Digg founder Kevin Rose launched a new podcast today called “Foundation.” The initial episode features Kevin sitting down with Jack Dorsey, of Twitter and Square fame, for some Samovar tea and Kevin interviews Jack about his early life and startups. My impression of the first episode makes me excited for the next episode.
Foundation is taking an approach similar to one that Diggnation once took with a subscription model for getting content early. People willing to pay $3.99 a month will get the episodes a week early plus some promised extras. I’m holding out a few weeks on a subscription to see if Kevin will deliver extra content given the vast amounts of free advice out there already. The idea so far is to be advertisement-free during the show, or at least the first free episode, so the revenue has to come from somewhere.
The first episode jumps straight into the interview with Jack. The formality of the interview surprised me since I’m used to Diggnation’s antics. The episode was edited down to remove the less formal conversational content that I feel could have been valuable. I was hoping for more of a discussion than a traditional interview but nonetheless the conversation was educational.
Future episodes in the series promise to be more than interviews but my initial thought was that Kevin is starting a podcast similar to Jason Calacanis’ “This Week in Startups.” Given Kevin and Jason’s history, I found it interesting that once again, one is playing in the other’s space. It appears that although a comparison can be made, they are different ventures that coexist in the startup advice world.
Something that is a bit distracting initially is the shortness of the introduction. I appreciated the brevity once I found the value in the content but I think the lack of introduction took a toll on my willingness to focus on the conversation for the first 10 minutes. This is potentially negative in my opinion since people unfamiliar with Kevin or Jack are unlikely to stick around for the wisdom.
The art style is worth mentioning since Kevin has taken the effort to produce the episode to a high quality. The camera looks great but the serious and bleak vibe I get from Kevin wasn’t what I was expecting.
There were a few take-aways placed throughout the episode offered by Jack that I felt I could relate to for my current ideas. At around the 13 minute mark, Jack says:
“The challenge not only for twitter, but the technology industry at large, is building more relevant filters in real-time. Being able to surface valuable information immediatelly no matter who it is, who is listening, or who is broadcasting, is a really really hard problem”.
Another idea discussed by Jack was the timing of his idea. Being able to put your idea on the shelf and pull it down when the industry is ready can make or break a venture. I relate to this since my current venture came about 2 years ago and now I’m pursuing it, given the consumers and the industry are ready for the technology now.
Overall I appreciated the first episode and look forward to watching the series grow. Kevin found a respected guest for his first episode so I’m looking forward to more high caliber shows from the series. As a Twitter, Diggnation and Digg follower of Kevin’s, I will definitely support the venture financially in the coming weeks if it is obvious that there is an educational benefit beyond waiting a week for it’s release, but until then, here is my verbal praise: Good Job Kevin on your first episode of Foundation!
Many great episodes available through Google Ventures.