It’s been a while since we’ve said much here, but I can assure you it’s not for lack of activity. We’ve been busy building the new infrastructure of Shelby TV — your hub for videos that matter to you, your friends, and the world around you.
But with spring in full swing, there are a few things worth mentioning, so here’s what’s been up!
Fueling these updates is our most recent addition to the team: Edon Ophir, who comes to us by way of Waze and FashionTV. Edon is great — passionate and thoughtful — and is here to serve as your Community Manager. Any and all questions, concerns, or suggestions, Edon is your guy.
Also joining the team is James Aviaz, our resident Australian and Marketing Specialist, who joins us from Songtrust, by way of Uber. I’ve known James for a while personally, I love his passion for great online content, and I am super excited to work with him as he focuses on refining the Shelby TV story and how to tell that to the world.
So, what more can you expect from us in the months to come?
Firstly, video that matters to you. Shelby TV is still the best way to build your personal channel of video, but occasionally we’ll share some of the standout vids. For instance, have you seen “This Is Water“ yet? If not, do yourself a favor and watch now.
Finally, and most importantly, we’ll keep you posted on Shelby TV itself. Product updates, sneak peeks at new features, and opportunities to make a direct impact on Shelby TV. After all, it’s you who powers Shelby TV and the future of video.
Last night at the NYTM, Dan, Henry, and I got on stage to launch some cool products that demonstrate how we envision the future of video, both of which put individuals in control of their experience.
When we first told Fred about Shelby.tv, he immediately asked if someday he could have FredWilson.tv. So we are really excited to finally launch FredWilson.tv. His .tv is a public URL for anyone to see, it’s powered by Shelby, and it pulls all the video he shares on AVC.com, as well as shares to Tumblr and Twitter, into one leanback “TV” experience. If you want to learn about entrepreneurship, venture capital, or startups in general, FredWilson.tv is a great channel to watch.
Fred wrote more about it on his blog this morning which I encourage you to read as well. Thanks Fred. Psyched to finally deliver FredWilson.tv!
Once we started working on .tv’s, we realized we had the ability to create a TV experience out of any webpage with video.** So Henry built a great proof of concept at Shelby.tv/experience. Here are a couple great examples.
The Periodic Table of Videos is a great blog full of video, but the viewing experience is crap. See it for yourself here: http://periodicvideos.blogspot.com/ Now, go to Experience and hit “Launch” to see how Shelby gives you a “TV” experience for all that great content.
Here’s another example, this time from the awesome community at Reddit. Here, a bunch of Redditors are sharing favorite videos from Hulu. It looks like this.
Throw that into Shelby.tv/Experience and you’ve got a seamless, lean-back channel of great video.
This is just a proof of concept, but Shelby.tv/Experience is a great demonstration of how we think about video and where we’re going with Shelby. Try out http://Shelby.tv/experience and http://fredwilson.tv and let us know what you think.
**Technical disclaimer: “Experience” currently only works with static pages, not dynamically loaded pages like YouTube.
So excited about FredWilson.tv. Hit me up if you want your own .tv!
Companies are not people. But they are comprised of people. And the people side of the business is harder and way more complicated than building a product is. You have to start with culture, values, and a committment to creating a fantastic workplace. You can’t fake these things. They have to come from the top. They are not bullshit. They are everything. There will be things that happen in the course of building a business that will challenge the belief in the leadership and the future of the company. If everyone is a mercenary and there is no shared culture and values, the team will blow apart. But if there is a meaningful culture that the entire team buys into, the team will stick together, double down, and get through those challenging situations.
At our #ShelbySummit a few weeks ago, we revisited our core values that we wrote as a team in July 2012. Since then, I have taken the team’s feedback and rewritten the values to really establish who we are and what we believe in as a company.
It made me think of Fred’s post which resonated with me a year ago(!), as I share the view that a company is a product unto itself. And while we have had our successes and failures so far, it is our team and culture that have gotten us through each of them.
