Machine. Anthony's a media hacker in the greatest sense of the word. He builds apps that allow us to discover and enjoy new things.

And his latest project, really just an experiment, is called Kickstumbler. I found out about it this morning. Think stumbleupon meets kickstarter. Give it a try.

But the coolest thing of all is this linear video version of Kickstumbler. I'm going to point my big screen TV in the family room at video kickstumbler tonight and just sit back and enjoy all the awesomeness.

Thanks for building this Anthony.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Avi Deitcher

    So I gotta ask: “point my big screen TV in the family room at video kickstumbler…”¬†What are you using? TV with built-in browser? Some media-center PC hooked up to the TV? Boxee Box (one of your portfolio companies anyways)?

    1. fredwilson

      Boxee and mac mini. Boxee is better for many things but tge mac mini is more versatile

      1. Avi Deitcher

        Yeah. but Mac Mini is expensive and managing a whole new computer, no? What do you do with it that a Boxee doesn’t give you? (i.e. versatility)I live in Israel, none of the streaming options except for iTunes works here – Amazon Instant Video, Hulu/+, Netflix, etc. I watch it all when I am in the US on business, ~50% of the time, but the regional restrictions are a pain. But that was part of yesterday’s post, right? ūüôā

        1. fredwilson

          I use a ‘hand me down’ Mac mini. I don’t throw out old computers. I just connect them to displays in my home and office and use them as video boxes

          1. ShanaC

            What other use do you have for old computers

          2. falicon

            parts and upgrades (memory) for other computers…

          3. ShanaC

            ūüôā at some point the parts become ehhh too, then what?

          4. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            You can donate to someone who needs it :-).

          5. ShanaC

            Old old friend of mine is working on a startup with that idea in mind….

          6. falicon

            ditto…and for the record the Mac Mini is the cheapest way to get a half-way powerful mac…best value for the money IMHO.

          7. daryn

            Didn”t Boxee discontinue development/support for their software on Mac/Win/Ubuntu?¬†It’s a shame, because I also have random hardware I’d prefer to repurpose than buy another CE device.¬† Right now I use my Sony Blu-Ray players for netflix/amazon, and an old macbook w/ a DVI cable for everything else.

          8. fredwilson

            they discontinued development but you can still get the software out on the internet

  2. testtest

    bloody hell, that’s entertaining!

  3. Brad Lindenberg

    That is so smart…Do you think it will have the same affect that the ‘top 10’ list has on the app store? I.e. many liked projects end up getting lots of attention with the long tail suffering? Maybe not, as projects have finite time lengths…”Instead of sleeping, we made Kickstumbler”Love it!

    1. testtest

      it’s about discovery, so not the aggregate top 10.¬†i’m loving it as well. i got the concept of kickstarter, and appreciated its 5% on each successful¬†pledge (from a business model perspective), but didn’t personally use it.¬†i will now!¬†

    2. Donna Brewington White

      I really liked that line too.  Especially given the hour at which I read it.

  4. Rohan

    This really is Kickstarter month!

  5. Winkieboy

    Yes! Finally, I can watch Kickstarter, the best TV channel out there…. someday I might be able to watch AVC, Techmeme, etc…

    1. Matt A. Myers

      [Start Recording Video Comment Reply]I agree, it could work in certain forums.. ūüôā Except for short comments like this… however people would have to learn to become efficient at scripting quality responses, so there’s no rambling. It would actually be a great way to learn how to practice verbally explaining things…. I’m good at writing my thoughts down, though haven’t quite learned to pass my thoughts through my vocal channels as well.

  6. Donna Brewington White

    This is pretty brilliant. ¬†An enjoyable and entertaining form of discovery with all the draw that comes with Kickstarter anyway. ¬†Fascinating. ¬†I’d love to let my kids watch this for inspiration.Also, I couldn’t help thinking, I wonder what a concept like this could do for online shopping.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Etsy product videos. StumbleEtsy. Killer.Edit: Wow. This concept just gave me a whole lot of other extensions to my current plans.. Yay! *tuck away for 3-5 years from now*

      1. William Mougayar

        Do it & show it. Don’t say it.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Doing it as fast as I can. Learned to pace myself to not get overwhelmed. Will show and tell as soon as possible.(Technically I shouldn’t have responded based on the advice. Was taken to heart though.)

