I really don’t have anything techie to talk about today, so lemme recap what I can remember from a dinner with Steven Starr (was founder and CEO of Revver) last night. It was a really pleasant and insightful event. We talked many things from how desperate Indonesian internet pipe are to other web 2.0 topic.
To keep things short, Steven told us about what he had done with revver and what mistakes he won’t repeat. You are very wrong if you are seeing Revver as a common Youtube like service with a twist. It wasn’t. First of all, it was designed to be monetized in a non evil way. Content creator got a share of revenue, and people who spread it will also get a revenue. The second, Revver was designed around P2P concept.
P2P was not evil at all, as what most of us perceive it today. It was a brilliant technology designed to reduce bandwidth cost. It suddenly became evil and everyone using it also labeled as evil after Napster case.
Revver concept would have really took off if only Youtube not launched few weeks before Revver plan was executed. Steven learn here that momentum is important. I learned that fast delivery is important.
Steven said while Revver business model was obvious, Youtube beat them at scalable game. Revver was hard to scale because they need to vet every content to make sure there are no copyright infringement happen. Youtubewas all you can throw and all you can see. Youtube were smart as they know how to “work” with the copyright issue.
Enda then asked whether it is make sense to create some sort of special search engine for Indonesia. Steven advised, without a niche approach it would be a futile effort as the big guy can easily catch up by deploying internationalization (i18n). It would be a different story if we start a news service, or anything that has specific local value. (My take: Big guy can’t beat (all) these locally-specific service, instead it would trigger acquisition)
However, Steven added, search engine game is not over yet. Semantic search is not even here. So there might be many opportunities lays ahead.
Unspun continued the discussion, wonders how can Revver be sold. The key is technology. Revver value was not only derived from profit sharing between content creator and publisher. It was more than that. Technology is what people would buy from a startup. So, now we know, we can develop new tech then created direct and non direct business model from it.
Okay, my summary is very jumpy. But I hope you guys and gals can read between the line.
I can’t be more than thankful to US Embassy for inviting us to meet Steven Starr. Dinner was a blast, and we all hope Steven can come again this year to speak at Pesta Blogger or FreSh!
Noo, Mr. Perry from US Embassy didn’t bite me. He’s very nice and has a great sense of humour. I giggled most of the time.
I almost forgot, Steven told us the different between being number one and number two. It was like earth and the sky. This pretty much aligned to what Seth Godin said in The Dip