It’s not content – it’s ‘experience’ (and red shoes)
That was the big question at last night’s Future of News meetup in Central London. Around 50 journalists, students, academics and other entrepreneurs came to hear first hand how to set up a news business from those who’ve done it themselves.
(Update #1: Journalist Patrick Smith has written a far more comprehensive review of the event for journalism.co.uk – you can read it by clicking here.)
He was followed by Tony Heywood and Nick Saalfield, who run Yoodoo.biz a free service for anyone who dreams of setting up their own business but doesn’t know where to start. As a journalist himself Nick was sure journalists can set up their own businesses and make it work.
It’s not content, it’s experience
One of the big sticking points of the night was the seeming void between doing the sort of journalism that matters (human rights, for example) and serving a market who’ll pay for that content.
Nick was clear: content does not make money. “The days of being paid by the word a dead” he told the room. Instead, journalists must create an experience for their audience – a really enjoyable experience which they’ll come back for, and pay for.
We don’t all go crazy for Apple products because they’re technically better than Windows – but because the whole user experience is so much better.
How do we make the experience better online? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Don’t wait – go!
Brainient founder Emi Gal’s big advice is not to hang around. “Don’t wait for your product to be perfect” he says – you can’t get it right until it’s out there.
Emi also reiterated the importance of collaborating with others. If you’re not good at sales (as many journalists won’t be) find a partner who is. If you want to create a web platform but don’t know the first thing about Ruby or HTML, find someone who does.
Emi, who funded Brainient through winning Seedcamp‘s startup competition, says venture capital (VC) is a good way to get cash – if you can find a good investor. Nick and Tony though reckon ‘Angel investors’ – individuals with spare cash and up for an adventure – are the way to go, and less likely to end up in disaster.
…oh, and the shoes
Emi, Tony and Nick agreed on one thing: get good shoes. Or some item of clothing that makes you stand out – people (potential investors, collaborators) are more likely to remember you that way.
If you want to know more about entrepreneurship and journalism, you don’t have to wait long – Next Generation Journalist: 10 New Ways to Make Money in Journalism goes on sale tomorrow!