Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Found it!

As many of you know, after three years of getting Command Information up and running, I left for LA and the opportunities that exist helping to unlock the billions of dollars of unrealized value trapped within greatest content source in history-- Hollywood!

When I got here, I had 5 very straight-forward goals:
1) Find some truly disruptive technology, not simply a new area to ply old schemes.
2) Find a team of people that are evangelistic about their tech, and the markets it can help.
3) Find a business where I can personally add value, in the areas of operations, business development, fundraising, and more.
4) Find people that I liked working with, and that shared my passion for building a great company.
5) Find the specific niche in the digital media marketplace, where there is ample reward for the right solutions.

So far, I’ve met over 200 interesting players (according to my box of business cards on my desk), seen 20 corporate pitches, sat down with 5 interesting companies, and had to walk away from one promising deal due to diligence surprises.

I’m now very happy to report (in a blog-tease), that in less than three months in LA, I have found a company that meets all five of my goals!

This company has great technology, conceived and built by progressive geniuses over the past 10 years, for a digital media market that is just now ready to be monetized. Described by the few that have looked at it on my behalf as the ‘holy grail’ for the studios; in the proper hands, this technology will vastly extend the current ad-based revenue models, while opening up far greater monetization and distribution possibilities. After a couple of months of diligence, it really really works! All this, and they had the foresight to obtain patent protection for their role in digital media way back in the 1990’s!

The company was founded by, and is today managed by great people, that never lost faith in their invention or the value to the marketplace it could bring. While it’s easy today to think up new ways to monetize digital media-- after companies like Apple did it for music, studios are finally opening up their minds to digital distribution, and bandwidth is no longer much of a concern-- these folks had the idea over a decade ago, and never lost faith. Those are the types of people I like to hang out with.

After getting the technology ready for prime-time, and getting their full suite of patents awarded, and watching the market mature to its present state, they are ready to bring on a team of people that can deliver on their original promises. While all the skills I’ve learned in my career will be put to use, there is a good synergy between what is needed and what I’m good at doing.

Oh, and the market is Soooooo ready. Studios want to sell more ads, reach more people, open new monetized relationships, and lower costs. Software companies are delivering some fantastic packages like Air, Silverlight, and more, that can all be extended with ease. Search companies are starting to see the big business in finding just that right piece of content, as opposed to a list of web-sites that may have what you’re looking for. Even the telco’s, cable co’s, and mobile operators are desperately trying to grab their share of the digital media markets, and lock out their competitors.
So who is this wonder-company?

That will have to wait until my next post, as we’re just now working out the deal logistics, raising a small bridge round, and putting together the new core team.
As they say… watch this space.

P.S. I think my relaxing time at the beach has come to an end!

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