Tonight I am pleased to announce that my next Big Idea has launched. It’s called Live Matrix and I invite you to come check it out.
Live Matrix is the schedule of the Web — We help you to find out “What’s When on the Web” — the hottest live online events happening on the Web: concerts, interviews, live chat sessions, game tournaments, sales, popular Webshows, tech conferences, live streaming sports coverage, and much more.
It’s like TV Guide was for TV, but it’s not for TV, it’s for the Web. There are all kinds of things happening online — and while Live Matrix includes a lot of live streaming video events, there is much more than just video in our guide. Live Matrix includes any types of scheduled online events — but we don’t include offline events — to be in Live Matrix an event must enable people to participate online.
The site combines elements of a guide, a search engine, and a DVR, to help you discover events and then get reminded to attend them, or catch them later if you missed them.
The insight that led to Live Matrix was that the time-dimension of the Web is perhaps the last big greenfield opportunity on the Web. It’s an entire dimension of the Web that nobody has made a search engine for, and nobody is providing any guidance for. Nobody owns it yet — it’s a whole new frontier of the Web.
There are millions of scheduled events taking place online every day. Some of these events are very cool, some are very relevant — but there is no easy way to find out about them. To find out what’s happening when on TV for example, we have TV Guide, but there is no equivalent for finding out what’s happening when on the Web.
In my own case I kept finding out about cool online events that I would have participated in — concerts, conference streams, webinars, online debates and interviews, and sales — if only I had known they were happening. I think many Internet users have experienced this.
Google, Yahoo and Bing all focus on what I call the “space dimension” of the Web — they help you find what’s where — where is the best page about topic x? — But they don’t help you find out what’s when — what’s happening now, what’s coming next. They only help you find out what’s already finished and done with. How do you find out what’s happening now? How do you know what’s upcoming?
It was an “aha moment” when this all became clear — there is a new opportunity to be the Google or Yahoo for the time dimension of the Web. Or at least to be the equivalent of a TV Guide for the Web.
Furthermore, All trends point to this being a big opportunity. The continued growth of the realtime Web (Twitter, etc.) and the emerging Live Web (video and audio streaming) has been discussed extensively in the media; most recently comScore reported nearly a 650% increase in time spent viewing live video online.
So with this opportunity clearly in mind I set about looking for a co-founder who would be the right person to team up with, someone who would be the CEO.
That person was Sanjay Reddy. Soon after I met Sanjay it was clear to me that he was the exact right guy to partner with: his background in media and technology were what impressed me (for example, he was head of corp dev, strategy and M&A at Gemstar-TV Guide, where he led the $2.3 billion dollar sale of the company to Macrovision, and he had also worked at other Silicon Valley startups and investment banks as well).
Sanjay and I spent quite a bit of time just talking about ideas and eventually decided to join forces. My Lucid Ventures incubator, along with Sanjay, seed-funded the new venture and named it Live Matrix, to go after our mutual vision.
Soon after Sanjay joined we were fortunate to be joined by our two highly experienced colleagues, Edgar Fereira (formerly VP of data for TV Guide Data and TV Guide Online) and Tobias Batton (serial entrepreneur, product manager, game designer). Then others joined around us.
Eventually we formed a small (but awesome) startup team and began working on a prototype and eventually an alpha. We debuted a closed beta preview at TechCrunch Disrupt last spring and received enthusiastic reviews. Now, today, we are releasing our public beta.
Read the full press release here.
I hope you like what we’ve created so far. But please note it is still a BETA. We are interested in your feedback and we already have a lot of feedback from our private beta. Here are some of the ideas we are working on for our next few releases:
- The Number One request we have received so far is to make it easier and faster for people to find events that would interest them. So for the remainder of the year one of our big priorities will be to add in more personalization and recommendations.
- We’re also working on new UI concepts, including some more ways to view the schedule of the Web.
- And we’re going to make it easier and faster for you to add events to Live Matrix — we’ll be launching improvements to our publisher tools section, as well more ways for people to suggest events for us to list.
- And we also plan to add new categories of events — for examples, Business, Technology, Games, and more.
So stay tuned! Live Matrix is just getting started. But this could be the start of something big.
ps. Here’s a screencast with a quick tour of Live Matrix