Five Questions for Mike

Published on June 5, 2007
by Kara Swisher

To: Mike Volpi, spanking new Joost CEO

From: Kara Swisher, seen-it-all-before journalist

Re: Five quick questions for you on taking the new job at the trendy and well-funded online video service

1. Is it just me or does Joost feel like a service only a Hollywood executive could love, with its big-ticket content and stricter programming than the Web is used to, as I kind of implied here?

2. You’re a tech guy, so can you fix the glitchiness and regular instances of crashing in the beta before it gets out there? Maybe that’s OK for shaggier services like Skype and Kazaa, also founded by Joost’s founders, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, but watching premium video requires a more reliable service.


3. You bought a lot of companies at Cisco (really, 70?) as its mergers-and-acquisitions guy, so what’s your strategy for handling all your partners now (like Time Warner, Viacom and CBS) and those who are sure to come? Because it feels to me that it might be like wrangling cats.

4. I like you a lot already for saying to the New York Times in this article that “traditional television as we know it is gradually going to go away.” Um, when exactly (and I am sure your investor CBS liked that comment a lot)?

5. OK, so you’re not YouTube with all its messy user-generated content, and you’re not a television network with all its control-freak mannerisms, but I am hoping that does not mean you are a messy control freak of a service. OK, that’s a statement and not a question–so, let me rephrase: Are you a messy control freak of a service?

Just asking.

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