The History of self-expression

Train your personal avatar “what to say.”  That's how we'll "express ourselves" in the future. We call her “a Being” - as Bots are evil and we don’t wanna have anything to do with SkyNet, ChatBots or even anything - that’s about making money or giving advice.

Instigate is technically an “AI Authoring” system prototype. That’s what we’ll be shipping the summer of 2019.

We’ll enable humans to “Train their own Being”, telling her what to say as your Being accompanies selfies, videos, images and other “on-line content” which is then shared with your friends or family members. We don’t think normal people want their AI to say “what the company” thinks it should say - we feel strongly that humans want to control what their Being says THEMSELVES.

It costs a lot of money to build an AI Authoring system and we’ve got zero of that. So we’re building a PROTOTYPE of our system as we think we have the missing link in producing compelling AI systems. That’s you - the humans who are going to use it.

In the old days we used to call this UGC (user generated content.) Our secret weapon is to create a process of using our product that is so much fun and rewarding that you, the users, will keep coming back, havng fun - and sharing your Beings - with others. That leads us to:

  • lots of coolio Being examples

  • the beginning of our “DataSet” - which we then “run machine learning on”

  • funding

Instigate Meme Beings pick up where blogging and on-line short-form video leaves off, providing a new way for users to express themselves (and their ideas) in an interactive form - going beyond commenting.  

This is the journey of on-line self-expression. That's why we call our users "Instigators."

 

The journey looks something like this:

 

Late '80's-early 90's  

Multimedia

Authoring

tools

Marc Canter, Jamie Fenton (http://www.fentonia.com/bio/) and Mark Pierce's (https://shff.com/index.html) original company. Creators of "VideoWorks." The company was later renamed to  Macromedia .   Back in the day normal people had to be engineers and programmers to create animations, sequence text or graphics on the screen and build anything resembling interactive” anything. VideoWorks changed all that - and a disc produced with VideoWorks Interactive shipped with every Macintosh from Jan. 1986 - on.   Multimedia was an entirely new thing - and we (MacroMind) had NO IDEA what people were gonna do WITH our tools.  Turns out they figured out:  ● animated business presentations  ● scientific visualizations  ● product simulations  ● educational courseware  …. all created with VideoWorks, which was later renamed “Director” - once we got VC investment. That’s when we moved to SF, SOMA and grew into  MacroMedia .

Marc Canter, Jamie Fenton (http://www.fentonia.com/bio/) and Mark Pierce's (https://shff.com/index.html) original company. Creators of "VideoWorks." The company was later renamed to Macromedia.


Back in the day normal people had to be engineers and programmers to create animations, sequence text or graphics on the screen and build anything resembling interactive” anything. VideoWorks changed all that - and a disc produced with VideoWorks Interactive shipped with every Macintosh from Jan. 1986 - on.


Multimedia was an entirely new thing - and we (MacroMind) had NO IDEA what people were gonna do WITH our tools.

Turns out they figured out:

● animated business presentations

● scientific visualizations

● product simulations

● educational courseware

…. all created with VideoWorks, which was later renamed “Director” - once we got VC investment. That’s when we moved to SF, SOMA and grew into MacroMedia.



Macromedia was the world's leading multimedia tools company. Its core product - "Director" - was used in the creation of 85% of all multimedia CD-ROMs from '90-'95. Marketing presentation, scientific visualizations, interactive games, history lessons, info content or product simulations - could all be accomplished - with Director.  But something strange happened. The caretakers of MacroMedia (after kicking Marc Canter OUT of the company he founded) missed the web. Strange because  John Doerr , the VC we funded Netscape - was ON Macromedia’s board. You’d think they shouldn’t have MISSED the web - huh?   Well anyway - caught with their proverbial “pants down” Macromedia was forced to buy Flash, which was optimized for the web. Who lost in this purchase? 100,000’s of Director developers - who were bifurcated and betrayed by Macromedia. But we digress.  Flash moved the world of multimedia onto the web but it took 10+ years until Flash caught up to where Director was. That’s when the bandwidth was finally available to move images and video around in our “interactive forms of self-expression.” BTW the original YouTube was BUILT with Flash.  Remember - not EVERYTHING has to be about marketing and selling and eCommerce. Self-expression means everything.

Macromedia was the world's leading multimedia tools company. Its core product - "Director" - was used in the creation of 85% of all multimedia CD-ROMs from '90-'95. Marketing presentation, scientific visualizations, interactive games, history lessons, info content or product simulations - could all be accomplished - with Director.

But something strange happened. The caretakers of MacroMedia (after kicking Marc Canter OUT of the company he founded) missed the web. Strange because John Doerr, the VC we funded Netscape - was ON Macromedia’s board. You’d think they shouldn’t have MISSED the web - huh?

Well anyway - caught with their proverbial “pants down” Macromedia was forced to buy Flash, which was optimized for the web. Who lost in this purchase? 100,000’s of Director developers - who were bifurcated and betrayed by Macromedia. But we digress.

