My early startup experience includes inventing and launching the social radio site Live365.com in 1999, which grew exponentially after launch to become the Internet’s second-largest broadcaster with over 2.7 million annual tuning hours. More recently, I was the VP of Apps & Developer Relations for Mxit, the South African-based startup which was Africa’s largest social messaging platform when I was working there.
I’ve led a range of pioneering online products over the last 15 years, including co-creating the Media RSS / mRSS standard (popularly used as the global standard for including multimedia in RSS feeds), leading products at Yahoo! (digital music, video-on-demand, company-wide video player platform, and video search), LOYAL3 (direct-to-consumer company stock purchasing via Facebook), Kongregate (social gaming destination and community site for gamers and game developer), and Scour.com (Internet broadcasting and peer-to-peer technology).
I also founded Downtempo, an Internet product development & strategy firm located in San Francisco, whose client projects have included work for MTV, NASA, Craigslist Foundation, SpotXchange, LACMA, and Globe.gov. In addition to these client projects, Downtempo incubated and launched its own in-house projects, including Is It Safe To Visit?, the world’s first travel advisory search engine, Phone Genome, and NiceTips.
…and I spent a year of my life traveling around the world, visiting all seven continents, and writing about it at Gone Living.
I’ve invented a variety of products over my career, some of which have been patented, many of which have not. Here are the ones with filed patents:
|2010||US7720686B2||Method and system for providing listener-requested music over a network|
|2009||US7574448B2||Method and apparatus for organizing and playing data|
|2005||US20060129916A1||RSS rendering via a media player|
|2005||US20060129907A1||Syndicating multimedia information with RSS|
|2005||US20060129917A1||Syndicating multiple media objects with RSS|
I rarely get a chance to do long-form professional writing outside of blog posts, but I do love to write when I get the opportunity.
|2021||Google Africa||The Future is Africa: African Developers are Building for the World|
|2018||Google Africa||Launchpad Accelerator Africa: growing a community of startup influencers in Africa|
|2017||Google Developers||Launchpad comes to Africa to support tech startups|
|2013||WIRED||Shine On: M-KOPA Solar Home System|
|2005||WIRED: Webmonkey||Sharing Your Media With Media RSS|
|2005||WIRED: Webmonkey||Flash Video: Free and Easy|
|2004||WIRED: Webmonkey||Video Compression: A Codec Primer|
While I’m not the Andy Volk who is famous for his lap steel guitar work, I do love music with a passion, and was a Downtempo music DJ for several years when building the pioneering social music project Live365.com.