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Interviews

  • Paywalls, aggregation and the ‘third metric': Memeburn interviews Arianna Huffington

    If you know anything about online publishing, chances are you know about The Huffington Post. The online news aggregator and blog, after all, overtook the New York Times in terms of unique visits in mid 2011 and in 2012 it became the first commercially run US digital media enterprise to win a Pulitzer Prize. Memeburn recently got the chance to sit down with the site's eponymous founder Arianna Huffington. The daughter of a Greek journalist and management consultant, Huffington has been in the public eye since the early 1990s when her then husband the Michael Huffington made an unsuccessful...

  • Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer talks data and going public

    Shutterstock is arguably the biggest photo market place ever. Founded back in 2003, it recently went public -- but for founder and CEO Jon Oringer, it seems things are just getting started. Oringer currently owns an estimated 55% of Shutterstock, and has been called "the first billionaire to come out of Silicon Alley" -- New York's growing tech scene. His current estimated net wealth is in the range of US$1.05-billion. You could say things are going great for Oringer. The tech entrepreneur is crazy about data: just ask him and he will tell you that data is going to win...

  • Senior Google engineer: building innovative products requires team work

    When building technologies that can change the course of history and reshape mankind, team work is pretty important. In a place like Google, where many such technologies are being built all the time, the engineering teams responsible for them should be working together. Google senior engineer Petra Cross agrees. After joining Google in 2005, Cross spent four years developing software for evaluating the relevance of Google's search algorithms and another four years developing for and tech-leading a team at Gmail. She is currently working on a Google Wallet front-end server in San Francisco. Cross, who will be speaking at the Tech4Africa...

  • ‘Making sure nothing broke': Obama’s campaign CTO on keeping it together

    "Technology didn’t win the campaign and should get little credit really," says Harper Reed, CTO of Obama’s campaign HQ in Chicago for the 2012 presidential election. Reed, who has been working in the tech space for a long time now, says that technology "really made it easier for the team to do their work". Reed believes that the success of Obama's use of emerging technology can be attributed to one man: David Blouffe. "He is the senior advisor for President Obama and is a big believer in innovation," says Reed. "It’s this belief that is the single reason for...

  • Publishers should focus on original content over reblogged news: TNW founder

    Patrick de Laive is the co-founder of The Next Web, Twittercounter and Paydro. Oh, and he is also the initiator of The Next Web Conference. De Laive is a busy guy: he runs his conference on three different continents, while he and his co-founders also work at keeping TNW relevant as one of the world's top tech sites. TNW is a multi-faceted business that has given rise to other tech businesses including PressDoc, Paydro and Twittercounter. On the publishing side, TNW sits in the top ten of aggregator TechMeme's leaderboard as an authoritative voice in tech news. We got to...

  • Hang W/ the world: we chat to the man behind the next big thing in social video

    In case you've been living under a rock for the past six months: social video is the new black. Arguably, Vine set the standard in June 2012 with its short six second video service. It was enough to grab the attention of Twitter, which acquired the startup in October of the same year. Shortly after it debuted as a free iOS app, it became the number one most downloaded free app in the store and the most used video application in the market. In June, Facebook's newly acquired Instagram played "catch-up" by launching its own 15 second video service. What set...

  • The end of Moore’s law: Q&A with POET technologies’ Peter Copetti

    In the third and final installment on the Moore’s Law series, Graeme Lipschitz sits down with POET technologies executive, Peter Copetti, to discuss their technology and what they’re doing to counteract the end game of Moore’s Law. Memeburn: What is POET Technologies and what do you do? Peter Copetti: POET Technologies (formerly OPEL Technologies) provides a patented process and methodology for the design and manufacturing of next generation integrated circuits, which will power the next wave of chipset innovation. The POET platform is a flexible one that utilizes gallium and arsenide instead of traditional silicon which allows for a quantum step...

