The following is the transcript from our exclusive interview with John Meyer, founder of Fresco News. You can watch the entire interview at the bottom of the page
Q. What’s Fresco all about?
Fresco is all about changing the way we discover news, but also changing the way the actual content is created.
Q. What’s new at Fresco? What should we expect in the coming months?
We’ve been in a long development and private beta period with both our consumer app and these web tools we’ve built. It will be available publicly in the middle of August, when we release of our consumer app, which will let our users get both their news through this Instagram-style feed, with photos, videos, and captions, but also be able to be notified when they’re near the scene of a news event.
Q. Can you give us an example of a simple use case?
Let’s say you’re near the scene of a news event. You’re going to get a push notification on your phone that not only lets you know what’s going on, but also gives you a monetary offer to walk a few blocks away to go take a video of what’s happening. That video will go to us and be highlighted in our app, the same one you’re using, but it can also be used in real print or broadcast TV news by one of our 81 news organization partners. Most of these are local TV or news stations that are scattered all over the country, but there are a handful of bigger names, like The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, that have access to our platform. We take a photo or video on our app, and we will try to create a situation where that photo or video of this news event can be instantly seen by the whole word, if it’s that kind of situation.
Q. Sounds like your going to be empowering alot of people, is that correct?
The big thing we are trying to fix is currently is in order for you to have a voice, if you see something happen, you either have to be a journalist who works for the Wall Street Journal, or you have to have a Twitter with a following of a million people. You have these massive differences between someone who is an actual journalist and someone who is a regular person. We are trying to bring the regular person up to the same level of the New York Times journalist, because if you see something serious going on, or even if it’s a simple bookstore opening in your local town, you can take a video of that and get it seen by the whole country. Where we want to have an impact is on bigger, serious events. If a serious thing happens, like police brutality, and you have someone present who is using Fresco to take a video of what’s going on, we immediately are getting that to some of the biggest news organizations in the country, to actually shine a light on what’s happening. Most of those events don’t really ever get seen.
Q. How do you define news?
During my talk at the Next Gen Summit, I spoke a bit about the definition of news. News is literally what is going on in the world, and the purpose of news is not only for our curiosity, but it’s also for us to see issues going on in the world. The only way for us to fix those issues is to be aware of their happening, and the only way to be aware of their happening is to hear about it in the news. If you provide a method for anyone to tell the news themselves, then ideally, in the perfect world, we can fix a lot of issues. So that is really what we are after.
Q. You’ve been programming for a long time, where does your love of Tech come from?
It really comes from my grandfather and father raising me. I grew up on a computer. The best thing my parents did for me was give me free reign on the family computer. I would just experiment with things.
Q. Any particular Inspiration?
I had a passion for following tech companies like Apple growing up.Steve Jobs was my inspiration as an individual.
Q. What’s your personal drive?
What drove me to do all those apps, and also what drives me today with Fresco, is touching other people’s lives. That doesn’t necessarily mean make an impact, but being able to create something like an app out of thin air and then hear about and/or see it being used by millions of people. That’s what’s exciting and drives me most. I’m able to do the same thing with Fresco as an app now, but it’s even more of a situation because we’re obviously trying to create a platform for people who are trying to get their voices heard.
How does it feel to be 1 of 21 people to be accepted into the Peter Thiel Fellowship?
Getting a fellowship is fantastic. But I would be totally fine if I didn’t get it because of the drive that I have to succeed at what we’re trying to do.
What would you tell someone trying to start a company without getting into a prestigious program?
I think if you don’t have that kind of access, all it really takes is having a drive or a passion for what you’re doing. That trumps everything else. In really literal terms, if you’re working on something that you truly love, and if you’re not; you should take some time to think about what you’re working on and why you’re doing it.
If you’re doing it for money or fame, you’re probably not going to get past those low points that hit you along the way.
Q. If you didn’t have that kind of drive, would you have been able to get access to people like Peter Thiel.
I’m not trying to get this random access to people. I don’t do this at all for money or fame. One of the guys on Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary, has this private interview on YouTube where he brings up a really good point, “If you’re working on your start-up and truly love what you’re doing, you will just wind up rich because you are so focused on what you’re doing that you don’t care about anything else. If all goes well, you’ll wind up successful.” But that comes from loving what you’re actually working on.
Q. The last question has to be, which the people really want to know: How do you deal with people thinking you’re John Mayer (the singer) and their reaction when they realize your not actually him.
I don’t know. I’ve done a few CNBC interviews recently, and I have to specifically tell them that I’m not the singer. My last name is actually Meyer in the first place, but I don’t care. People say Mayer anyway. They screwed around with me anyway. I was on their Squawk Box show, live at 10 am, and I’m about to go on air. In the background, I hear them playing “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer. You see it in the interview today. It’s playing as they introduce me in the YouTube video.
Q. Where can we download the new updates.
You can download the new Fresco Update here: https://www.fresconews.com/