We’re still putting the finishing touches on our values, but I look forward to sharing them here soon.
- 8 Shelby’ers.
- 7 direct hits with snowballs.
- 6 pots of coffee.
- 5 beds.
- 4 meetings.
- 3 interns.
- 2 days.
- 1 hot tub.
- 0 connectivity.
The Shelby Summit 2013.
Last week, we held the first annual Shelby Summit — a two day event in which we took the entire team* up North a couple hours to a house in the woods with no wifi/phone service. We revisited our core values, laid out our strategy for 2013, set big goals, both personally and professionally, and had a lot of laughs along the way.
Planning the Summit came together quickly, as Dan and I realized that January is already off to a flying start and if we didn’t take a minute to slow down, it’ll be the second quarter before we knew it. Luckily, our team is small enough that we execute fast and our man Frasher is an ace on AirB’nB, so we found a big old house that was off the grid and booked it.
Prior to leaving, I asked the team to do two things.
- Spend time thinking about goals for 2013. Professionally and personally.
- Submit ingredients needed to prepare a course with your partner (both assigned by Dan and I) for our team dinner Thursday night. More on this later.
Most of the team got to the house Wednesday night (the rest came up Thursday AM), and I kicked off the day with some opening remarks, ground rules, and the goal of the Summit: “Get everyone at Shelby aligned and excited for 2013, with clear goals as a product, company, brand, and as individuals.”
We then jumped into a discussion of our core values that we wrote together this past summer. For any startups considering this type of exercise, I highly recommend putting in the time early on, then revisiting them months later to see what holds up and what doesn’t. Based upon our discussion, one core value subsumed another, others evolved to better reflect who we are, but otherwise our values held strong and have directly impacted the way we work since writing them down. Further, having this discussion at the start of the Summit gave us a vocabulary with which to address everything else.
After a quick lunch, we headed out for a hike around the Ashokan Reservoir. We lucked out with beautiful weather, and had some fun tossing snowballs around.
The main dish of our Summit was next, with a few hours spent diving deep into our plans for the upcoming year. While Dan and I have a great direction for this, it’s imperative that everyone understands the challenges ahead and commits to the goals we all set as a company. This led to some amazing feedback for us as founders, and I am extremely fortunate to work with this team - passionate people who want to raise the bar. (I know all startups might talk this talk, but this team walks the walk).
Now for some serious laughs. To prepare dinner, Dan and I assigned everyone to an odd-ball couple - people who don’t work together much or are generally opposites in personality - and gave each team responsibility for a course. No one was to collaborate, so it was a true pot-luck.
- Cocktail: “Old Fashioned” by Reece and Frasher
- Appetizers: Prosciutto Mac’n’Cheese Cupcakes, Salad (dressing not homemade) Gorgonzola/Honey and Fontina Prosciutto Crostinis by Chris and Vincent
- Main: Grilled meats. Lots of ‘em. Spicy Grilled Mushroom/Eggplant (Henry and Mike)
- Sides: Salad with Homemade Poppy Seed Dressingand Candied Almonds(!) and Roast Potato & Pepper Hash by Josh and Ian
- Dessert: Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Oatmeal Cookies by Dan and Brendan
All I can say, is this team can cook. Lots of pride went into the preparations and everyone enjoyed it, especially Chris and Vincent’s appetizers. [It’s also worth noting that I haven’t laughed that hard, for that long, in a while. My face hurt from laughing so much. This team is hilarious].
We cleaned up our act and hung by the fire for a couple of great games that will remain nameless (so as not to give away the keys to winning for future hires), before settling down for a discussion about goal setting. This involved explaining the S.M.A.R.T framework “Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, Timely” which we then all applied to our individual goals together the next morning.
Having everyone share their goals out loud was a perfect capstone for the Summit. We now all know what it is we want to achieve as individuals, and how that will make us better as a company now, and in the future. I won’t list out our personal or company goals here, but if you stay tuned, they should be apparent in everything we do this year.
