Interview With Jonathan Messika, CEO and Cofounder of Vodio Labs
Jonathan Messika is the cofounder and CEO of Vodio labs. Vodio is one of the best apps for iPad. We have had the opportunity to interview him about the video industry, Vodio and entrepreneurship.
How did you come up with the idea of Vodio?
I spent hours and hours with Uri, one of my 2 co-founders (Ishay Weinstock is the other) talking about developing a service related to Video. We were both frustrated with the video discovery issue and thought we really need to come up with a good solution for it.
Actually, the first tool we developed was a browser add-on that enabled users to collect videos from the web, similar to what Pinterest does today. From there it rolled into the idea of Vodio which is basically serving users, at all times, with the most updated and interesting videos in any given category, in an easy, simple and beautiful way.
Where do you think the video industry is going to? Will we face a complete and full integration with social media?
It seems that YouTube and other media companies have finished laying the infrastructure to the video content world. Now, In a very similar way to what Google has done with internet pages and websites, different services including Youtube itself are looking to place some order in the chaos. Better quality video content is being uploaded on a daily basis onto YouTube and other sites by large ‘traditional’ media sources, curation has become key in offering users video content around what interests them and deep integration with social media results in better recommendations to the individual user.
Do you believe there are or will be startups that are going to be able to challenge what Youtube and in particular Google have built?
I don’t believe that there will be a startup that will take over YouTube’s place as the leader in the video content world as YouTube has become too big and practically has almost all the interesting media sources displaying content of their dedicated channels within YouTube. Even AOL On, the video service by AOL and one of YouTube’s main competitors has decided to upload onto YouTube all its video content in 23 different channels.
However, start-ups like Vodio are offering services on top of YouTube and others resulting in better curation and personalization of video content. YouTube has recognized they have some problems in these specific areas and are currently seeking solutions and trying to solve them. Other companies such as Outbrain and Taboola are offering video recommendations and will be an essential part of the web as the video content world grows bigger and bigger with each and every year.
Having said that, never say never…
We have previously interviewed Ori Goshen from Tawkon, so taking into account what we asked to him, do you believe that apps can really be disruptive? Can they change the way we live and improve our lives?
Yes and there is no doubt about that. From the very simple fact that apps (mobile) offer us doing things while we are commuting or waiting somewhere make our lives better as we can perform tasks we weren’t able to do before while moving around. Furthermore, since the touch screen and the user experience built on top of it are much more natural and easier to us human beings, it seems that many people are able to do so much more with apps rather than traditional websites or even in the real world.
Vodio has drastically changed the way I watch videos. In the past years I didn’t even go to Youtube, but now with Vodio I am able to watch what I love at any time wherever I am. Was this your primary aim?
Exactly. Vodio aims to offer you the videos you would enjoy the most anywhere and everywhere. However, it also constantly tries to broaden your knowledge by exposing you to media outlets and enabling the discovery of more content and channels you wouldn’t even know you’d enjoy. The beautiful thing about our times is being able to discover wonderful things beyond our close surroundings. How sad would it be if we only knew of what our family, friends and acquaintances know of?
With the introduction of new platforms, new devices and smart tvs, where do you think Vodio will be in the next five years?
We think of Vodio as people’s gateway to a great world of video content. As such, we would like to be available on any device that offers the consumption of video content. Smart TVs are indeed in our roadmap, however, we still have some other platforms, mobile and non-mobile to support first.
What is the most important advice for a young entrepreneur?
Stay positive and remember that “obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal” (Henry Ford)
Ori Goshen told us that in order to hire people who believe in what we believe we should always ”look at the spark in their eyes”. What do you think and what is your advice?
I tend to disagree with this statement.
As in any relationship, sometimes the spark ends up as a simple crash on an idea, and the being in love period tends to end quickly.
I think it is more important to find people you believe you can build a strong and sustainable relationship with. They should be able to have and express their own opinions, offer better and different sets of skills than you have and are willing to be in this for the long run, for better or worse.
Is it better to startup in a duo or a trio?
Most definitely a trio. The reason is mathematical, to be honest. As a company led by a trio, you can always move forward and the ship doesn’t get stuck because 2 people cannot agree upon a direction. Sadly enough, I have seen too many duo startups close for the reasons aforementioned although their products and services were phenomenal.
The most important thing a company should have.