  • Bang With Friends co-founder talks honesty, getting banned by Apple

    I’ve said for a while now (and there are theories and books on the subject) that the general world needs to wake up to lessons the porn world can teach us. While not dealing -- at least directly -- with porn, "Bang with Friends" is the latest in a long line of apps that does not shy away from the fact that people like bumping hips. The latest insight being that people may want to ‘bang’ others in their immediate friend group. It’s a simple premise and one that has not gone unnoticed by the civilised world. ...

  • Rich story telling with minimal effort and skill: Q&A with SooMeta founder

    You might not have heard of SooMeta yet but I suspect you will soon. The team that brought us Dragontape has now made a tool that allows anyone to create CNN mini wrap reports (see an example below) but with minimal effort and skill...almost nothing. It’s simplicity is quite beautiful. Oh and there’s a big play on polls… read on for more about that. Current partners (APIs being used at least) include Soundcloud, YouTube, Yahoo! Images and Twitter… sounds like a good mix for breaking news. I grabbed its Co-Founder -- Tamas Szakal -- for a...

  • Matt Mullenweg on how open source is democratising the web

    From the mind of a 19-year-old to the world's most popular content management system (CMS) -- WordPress has done some serious growing up in 10 years. Used by major publishing houses such as CNN and the New York Times and influential blogs like TechCrunch, the CMS has making publishing easy for a decade. When we chatted to the platform's founder Matt Mullenweg two years ago, he spoke about the future of WordPress, early mistakes he made by “trying to do it all himself” and why developers are five steps ahead of everyone else. This year marks the 10th anniversary of WordPress...

  • Trendwatching’s Henry Mason on pretail and why marketing should be simple

    I first met Henry Mason after he had (for all the wrong reasons) a very tough act to follow. It was late in the day, the crowd was low energy and beer was sitting in eyeshot, yet he managed to captivate a feisty audience with a rousing speech about the future of media and consumer trends. As Global Head of Research and Managing Partner of Trendwatching.com (a leading global trend firm) you’d expect a certain ability but Henry went beyond knowing things -- he’s genuinely passionate about this stuff. Surprising considering he started his career at the (some could say)...

  • Google Knowledge Graph and the future of voice-activated intelligent search

    Google's core business is all about finding you what you need to know. The company has become synonymous with searching the internet, so it is no surprise that it will always try to innovate in that area. The next step in search? Well, that would be Knowledge Graph. When Google launched its latest version of search, it said it was trying to build a search of the future that taps into the "collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do". Knowledge Graph is all about intelligence: it's an algorithm that understands real-world entities...

  • Personalisation and social discovery: Q&A with StumbleUpon’s CEO

    We all know about the king of social networking: Facebook, with its billion plus users. Then there is Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and the major Chinese social networks like Renren and Sina Weibo. Then there are the outsider social networks, the medium sized ones which have strong brand recognition -- that's where StumbleUpon plays. Most people won't be able to explain what a discovery engine is, but you might find that some of those people are part of StumbleUpon's 25-million users. Though the platform works a little like a search engine, its algorithm is just a bit different. StumbleUpon...

  • Priests on Evernote and dinner party productivity: we chat with CEO Phil Libin

    Evernote is cool -- ask any one of its 15-million monthly active users. True to the company's slogan, "Remember Everything", the suite of applications designed for note taking and archiving is on top of the world. The more successful it gets, the more headlines it grabs -- like the recent password reset due to a security breach, which caused some commotion among users. But that's not keeping the company down. Users are growing with India and the UK hitting one million and two million respectively. Founded in 2008 by serial entrepreneur Phil Libin, the company has managed to raise funding...

  • From a 20% project to Google’s future: Q&A with Google Now’s creator

    Google is pretty good at knowing what we need before we do. From a company that seems to continuously innovate, the launch of Google Now was nothing if not inspired. Google Now is the internet giant's offering in the hotly contested intelligent personal assistant space. The Android-only service is an extension of the OS' native Google Search app, using a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of web services. Now is all about predicting what people will search for before they do it. It's gained...