Monday, March 12, 2012

Is the Market Ready for Video Tweets?

Do we need a video version of Twitter? Start-up Vsnap hopes so. It is described as an app for users to share video messages of 60 seconds or less.

The company was founded only last May by Claudia Santoro and David McLaughlin and is launching this week.  McLaughlin is a serial entrepreneur, having sold his previous start-up to PayPal. He comes from a film background, having written and directed On Broadway, an independent film that included cameos from Will Arnett and Amy Poehler.

Whether the market wants or needs personal videos ("Here's me in front of the Statue of Liberty") is the unknown. But then, who would have guessed that 140-character "blog" posts would catch on? Nor does Vsnap have a business model yet. It is clearly the case of where the technology--having video cameras on every SmartPhone and SmartPhones are in 43% of the pockets of American adults (13 and older)--has created a possible opportunity that was just not there even two or three years ago.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Inkling Targets E-book Publishing

New technologies create new opportunities, even in the staid old world of book publishing. The start-up Inkling grew out of the observation of how clumsy and inefficient it had been to produce a book, even one which was destined for a digital format. But it has gone further, by easing the way to adding multimedia to books being produced for the iPad. The founder describes it as an “infrastructure for producing digital content at scale.” The business model is to make the software available at no charge but to require the e-book be available through Inkling’s own online store and to the  take the same 30% that iTunes takes of book sales. However, the author or publisher is also free to make the book available elsewhere as well.

Does this sound like a winner?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ad Manager's Job Leads to Founding a Magazine

The idea for a new media venture -- or any venture--very often grows out of the opportunity noticed in the course of other work. And not every new media start-up these days has to be a dot com. Boston Spirit is a 20,000 circulation magazine--mostly home delivered subscriptions--for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in New England. In an interview in the Boston Globe, David Zimmerman, the straight founder and publisher of Boston Spirit, explains that he got the idea for the magazine when he was director of advertising for travel and wedding magazines. "I got the idea that, boy, if somebody ever did a a magazine like Boston Magazine--only entirely for the gay community--it would seem to be something that would work and be successful."

Apparently he was right.