Here’s to our team and to 2013. Let’s do this!
[Sometimes selfies are hard to do.]
*One teammate couldn’t make it due to some vacation time planned well in advance. He was with us in spirit.
It’s Election Day!
This past few weeks, we’ve seen a bunch of great video about the election shared on Shelby. Today, we’ve taken all this coverage and wrapped it up into our new Elections roll at election2012.shelby.tv.
You’ll find video from the left, right, and everywhere in between. Whether you’re interested in healthy discourse or some good ol’ political satire, we think it’s worth watching. The coolest thing about it is that it’s entirely powered by community and constantly being updated throughout the day as more and more people are sharing and watching video.
Check it out at election2012.shelby.tv and please don’t forget to exercise your right to vote today!
Really digging our Hashtag Rolls for this purpose. Fascinating way to dig deep into a certain topic.
My favorites are Street Fighter Obama vs. Romney and Mortal Kombat Obama vs. Romney, but this one showing possible voting machine fraud is nuts!
We’re so excited to be working with our friend Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness to produce NerdFitness.tv!
Check out Steve’s post below for more details…
It’s an exciting time to be a Nerd Fitness Rebel!
Our goal at Nerd Fitness is to eliminate every potential excuse you might have for not getting healthy. We’ve covered how to eat right, how to work out, how to be more productive, how to walk, run, and hike, how to do a push up, how to do your first pull up…but we still get one issue above all others:
“I just can’t seem to get motivated!”
I hear ya. Some days, you just don’t want to get out of bed. Other days you come home from work and that couch looks MIGHTY cozy. Another round of Halo or Modern Warfare 3 sounds way more enjoyable than exercising.
Which is why we’ve created our own freaking TV channel!
NerdFitness.TV is born!
They’ve created an awesome video platform that lets people watch and curate their own channel of the best video they find all around the web (content from YouTube, Hulu, ESPN, Vimeo, etc.). It also gets smart about content you like and don’t like, showing you the stuff you need to see and getting you back to the real world so you can keep kicking ass.
The SECOND I saw what they were building, a light bulb went off in my head: “We need to have a Nerd Fitness TV channel with an epic motivational videos playing ALL the time.”
The guys at Shelby agreed, and thus – Nerd Fitness TV was born
When you visit NerdFitness.TV, you’ll see my personally selected list of motivational videos that will make you want to run through walls, do a million push ups, walk to Mordor, and exercise around the world.
Anytime you are EVER in need of motivation – visit NerdFitness.TV, watch a video or two, and then go have the workout of your life. It’s guaranteed to add ten pounds to your squat and make your Spartan war cry 15% more epic.
The Next Steps
This is just the beginning. We’re fortunate to be one of the first sites to partner with Shelby, so there are a handful of features that they’re in the process of implementing.
Over the next few months, you’ll see NerdFitness.TV evolve in a few different ways. I can’t hint too much about what’s coming, but I promise it will be cool.
If you happen to struggle with motivation, today you no longer have any excuses. NerdFitness.TV – you’re welcome, Rebellion!
Leave a comment with your personal favorite motivational video or any features you’d love to see added to NerdFitness.TV, and the NF team and I will select the best ones to add to the channel!
And don’t forget, we’re just getting started.
Nerd Fitness TV is going to rule. Hard.
My personal product goals for Shelby.tv have never been to make people watch more video (note: this includes TV, of which the average American watches 5.3 HOURS/DAY!). My goals are to…
- Open people up to the discovery of your world through video. It’s more than just YouTube. It’s more than just cat videos. I promise you.
- Help you watch the right content. Video that’s relevant to you and your peculiar interests even if that’s less content overall. (Yes, I want to build a self-limiting product, especially if it means viewers see less junk!).
- To share media that inspires our Shelby viewers to do awesome stuff and make the world a better place.
