Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My 900th Post -- Ruminations -- And the "Next Big Thing"

Today marks a major milestone for me -- my 900th post.

I kicked off my blogging career on October 11, 2006, nearly 5 years to the day. My inaugural topic was the power of video-centric social networking (click here to see it). And, along the way, yes -- I have featured my two companies -- SightSpeed (consumer-focused video chat, that expanded into the enterprise market) and Sorenson Media (enterprise-focused video transcoding solutions, that expanded into the consumer market via partners like Shutterfly). But, my primary focus has been to give my perspective -- hopefully unique and brash at times -- about specific timely developments and topics in the world of digital media (i.e., where technology meets content).

As the CEO of SightSpeed, I always believed -- while most did not at the time -- that IP-based video chat would become a core form of communication for both consumers and businesses (Skype video and Apple Face Time anyone?). We were early at SightSpeed ... but we were right. Skeptics always told us -- "video chat was predicted to be big all the way back at the 1964 World's Fair, yet it never took off; people simply are too self-conscious and the experience is too hard!" Well, we got the last laugh, as global giant Logitech acquired our company for a significant investor return in November 2008 -- during the world economic collapse since the Depression. Video chat is now ubiquitous. It is easy to use -- and people are comfortable using it. It truly "connects," like nothing else can.

As CEO of Sorenson Media, our mission is enable the best multi-screen video experiences. We serve enterprises, but some of these enterprises also serve consumers. And, while no one doubts the power of video anymore, a key missing ingredient right now is high quality personal video "store and share" -- i.e., a easy way for consumers to take their smartphone-capture HD video, get it off their phones, share them with close family and friends (to any platform or device, including in the living room), manage them, and archive them. I am not talking sharing videos you want to be public on YouTube or via email where HD video quality is less important and where quality is lost. I am talking about your personal family life memories -- baby's first walk, etc. Whoever gets this right will lead the way in a massively monetizing opportunity that will transform lives. If anyone doubts that this is one key place where video is going and is worth a big bet, I ask you only to look at yesterday's Apple iPhone 4S announcement -- 1080p video capture was front and center. Hmmm, I wonder why (especially with iCloud on the way).

Finally, I have shared some personal tidbits -- some personal passions -- like music. I have shared reviews of some of my favorite concerts and bands along the way -- Arcade Fire, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie, the Decemberists, U2 (although, sadly, my passion for the latter has wained a bit over that period of time). And, I have bemoaned the continued hopelessness of my currently 0-4 Minnesota Vikings (although, yes, I will always still be a passionate fan and believer that one day our day will come).

But, I have always tried to entertain with my somewhat folksy immigrant/Midwestern style. And, if nothing else, I am passionate about what I do -- most of all, spending time with my family -- and watching my little girl, Hunter, grow from 7 to 12 years old and my little man, Luca, grow from 4 to 9. They are both tall, tall, tall -- too tall. Life moves fast. Live in the moment.

And, capture those moments along the way ....