Kevin Rose on the next wave of consumer apps and what’s happening in the podcast industry

Kevin Rose is someone I’ve known for quite a while. I think it was 11 years ago we first worked together when he was starting out as an intern. The promise I saw in him at that time has undoubtedly blossomed into an amazing set of skills, insights, and passions that have contributed to the world in truly meaningful ways.

Kevin is a serial entrepreneur. He’s best known for founding Digg and Revision3. He also serves on the True Ventures team with me and many others, funding startups that capture the imagination. These days, Kevin is no small player – he’s been featured on the cover of Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg, Businessweek, RedHerring, and lots more.

Since it had been a while between conversations, I invited Kevin on the show to talk about the future wave of exciting consumer apps, what it will take to see them come about AND the buzz that’s happening around podcasting these days. The podcast industry has grown leaps and bounds in recent days and both of us are excited about the potential we see.

Join me for this fun conversation with a good friend.

Outline of This Episode

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Why we need sleep + 4 good reads

Do you remember what happened at the start of this week? Me neither! The news is flowing so fast these days, that you can’t really figure out what’s really happening. And that is why misinformation — aka the real fake news — surreptitiously gets embedded in our brains and we start believing that it might be true. The whole thing is becoming a bit of a confusing mess. And that’s the objective of the propagandists. Yet another accurate Orwellian prediction. Perhaps that is why I am sharing these articles today so that when you get a chance to read them, you feel you feel satisfied, at the very least. Continue reading “Why we need sleep + 4 good reads”

Even Leica loves “computational photography”

What I hate about news is that there is too much of it, and most of it doesn’t matter. So instead of writing about the regulation of Google’s monopoly or moral ambiguities of Facebook, I decided to focus on a topic that makes me excited about the future — computational photography, which is simply capturing and processing digital images using computation instead of more traditional optical processes.

I had a somewhat slow weekend — spent poring over research I have accumulated for my book on photography and camera culture titled The Third Eye. It has been slow going, mostly because understanding the social, cultural and ethical impact of cameras everywhere. It started out as a straightforward exercise, but I have found myself tangled in the thick weeds of morality and humanness. And yet, there is a sense of delight that modern camera — a visual sensor, really brings to mind. Continue reading “Even Leica loves “computational photography””

“Fake Followers” are “Social Spam”

Just about 12 years ago, at a costume party hosted by Ruby Red Labs in the SOMA district of San Francisco, I got a chance to talk to one of the now-forgotten founders of Twitter, Noah Glass. He showed me Twitter (or Twttr as it was known back then). I tried it and must have liked it because I went home (admittedly just a few blocks away) and in a slightly inebriated state wrote about the product and Twitter was launched. It is perhaps why I retain a lot of affection for the product, and its co-founders. I am not shy about expressing my displeasure, but in general, Twitter has been a great little addition to my life.

And perhaps that is why I was pleased to learn on my twelfth anniversary of using Twitter (which reminded me of that, obviously) I lost 200,000 followers. I was part of the big fake account and bot purge that Twitter has recently embarked on. The New York Times says that there are about 48 million active users are what it calls “automated accounts designed to simulate real people.)

As The New York Times noted — Oprah ( down 1.4 million), Ellen (down 2 million), Justin Bieber (down over 3 million) and Kim Kardashian (down 3 percent) — lost many more. I would be happy to lose half or even more of my followers if that means cleaning up the service, increasing the signal and dampening the noise. I think the challenge for social platforms like Twitter is that real engagement is being drowned by the noise in the system – fake accounts and bots.  Continue reading ““Fake Followers” are “Social Spam””

[Photos from a] San Francisco Weekend

One of the targets I have set for myself is that I will walk a minimum of additional 8,000 steps every day for rest of the year. Walking out of the house with a camera is a great motivator and before I know it, I have surpassed my daily goals in a jiffy.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to play around with a film. I picked up my medium format Mamiya 6 camera and off I went to make some long exposures. The manual settings, the manual calculation of the time it would take to properly expose a photo and the idea that you for to wind-the-film forward were quite therapeutic compared to the rather automated world of digital. I did end up cheating a little. (more…)