          1. William Mougayar

            I’m teasing you a bit. You only need to say it to 1 or 2 people. The rest are from Missouri.¬†

      2. Ela Madej

        Good luck!

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Thank you. ūüôā Good luck to you for whatever you’re currently working on as well. :)P.S. I think you should continue to see how you can affect politics / lead them in a great way even if it’s 10, 20, 30 years from now. You can be a strong activist in many ways other than just aiming for Presidency. ūüôā That’s what my projects aim towards anyhow – though small potential I’d end up Prime Minister of Canada. ūüôā

      3. Donna Brewington White

        Would be great if this was another product born at AVC. ¬†We’re full of ideas!Hmmm… AVC incubator. ¬†I’m in.

    2. kenberger

      Funny you say ‘fascinating’, because Anthony’s twitter handle is “fascinated”.I’ve yet to see him here on AVC though, although he knows Fred (and me) pretty well.

  7. William Mougayar

    What a great name and instant pleasing App! It makes serendipitous discovery really fun, while being useful.¬†In the sea of information, stumbling upon something is the only way to find it. ¬†Columbus didn’t hit the search America button on his computer. He stumbled upon it.¬†

    1. Avi Deitcher

      Ha! Good line!¬†But, did he really? He truly believed that there was a path to the East by going West. He may have stumbled across America (wasn’t it really Bahamas and the Caribbean?), but he definitely knew where he was trying to go.

      1. John Revay

        Good Line Indeed

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Do these thoughts just come to you?

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I think Fred must give him advance notice…. I’ve heard they’re in cahoots in a project together too (not so secretive, mind you)!

        1. fredwilson

          I’m an equal opportunity noticer

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Nah — I think he’s just that quick. ¬†Which may be why Fred is in cahoots with him.

          1. William Mougayar

            Bingo…I have 2 speeds: quick or fast.¬†

          2. testtest

            there’s a saying in the¬†military:slow is smooth, smooth is fast.either way you end up fast. nice little mental model though.

      2. William Mougayar

        Lol. And I’m driving (Shhh)

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          I am waiting for your comment when you are flying…must be even better.

          1. William Mougayar

            Oh no…next week.¬†

    3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Good one.Discovery of America is the best example of “Stay hungry stay foolish”.¬†In fact many discoveries in science happened that way only. The best I like is the discovery of X-ray … this guy was working on vacuum tubes and electric discharge … someone left the¬†phosphor¬†plate in lab and which started glowing while he was experimenting.¬†Important factor is … he knew he discovered something and kept the secret to himself and not even telling his wife until he made the proof. ¬†And the big difference is every one sees but some only “observe”.

      1. ShanaC

        How do we teach people to observe then

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          “You see but I observe” …That was a sentence made by Prof. Ray Freeman i guess and then also by Sherlock Homes … i donno who stole from whom.I don’t think¬†we can teach¬†intelligence…well i am qualified enough to answer that question.

          1. ShanaC

            I think observation is different than intelligence. There are some really smart people out there with the creativity killed out of them…

          2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            Yes Shana. Observation is very much different than intelligence. But just observing never serves any purpose … observation with inference or interpretation is the key … that is where¬†intelligence¬†comes in.¬†And to your other question on Old computer … some parts of it worth more than the dumping value … one of my¬†friend¬†in India takes the old 5-1/4 floppy drive on dump prize of 20cents a piece and then he stripes it off take only the motor inside which is worth 5-6 $. That he uses for his product.

          3. ShanaC

            You have a smart friend.Still, I think intelligence is far more fluid than we like to admit…

    4. kenberger

      his browsers were called Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria ?

