I have the pleasure to share with you the insight of Marco from Filtersage, the startup I reviewed recently. As you probably remember, Filtersage is a system that lets you explore the connections between movies and music releases from all through history.
This is part 1 of the interview, about the startup itself.
And click here for Part 2 (“Music & You”).
Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?
The basic idea comes from a very simple observation. When we listen to a new album or watch a movie, we usually connect it to something that we have listened to or watched before. A new album reminds us of an old favorite because of the tune or the sound; or we connect a dvd to something we watched last year because of the story, a particular scene or even the atmosphere. This is what Filtersage is about: connecting new stuff to something we have loved in the past. And it is also about exploring the connections that other users are making, so it’s possible to discover more stuff that might interest us. Filtersage is about memory and knowledge, and this is why we think that the connections you can find here are very strong and highly interesting: because these connections are memory based and knowledge based. We like to say that this happens because there is no is algorithm working, Filtersage is totally ‘human based’.
What was the original launch date?
Our first beta version came out just few weeks ago.
What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?
It’s too early to talk about it but, because Filtersage is in English, we expect it will have more success in the countries where English is the first language or widely spoken.
What features can we expect to see implemented in future revisions?
Some big improvements will come about in the next few weeks, and we are very happy with the new stuff we are working on. The site will be even more ‘user-centric’. In the new version the users will be able to create new connections from scratch, or link multiple items in a row. And it will be easier to export the connections created on Filtersage to users’ blogs, or Facebook pages and the like. This will enhance the whole experience, and will increase the ‘serendipity-factor’ of the whole site.
There is a certain tendency to demonize the Internet in the music industry. I think it is all a matter of perspective – it all depends on the uses it is put to. What is your opinion? In which areas has the Internet left an unquestionably positive mark?
The internet has simply doomed the old business model of ‘making money selling discs’. Record companies were extraordinarily inept not to understand this simple fact years ago. For everything else, the internet has created an incredible environment that allows people to listen to more diverse music in greater quantities. This could be a problem for the industry, but is great for the music itself and, naturally, for the consumer.
What advice could you give to anybody who is launching a music-related startup in the future? What are the obvious mistakes that should be avoided?
I can only share the advice that we repeatedly give ourselves: always think about technology in terms of the enhancements it can give to the user’s experience. So, trust the users and give them the tools to make their experiences better, and help them share it with other people. This will make a site more lively and more interesting.
(Continue to Part 2)
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