Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Kaizen of Storyhunter

The time has finally arrived.  Storyhunter launched this week, and I can not express how excited I am. For those of you know me well, you know that this has been many, many years in the making.  About five, to be exact.  I have had countless investor meetings, hundreds of rejections, four intro videos, three company names, and a handful of people who have called me insane.

I long ago embraced the Japanese concept of Kaizen (改善), "improvement", or "change for the better".  I have always been fueled by rejection, and in a strange way, I have come to enjoy it.  It forces you to tweak your concept and business model to make it stronger and more foolproof.  It toughens you and makes you fearless.  Kaizen has become a life practice.  When you know that change is constant and possible, it makes you less critical of yourself and others, and more likely to adapt for the better.  For both my new job as CEO of Storyhunter, and in all my relationships, I constantly ask myself, "How can I be better today than yesterday?" 

Storyhunter started out as an idealistic dream: to empower my heroes, the freelance video journalists of the world to tell important, entertaining, and true stories. 

But to make ideals turn into reality, I had to morph them into a realistic plan.  As my team and I have tweaked our business model, we have had to re-tweak it to the quickly changing video technologies and web video distribution tools.  Internet video audiences have also matured quickly, and now people are watching a lot more than pornography on line. I believe we are entering into a golden age of web video, for both information and entertainment.
This is a good thing.  Politicians and the old media have been misrepresenting reality for too long, and it's time for the entire world to have access to more truth.  We hope to be on the vanguard of this fight.  So yes, we are still idealistic, and we will either succeed or fail with our ideals intact.  We are fighting to change perceptions of reality, to make people care more about the planet, and to bring people together through internet video. 

We want to help lead the transition from the age of information to the age of wisdom.  We live in a world over-saturated by content.  Just like we watch what we eat, we need to watch what we watch.  Ask yourself before re-tweeting, "Is this content really good for me? For others? For the planet?"  Your clicks are your votes, so clicking on something means you're likely to get it again.  Equally important is watching what you comment on, share, tweet, blog, pin, or whatever the next social media verb is.  Media companies call this engagement, so don't engage with bad content or you're going to be married to it for life.
As globalization and tech innovation drive people towards global sameness, we want to help make video journalists the ambassadors of this new digital world.  We want to empower the men and women risking their lives and limbs to help us understand the world. Storyhunter was created to help such people, who I still call my heroes. So if you're a video journalist, multimedia storyteller, or documentary filmmaker, who wants to help spread global truth, whether you've made 1000 videos or just a few, come join us at And yes, you may re-tweet this. 

Storyhunter's New Intro Video


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Samantha Born said...

I agree and fully support your storyhunter idea. I believe that in a world where new media is developing so fast,- especially now that you can easily upload videos to the internet- It is time to make more use of it. I think it's sad that many news reports use old video footages or even have none to show. I believe that in the times of war, or any kind of conflict going on in a country for example Syria, Egypt etc. , the existence of citizen journalism should be praised. In many cases journalists do not have access to a country or an area where a conflict or event is occurring. In this case I have great faith in your story hunter project as they way I understand it, it is a collaboration between a journalist and citizen journalists that have one common vision: To share the truth with the world.

Stella Fidelia said...

In recent years, we witnessed a dramatic shift in the way we get our news; citizens with a smartphone can now film world events faster than large media companies. Scores of professional news operations have shut down their foreign bureaus. News aggregators are abundant, recycling the same stories over and over. i agree and fully support your storyhunter idea. And I have a question for you, Is there another way that you use to take advantage of technological changes in addition to the video journalists? I believe with the development in technology, especially with the ease to upload videos and access them quickly, and we should use it and make the most of it.