      1. William Mougayar

        Probably yes ūüôā

      2. Donna Brewington White

        That’s good!

    5. falicon

      Cool…have you seen yet? ¬†It’s basically StumbleUpon for your social data (built on top of your account)…been out in the world for a couple of months now, but hasn’t been publicly pushed yet ūüėČ

      1. William Mougayar

        I will check it. Did you develop as well?

        1. Mark Essel

          Kevin’s a machine, and yes.

          1. falicon

            Thanks! That is as long as you didn’t mean this type of machine ->¬† ūüėČ

          2. Mark Essel

            ūüėÄ Hahaha, certainly not. Although that site shows how eccentric web apps have become. They’re not just business, they’re a cultural phenomenon.

        2. falicon

          Sorry for the delay in response…yeah – I repurposed the domain for this a copule of months ago (it was orig. a service that emailed you when you were at mentioned on twitter and let you reply directly via email back to twitter…that was, funny enough, an idea that came from Andrew Parker back during his USV days…Twitter finally released emails for at mentions themselves this past year…so it freed the domain back up for me to do something else with it…)

    6. testtest

      “What a great name”yeah,¬†portmanteaus are pretty sweet.i wrote some domaining scripts a while back and got the portmanteau of boutique and beautiful:¬†’t know how much value is left in the still-available domains space? not a tremendous amount.complexity is a good barrier to entry. and ‘complex’ isn’t something i¬†associate¬†with domaining. there’s some not-too-bright domainers who have made a ton of money. it may have been the best business there ever was.

    7. Mark Essel

      Bullseye analogy WilliamBut stumbling and luck are often confused. Columbus courted a large investment to discover precious trade routes to India. He failed in that goal, but succeeded wildly in the capturing new opportunity.I don’t believe the natives were happy about Christopher’s stumbling.

  8. Matt A. Myers

    The reason I see this working versus say randomness on YouTube is the video content all have the same intent behind them, and therefore your expectations are set / known, and you’ll¬†Plus the discovery process is super fun, exciting, informative, social (to some degree), etc. etc.. Kickstarter videos are going to keep getting more and more creative.I can’t wait until I have an opportunity to fundraise via Kickstarter! ūüôā

    1. testtest

      “The reason I see this working versus say randomness on YouTube is the video content all have the same intent behind them, and therefore your expectations are set / known, and you’ll”BINGOplus the quality density is high.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Yup. All accepted projects are curated and I believe Kickstarter staff helps you put things together too; It’s only logical since the better projects do, the more they get from their 5% + the more media they have for visitors/users. Win-win-win.It’s a great ecosystem they’ve created. Big kudos to them. They deserve their growing success. And the neatest part is the projects that are getting funding.

        1. testtest

          traditionally, large web businesses work at scale with low touch. it’s a¬†testament to marketplace ¬†businesses if they can afford to curate and help out without having their margins, it makes it super-easy for kickstumbler, as all they need to do is pull up random pages, vs an algo to assign a quality score to each page, based on whatever metrics.¬†kickstumbler is, nevertheless, outstanding imo. (sample size of n=1. but super-bullish)

  9. Ela Madej

    Haha, thus has something to do with what I am working on, thanks for sharing ūüėČ Good timing!

  10. kenberger

    Anthony is 1 of my favs too. He is on to a big meme here that can really go places.For more linear video fun, also check out a curated video channel watcher that my group cooked up:

    1. testtest

      built on top of

      1. kenberger

        good question. That wasn’t around when we started, so our team “rolled their own”.We also worked for Twitter way back in the day (when their API was young) and had to roll some of our own then too.

