Hollywood Is in the Past—The Future of TV Is Now

There are great discussions going on over at Hacker News and Techcrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/20/hollywoodville/) around YCombinator's request for startups to "Kill Hollywood" (http://ycombinator.com/rfs9.html).

In YCombinator’s article, they postulate how the future of TV may take shape:

“There will be several answers, ranging from new ways to produce and distribute shows, through new media (e.g. games) that look a lot like shows but are more interactive.”

It sounds like they think interactive game shows that are easy to produce and distribute could be "the thin edge of the wedge” strategy (http://cdixon.org/2010/12/26/the-thin-edge-of-the-wedge-strategy/), as Chris Dixon describes, to start this revolution.

Our answer to YCombinator? We’re on it! For the past year, we’ve been working to make this concept a reality. Who are we? We are Gickup and our mission is to connect the world through video chat games.

Let’s take a look at our first interactive game show, Secret Celeb: http://youtu.be/TxJZtEL8LZM. Looks like everyone was having fun! But, hey, don’t just watch. We want you to play! Join us for a game of Secret Celeb on Facebook every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night at 7pm pacific (http://apps.facebook.com/secretceleb).

Secret Celeb is just one of the games Gickup has created. Gickup is a video chat gaming platform. We provide tools to developers to help them make games without them having to worry about infrastructure and scale. Our platform allows developers to build once and deploy across the Web, iOS and Android. Our games can be played or watched by friends or soon-to-be friends. We make it easy to create interactive game shows and other reality-based TV shows; these can be broadcast to thousands of watchers who can interact with the players—for example, challenging the winner of a game (think King of the Hill), or voting on their favorite player (similar to American Idol).

We were fortunate enough to present last week at the 9th Founders Showcase hosted by Founder Institute (http://fi.co/), where we introduced Gickup to a panel of judges and a large Silicon Valley audience. We explained to them why this is an opportune time to disrupt Hollywood. A good summary of many of our points were actually previously discussed by Mark Suster in his 10 Signs Internet TV Is Ready to Disrupt the Industry (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2011/11/14/future-of-tv-the-quick-version/). A couple of things that we would add is that front-facing cameras are becoming pervasive everywhere and social games and virtual goods are extremely popular.

We have partnered with Hollywood TV producers Michael Agbabian (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0012912/) and Dwight Smith (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0808054/) to help us create our first batch of games. We’ll be releasing more games later this year that will cover various genres, e.g., dating, trivia and talent.

We will also be releasing our SDK to developers who want to be part of the next evolution of TV. If you are creative and interested in joining our mission, please contact us at developer@gickup.com.

Discussion on HackerNews: http://news.ycombinator.org/item?id=3494951
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