Dotcom high flier Josh Harris re-emerges with Operator11
This being Labor Day weekend I thought it fitting to open with a flashback to the workplace antics of pre-bubble lore. For instance, if you can remember being at one of Josh Harris’ New York office parties back in the day, you probably weren’t really there. The founder of pioneering Webcaster Pseudo was a poster child for dotcom excess. He hosted a three-day Quake multi-player launch fest. In a recent message exchange with Josh he recounted to me spending $1.5 million of his own money on a month-long Millennium Party at the turn of the centry. "Arguably the greatest party ever held in the history of New York," he says.
Hyperbole may be a hard habit for dotcommers to break, but Harris says he is a changed man since then. His new venture is a user-generated online TV hub. Operator11.com that calls itself a "Social Television Network." Harris has been interviewed lately about the venture. It is in an "alpha" state but seems to be striving for something between the randomness of YouTube’s uploaded clips and Joost and Veoh’s formal programming. This is personal broadcasting where anyone with a camera and some ambition can set up an online video show.
Of course, being an old Web fogey myself, I was just as interested in what Josh has been up to since the public crash and burn that was Pseudo. Josh had turned the camera on himself in the final days of his involvement and Webcast his life as it spun out of control. He tells me that it took several years literally working an apple farm to get his head back on straight and figure out what to do with a project like Operator11 with the little money he had left after the Pseudo debacle.
"All in, I wound up with enough to fund Operator11 to this point," Harris says. "If I make it, I am back in cash; if not I will be flipping burgers…for real."
And hosting killer parties in the Burger King walk-in freezers, I bet.