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A New Kind of Business Video Network Launches

2008.04.26

 

 After I interviewed Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, he told me that Fast Company was his favorite magazine. He's not the only one who's told me that. Why do I mention it? Because it underscores that Fast Company's brand means something to a lot of people and that anything we put the Fast Company name on better live up to the highest of expectations.

We realize that you have a lot of choices about where to spend your attention and that there are tons of business interview shows in other places, we can offer you compelling interactive content that others either can't or simply won't. So, why do another business video network? For a few reasons:

#1 FastCompany.TV is designed solely for the Internet. So what? Well, this means we'll do content that was designed to be viewed on a Web browser. Differences? We can go much longer so that you get depth that's impossible when you repurpose TV-oriented content. I was on CNBC recently and they usually only give you two or three minutes on air. That's simply not enough time for you to get deep into a story or understand an executive's real motivations. In fact, I've been on TV many times and they usually care more about whether you're entertaining than whether you're actually delivering real information.

#2 We're going to be a bit boring. If you want excitement, maybe you should watch Jim Cramer's Mad Money on CNBC. He throws chairs. Yells at the camera. Plays sound effects. Has an always moving camera. Has great music and graphics. But here? You won't see many of those things. But if you want deep, intimate conversations with business innovators, this is the place for you.

#3 We'll soon bring you the stories behind Fast Company's articles. The journalists at Fast Company magazine get some really great stories, but even there they are limited to about 5,000 words. Sometimes you'll want to know more, and we'll take you there.

#4 You'll go places you can't otherwise go. In the first two weeks here our cameras are going to Microsoft Research, MySpace, CERN, Amazon, Mahalo, and a bunch more. The tour of CERN, for instance, will be among the last video tours given before they turn on their Large Hadron Collider.

#5 We're not just about business. For instance, we take you on that tour of CERN. Doesn't seem to be about business, does it? Yeah, it's more about scientific discovery. Until you start realizing that the World Wide Web was invented there. If you only look for the business stories you might miss the real innovative idea.

#6 There's a heavy technology bias. Yeah, we will definitely get around to all kinds of businesses with our cameras, but you'll notice a very heavy technology bent. Why is that? A few factors. First, I was born in Silicon Valley and have been covering technology here since the 1980s. Second, even when you look at a company like, say, General Motors, most of the innovations they are making are being done with technology. Third, technology companies are pushing pretty radical changes to how we do business. Amazon's Web Services, for instance, are being used by companies to get rid of much of their expensive data centers and are changing how many startup companies are able to get going with less investment.

#7 Our cameras will focus more on people than news. There are so many better places to get news about who just bought whom, or financial reports from companies. We'll go into companies' offices to get you an intimate look at the people who make business happen so you can hear their philosophy, see what they are working on, and get much more understanding than if you just watch, say, CNBC.

#8 You'll see lots of startups and small businesses. I've worked for small businesses most of my life, and while I've worked for some big ones (I used to work for NEC and Microsoft) my heart is with the entrepreneurs who are trying to start something up. Plus, they are usually the ones who bring a really innovative new idea to our attention. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft didn't start at other big companies and we will work to have the next business success in front of our cameras before they become a household name.

#9 This is a participatory network. We're going to be heavy users here of technology that lets you get involved and, even, be the star. Look at Fast Company Live. That's a channel on our network that lets you participate live, while the interview is going on (those videos are filmed with a Nokia N95 cell phone that lets you chat with the person holding the phone, while he/she is filming!). In other places you'll get involved by commenting (something that's impossible on old TV). On FastCompany.com you can write a blog and tell us about your own business. And soon we'll find ways for you to share your business via video too.

#10 We'll be a daily show - eventually. Right now we'll be almost daily as we start up, but it probably will take a month to get enough stuff to go completely daily.

Some other notes. FastCompany.TV will have other shows. We're working with Shel Israel, for instance, to build a show called Global Neighborhoods, which will focus on the cultural and other social impacts of all this new technology. Our world is changing, we're now able to work with people around the world in new ways that we could just dream of 20 years ago, and how we work is radically changing too and Shel's looking into all of that. His show will start up in a couple of weeks.

We're also looking for other innovative shows. We'll move slowly. We've seen other networks expand too quickly and lose their focus and lose what made them different so when we add a show we'll make sure it's going to add value to your life and/or make you more productive.

Our shows in the first two weeks will include:

#1 An interview with innovation expert John Kao. He taught business at Harvard for 14 years and also played in Frank Zappa's band, so you know this will be interesting.

#2 An exclusive first look at Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope. This blew my socks off.

#3 A tour around Microsoft Research's innovative new building.

#4 Interviews with a variety of MySpace executives.

#5 An interview with Amazon's Web Services team.

#6 A tour of CERN, along with interviews of Tim Berners-Lee's mentor.

#7 An interesting look at Mahalo, a new startup that's trying to get you better search results by using an innovative approach.

#8 And more.

Anyway, I'm rambling on. Please do tell us what you think, good or bad, and we'll work hard to extend the Fast Company name into the new world of the Internet.

One last thing, thank you very much to our first major founding sponsor, Seagate, who is sponsoring Scobleizer TV. We produce our shows using Seagate storage devices (HD video chews through lots of hard drives) so it's great to have them on board as the first founding partner.

Doing this work isn't cheap - you've gotta take the cameras on location around the world, not to mention hire great production talent like Rocky Barbanica, who helps arrange interviews, runs cameras, and edits the videos, and Seagate has dedicated a large amount of resources to this effort, which we greatly appreciate

Forrás: http://www.fastcompany.com/article/fastcompany-tv

 

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