I've joined AnyClip - and we've launched Casting Couch

May 7, 2009   

After over a month of radio silence, I'm proud to announce that I've joined NY and Jerusalem-based AnyClip.com as the VP of Product. This happened last month, after I completed my 9 month term as the EIR at Rose Tech Ventures, and after exploring several exciting opportunities at other NY-based tech startups I think I've landed at a very good and very exciting home. Today, I'm also proud to announce a new Facebook App that we've built over the last month, called Casting Couch. Casting Couch is a way to tag your friends in famous movie clips, as if they were the characters in those very clips. Go check it out!

So, what is AnyClip and what does Casting Couch have to do with it?

At AnyClip, we're building the world's most comprehensive, high-quality, and legal database of scenes from the world's favorite movies. Launching later this year, AnyClip.com will show off this database and allow you to browse through the top scenes of your favorite movies. AnyClip will allow us to relive the moments from films that help us make sense of our lives, the scenes which make us laugh, and the scenes which help us communicate with our friends.

Casting Couch is a great demonstration of what you can do when you have a great database of scenes. With this new app on Facebook, you can find scenes which mimic your life or are just plain funny; when you find the clip you want, you can then tag your friends as the characters in those scenes. Remember the sophomoric conversations you had with friends in high school? Tag your friends in American Pie clips and those moments come to life. Had a fight with your therapist? Tag yourselves in Analyze This!

What's exciting about AnyClip is that we're not going to be the only ones developing off our database of clips. Already, we're collaborating with some exciting companies in both the gaming and publishing space, allowing them to embed our player using our API and have richer, more interactive products.

The fact of the matter is that there are thousands of ideas like Casting Couch out there, and we want to power them. So, if you have an app idea and you've ever said "If only I had a well structured database of movie scenes," feel free to reach out to me. We're still very early in serving the developer community, but the stuff we have cooking already has us very excited and it would be great to hear from you.

(Also, if you're a killer designer who uses HTML, CSS, and Javascript 100X more than Photoshop, contact me, as I'm hiring.)

Lastly, I'd like to address why I've joined AnyClip, as for many of you it may come as a surprise.

First of all, I must attribute much of the decision to my good friend Aaron Cohen, who is now the CEO of AnyClip (Aaron announced his move at the end of March on his blog).

Aaron -- who is one of the more storied and sought-after CEOs in the business -- and I met last year through our mutual friend Andy Weissman of Betaworks. After meeting, we stayed in touch and would meet frequently to brainstorm on ideas and opportunities.

In February, Aaron and I had a breakfast where he laid out 4 awesome CEO opportunities which were before him. Of all of them, I told him I liked the AnyClip concept the most. Anyway, I'll get to why I liked it in a moment, but the end of the story is that within a week of that breakfast Aaron decided to take the plunge with AnyClip and within a week after that he convinced me to take the plunge with him.

So, a major reason I joined was the opportunity to work for and with Aaron on a challenging project, but what also really excited me was the challenge itself.

You see, we're doing something very difficult in this media environment: find new revenue streams for content rights holders.

Fundamentally, everyone has to ask themselves an important question about the future of media, especially then they work in this (Internet) industry: Do you believe the people who invest money and genius into media should be compensated when that media is consumed?

I think the answer is 'yes,' and for that reason I'm excited to take up the challenge of how to better compensate rights holders (while consumers get what they want, where they want, and how they want). As far as business challenges go theses days, it's a big one.

But it's not all challenges. One of the most beautiful things about this company is the opportunity to work with movies. Movies have a special place in society: they are fully meshed into our lives as both pop culture and high art. In my view, they stand with books as an epic, lasting medium. Getting to work with these pieces of art -- yes, even American Pie -- will be a real treat.

Lastly, let me mention the people. While I joined specifically because of Aaron, over the last month I've gotten to know some fabulous new people in both New York and Jerusalem (where I am now). Right now we have a winning team, and I look forward to building great things them.

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