Tuesday, June 20, 2006

in search of the valley interview

As said previously... I wrote asking for an interview regarding the film IN SEARCH OF THE VALLEY. I have just got a response from the director, and enclose his email response to my questions.

Anyhow, Q1:- What is in search of the valley about, for those who have not seen the trailors and when its available to see?

In Search of the Valley is the story of three friends' personal journey into the psyche of Silicon Valley, in which we swapped London for California for one month in September 2004. During the trip we clocked up over 3,000 miles visiting and talking to many of Silicon Valley's heavy-weights, as well as those of a more personal interest.
With over 30 hours of footage - and a steep learning curve - it's taken us a lot longer than we would have liked to finish the film. However, we are are very close and the film should be available on DVD (from our website) in the next month or so.

Q2:- I think i read that one person said there was 'nothing going on in the valley' when you went. But recently slashdot has said that silicon valley can only happen there. What's your viewpoint on this?

At the time of researching the documentary, Silicon Valley was still recovering from the Dot Com crash. We were advised by one potential interviewee that besides Google (which was at the time gearing up for its IPO) there wasn't much going on in the valley. Others told us the complete opposite. I think the film shows how the Valley is always evolving and that it's a place where new ideas are constantly allowed to happen.

Q3:- You interviewed Marc Canter who's blog i read quite often. I find some of the work he presently is doing with AOL is very interesting. What's your opinion on this and Canter in general?

Marc Canter was great fun to interview and is a genuine visionary and larger than life technology evangelist. He spoke with passion about the potential of personal publishing and social networks but made the point that the industry needs to establish open standards so that users can control their content and move it from one service to the other. Marc also sang some opera for us, and played some blues (which does feature in the movie).

Q4:- You also interviewed tim oreilly both in the film and on your website. At present he seems embroiled in a rather bad piece of PR over threatening to sue a non profit organisation for using the term web 2.0. What's your view on this and O'reilly in general?

Tim was really helpful in the research of the documentary and helped put us in touch with many of the people who appear in the film. He also gave a very interesting and open interview on topics ranging from open source, the next generation of the web, why Silicon Valley works, and the how the importance of IP is overstated. With regards to the recent trademark PR debacle, I'm sure Tim will recover and do the right thing for his business and the community as a whole.

Q5:- I noted you have written regularly for the guardian on a few web 2.0 articles. What's your viewpoint on web 2.0,elearning 2.0 etc? Do you think bubble 2.0 is on the way?

I think new web services that make it easy to publish, share content, and collaborate with others is having a profound affect on media, business, and education.

We kept a film production blog, and have published clips from the film on YouTube and Google Video for example. The internet offers a really low cost way of distributing content but unlike traditional media, we can also talk directly with our audience.

Bubble 2.0? Its true that many of the current crop of new web services will fail but I think it's very different from the Dot Com boom/bust, because the majority of the new companies are VC funded only, and aren't launching IPOs but instead are either being bought by the big players like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and News Corp or just going away quietly.

Q6:- What are your future plans?

To get the film released and promoted into film festivals etc. Then take a holiday and work out what we're going to do next.

1 comment:

Rodger said...

I am putting some DVD copies up for rent on my store at iLetYou (www.iletyou.com) so more people can try out and experience the documentary. iLetYou is in Private Beta as of today, but the copies will be available to rent shortly.

Definitely recommended, cohesive viewing for anyone who wants to be inspired by the spirit (and locale) of Silicon Valley.