NerdFitness.tv is just a tiny first stab at that. A place for those inspiring fitness vids that will get you OFF the couch.
Check it out, get inspired, kick ass.
If you haven’t tried Shelby.tv.. give it a whirl. These folks have the right idea. Playlists [aka ‘A Video Stream’] is the future of the TV experience.
A few years ago at a party this dude from Sweden tells me the future of the music industry is playlists. I didn’t get it fully.. or at least I was too distracted to digest it. Now Spotify is the new model. Free playlists accessible from anywhere. Point being.. it happened in the music industry, it can happen in TV industry.
Shelby.tv currently takes the video content from friends & the folks you follow & puts it all in a nice [passively digestible] stream. Hot! How efficient is that?! At the end of your day you can plop down and watch 10-20+minutes of the most important videos to you [business & personal.] With so many streaming video services out there that involve clicking, searching, & trying to find the titles you want or what your friends have posted online.. wouldn’t you like a site that just does it all for you and puts it in a stream that you can watch as soon as you flip on the TV [or webpage]?? Shelby.tv adds value.. it saves time, and allows you to very effectively curate your content. It’s a service that could quietly be making a run at being the go-to folks for all social video [and if their ambitious.. Movies, Shows, as well.]
In terms of audience reception for content.. A microchip implanted in your brain is the only thing more simple than a streaming internet DVR list that constantly updates itself with the content you love. That’s a sign they have the right idea.
Not everyone understands our vision for Shelby, but when they do, and when they articulate it as well as Barry has done here, I can’t help but smile.
Thanks @barrybangs. Excited to have you. Give us time to work on the microchip.
Shelby Genius is available today in the iOS App Store! Download it here.
While in the midst of building the next generation of Shelby, we learned that YouTube would no longer be a core app in iOS6. We knew YouTube would inevitably fill that void with their own app, but we had an idea that was too fun to pass up, so our iOS dev Arthur hacked it together in a couple weeks. Using a piece of the Shelby platform that hasn’t yet seen the light of day, we’re pretty excited to announce Shelby Genius.
Shelby Genius is search + serendipity. On iOS, we built Genius to be a very simple app. It supports searches across YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion and returns a list of results that serendipitously includes results from Shelby’s video graph.
We have to admit it’s pretty fun searching for random stuff (see our list above), and seeing what Genius thinks, but we’re even more excited about some of the tech under the hood. In particular, the Genius app supports background streaming to AirPlay and continuous playback of video.
What does this mean to the average user? Run a Genius search for your favorite band, start playing video and send it to your AppleTV via airplay. Now start using another app on your phone - you’ll notice that Genius video keeps playing on your TV in the background. When the video is done, the next video in the results will start playing.
Though it’s just the result of a quick hack, we’re excited to ship it and potentially use more of Genius in other places within Shelby.
You can download it here and let us know what Genius searches you love!
So pumped to launch this app. Really fun. Go get it!
What makes you kick ass on a project? I mean, really fucking blow the doors off. It’s motivation. No tricks needed. When you’re doing rewarding work and have intrinsic motivation, you will blow it out of the water. Scott Adams wrote an interesting post on the subject…
…which I forwarded on to my team.
At Shelby, we’re not building the first personal computers or machines that can restart a human heart. We work with video, a medium the average American spends > 33 hours/week watching.
But before video, printed word, or even spoken language we were a social species, sharing our collective knowledge around the fire. As individuals with great technological capabilities, incredible quality of life, and so many freedoms, we owe a great deal to the rest of our species, particularly those who came before us. Because we are social we have excelled.
The way our species tells stories is changing - for better or for worse - and we have an opportunity to lead that change. There is no doubt that at Shelby, we can change the world. Every single thing that each of us do will be a part of that legacy. From an entire app, like [not yet released], to the finer features that users will only see once, like onboarding or choosing an avatar, our actions will imbue our products, our community, and our company with excellence and pride in craftsmanship.