Flash moved the world of multimedia onto the web but it took 10+ years until Flash caught up to where Director was. That’s when the bandwidth was finally available to move images and video around in our “interactive forms of self-expression.” BTW the original YouTube was BUILT with Flash.

Remember - not EVERYTHING has to be about marketing and selling and eCommerce. Self-expression means everything.

Late 90's -

early 00's  

Blogging

Dave Winer gets a lot of credit for Blogging - and an underlying technology for subscribing to blogs - called RSS.

Nobody had any idea how powerful Blogging would become when it first started. From Monica Lewinsky to Arab Spring, Twitter and Facebook - posting (as its now known) is the ultimate Long Tail self-publishing system.  But blogging has been left behind by YouTube, Snap and Instagram. Nowadays being Blogger means that you’re some sort of independent journalists or crazy ideologue. Blogging is the foundation on which “ Citizen Journalism ”, routing around the mainstream press and independent thinking is based.  Blogging is all about self-expression - and we see Instigate as next-gen blogging.

Nobody had any idea how powerful Blogging would become when it first started. From Monica Lewinsky to Arab Spring, Twitter and Facebook - posting (as its now known) is the ultimate Long Tail self-publishing system.

But blogging has been left behind by YouTube, Snap and Instagram. Nowadays being Blogger means that you’re some sort of independent journalists or crazy ideologue. Blogging is the foundation on which “Citizen Journalism”, routing around the mainstream press and independent thinking is based.

Blogging is all about self-expression - and we see Instigate as next-gen blogging.

Late 00's

YouTube

on-line video

Those of us who knew the power of video were just WAITING for someone to  “figure out on-line video.”  Turns out that was YouTube. Combining a Flash-enabled single  “codec”  with cloud infrastructure and a simple web front-end - YouTube put VC money to work - building out one of the first true Silicon Valley “ Unicorns .” Purchased by Google, YouTube has led to become one of the cornerstones of self-expression in the world today.  YouTube brought ubiquitous on-line video to the world. This then led to Twitch, NetFlix and PewDiePie. We all benefit from on-line video - give YouTube the props it deserves!

Those of us who knew the power of video were just WAITING for someone to “figure out on-line video.” Turns out that was YouTube. Combining a Flash-enabled single “codec” with cloud infrastructure and a simple web front-end - YouTube put VC money to work - building out one of the first true Silicon Valley “Unicorns.” Purchased by Google, YouTube has led to become one of the cornerstones of self-expression in the world today.

YouTube brought ubiquitous on-line video to the world. This then led to Twitch, NetFlix and PewDiePie. We all benefit from on-line video - give YouTube the props it deserves!

Early 10's

Video Selfies

Video Selfies leverage the power of smartphone cameras - turning anyone into a Hollywood TV Show producer.  " Burp!"   This is a medium designed for and popularized by the  Digital Natives . These kids were we raised with their hands on game controllers, their faces pointed towards the screen and a universal disdain for anything - that came before Digital. Which led to Snapchat selfies diappearring in 24 hours, Instagram stealing Stories from Snap - and our current situation where 100’s of MILLIONS of people are addicted to this “social media” thingie.  Along the way the videos have gotten shorter and the entire definition of self-expression has changed. Hating, Misinformation, Fake News and 24/7/365 torrent of gossip seems to pervade everywhere.  But buried deep inside this maelstrom is creativity. That’s what makes an influencer stand out. That’s what the Celebs and Brands are all about.  And that’s what  Instigate  is for.

Video Selfies leverage the power of smartphone cameras - turning anyone into a Hollywood TV Show producer.

"Burp!"

This is a medium designed for and popularized by the Digital Natives. These kids were we raised with their hands on game controllers, their faces pointed towards the screen and a universal disdain for anything - that came before Digital. Which led to Snapchat selfies diappearring in 24 hours, Instagram stealing Stories from Snap - and our current situation where 100’s of MILLIONS of people are addicted to this “social media” thingie.

Along the way the videos have gotten shorter and the entire definition of self-expression has changed. Hating, Misinformation, Fake News and 24/7/365 torrent of gossip seems to pervade everywhere.

But buried deep inside this maelstrom is creativity. That’s what makes an influencer stand out. That’s what the Celebs and Brands are all about.

And that’s what Instigate is for.

 

Mid 10's

Personal AVATARs
Virtual Beings

This is what Instigate is all about:  ● Train your own Personal Being  ● Take your Instagram story - and add intelligence to it  ● Don’t let the AI tell YOU what to do, YOU tell the AI what to SAY  We see Instigate as the brain inside your Virtual Being. We Zag while others Zig. We don’t focus on what your Virtual Being looks like or sounds like - we focus on what she has to say.  To others.

This is what Instigate is all about:

● Train your own Personal Being

● Take your Instagram story - and add intelligence to it

● Don’t let the AI tell YOU what to do, YOU tell the AI what to SAY

We see Instigate as the brain inside your Virtual Being. We Zag while others Zig. We don’t focus on what your Virtual Being looks like or sounds like - we focus on what she has to say.

To others.