So I know there’s a tendency for people to watch someone on television or see them in a movie or listen in on an Oprah interview and think that they know them. I always found that sort of attachment to starlets and celebrities unnatural freaky in a way. I mean they’re actors – they’re job is to who they’re not. Just becomes you welcome someone into your home every week through the “ignorant box,” as my mom calls television, doesn’t mean you truly know a thing about them. But if you are remotely involved in the start up world, or if you are like me a start-up groupie turned struggling start-up founder, you think you know a bit about Ashton Kutcher.
The once dumb and dumber sex pot has turned into quite a man of the world with high-end endorsement deals, high net acting gigs in the wake of the world’s most famous flame-out – Charlie Sheen, and a high profile boom and bust marriage that seemed to mirror the tech rise and fall of the 1990s. But what I’ve always been interested in is Ashton’s picks – his tech picks that is.
There are a ton of start-ups out there with a ton of money being thrown at them – really how many dating apps do we need??? – and a ton of celebrities trying to get in on the game. Really Justin Timberlake – MySpace? But Ashton has always stood out to me. Not because of his fame or his fortune but his penchant for picking winners. And by winners, I mean tech ideas that I ACTUALLY FIND USEFUL.
I don’t just use Zaarly.com or Airbnb, I LOVE THEM. They make my life easier – Zaarly by allowing me to sell my wares to my neighbors and AirBnB by allowing me to make new neighbors around the world. They’re great ideas, executed beautifully. As a start up founder I envy their simplicity. I admire their development and I try to emulate (read impersonate where appropriate) their customer service ethic.
Ashton’s picks do not square with his on-screen personas at all. They’re smart and I believe they’re built to last. Not bad for a former bio-chemical engineering student from the farms of Iowa with a twin brother he protected throughout school. OK yes he’s had some present troubles and I pray that they are resolved in a way that is good for all involved, but when it comes to his tech choices he seems to be right on the money.
So I’m looking for my Ashton Kutcher. Not to marry, but to invest in my idea. To me World Media Now fits with what Ashton looks for in sexy startups:
- It’s simple – we train and equip citizens in digital journalism so they can tell their own stories.
- It’s functional – we provide authentic voices to the global news space.
- It’s easy to do – just subscribe and get real-time information on humanitarian topics from around the globe
- It’s tech – we do photo, video and story sharing through a kick-butt content management system
- It’s useful – how else are you going to find out what’s really going on in South Sudan?
- It’s profitable – data mining alone is going to pay for this social enterprise.
So in short…I’m looking for my Ashton Kutcher…that one cool dynamic investor who sees World Media Now as a social enterprise worth supporting and Tweeting about. Anyone, anyone?