  11. John Revay

    Kickstumbler – Enjoyable way to page¬†through¬†projects, it would be neat if it could filter projects based on your likes or past projects you funded – ( I guess that might not be stumbling…..).Bridging kickstarter (& kickstumbler) to Fred’s yesterday post on the engineers brain and the need to address online¬†piracy;I watched the video at the Paley center…the lawyer from NBC was defending the status quo as a means to be able to fund projects; movies or other content that might not have a positive return……I was thinking kickstarter and crowd funding. ¬†

    1. fredwilson

      i wanted to mention kickstarter when he said that part about indie films, but did not want to cheapen my positions by talking my own book

  12. ShanaC

    I’m not liking the autovideo. Lacks context. ¬†Though normal kickstumbler is an amazing time waster ūüôā ¬†

    1. John Best

      I agree. It’s possibly a nice way to view community art, but I felt slightly lost or distanced by the lack of context.Also, seconded about the time consumption ūüôā

  13. andyswan

    Smart is as smart does.

  14. awaldstein

    Simple and smart is hard. Inspiring from name to execution.  

  15. kirklove

    This is very cool and Kickstarter is indeed something very special.Personally (maybe not investment $$$-wise) I think it’s the most valuable startup out there bar none. Something magical is happening there. Thrilling to watch and even more thrilling to be able to contribute in small ways.

  16. Mark

    It’s more fun that stumbledupon, IMO.It’s just interesting to see what kinds of things people are doing.

  17. whitneymcn

    I’ve only got one criticism so far: Anthony clearly needs to integrate with a popular microblogging service.You know, so that it can be “kickstumblr”…

  18. osbornechen

    Kind of like putting a “random post” button on KS, but cooler. This can get addicting. Thanks for sharing.¬†

  19. whitneymcn

    Oh, and also:If you’re kickstarter obsessive, take a look at my own little Kickstarter meta-service: http://kisttr.comKisttr is a simple little¬†Kickstarter backer tracker: a hack that allows you to “follow” Kickstarter users, by getting notifications when they back new projects.

    1. daryn

      +1 for whitney’s service,¬† of fun to see what my friends are funding, and also very effective: I’d say close to half of the projects I’ve funded were discovered via a kisttr email.

    2. fredwilson

      i’ve been enjoying my kisttr emails since i joined a few weeks agoyet another great kickstarter hack/app

  20. awaldstein

    I’m liking this because there is something to do from moment one. Action even my own gets my attention.Been tired of products that ask me for my time but I feel flat and abandoned and simply leave once I get there.

  21. Robert Thuston


  22. Rodney Mesriani

    This is awesome! A really really fun app. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  23. Patrick Morris

    That is awesome, and can definitely be a time sucker. I would love to see the analytics (time on page mainly) from Kickstumbler and how it correlates to actually getting projects funded on Kickstarter.I really enjoy the Kickstarter videos and getting to know the person behind the project. If I can connect with the person I see, than I am definitely more likely to back a project. 

  24. Jork

    Great because it is so deadly Simple!I am sure that there are so many other examples of websites where the same ‘tool’ can be used instantaneously… and have the same feeling as if you are being entertained.

  25. Eric

    Fred, thought you might find this interesting re a go pro experience in a set of glasses ..

    1. fredwilson

      yeah i saw thatsuper cool

  26. Kyle Eklund

    He should do this with

  27. Conrad Ross Schulman

    This is a fantastic product that demonstrates the exact direction that software applications are taking. Cross integration and api sharing is the future of the web. I see kickstumblr and i immediately think of the entire infrastructure of apps that exist within Etsy that allow for an enhanced and more advanced approach to using Etsy. I think of tumblr and its vast network of uniqueness and individual customization of the user’s profile. I see Disqus and its ability to integrate with just about anything. Zynga with facebook. Foursquare, hashable, getglue…the list goes on.¬†BIg thumbs up to the team at Hype Cachine — #integration¬†

  28. Susan Rubinsky


  29. ninakix

    So, this reminds me of the community of Kiva friends I looked at once as part of the research I did on online communities – they would discuss projects that needed attention for whatever reason and kind of create collective action around those projects, but they would also discuss the “best” – i.e., most impactful – ways to invest your Kiva money.¬†

  30. Du hoc Anh

    It is fair of technology, one biggest concept!