Interview with Lori Jordan
Be sure to check out www.red-staple.com , Lori's company. You can also follow her activities on twitter @LoJo100
Explain what your current job is and the company you created.
I am currently the CEO of Red Staple, Inc. We started with services and tools to help people package their film and music content for digital distribution. This included platforms like the iTunes Extra (movies) and iTunes LP (music).
Now, in addition to film and music, we are working in the ePub space. Our tools and services help publishers of all sizes and independent authors create ePubs for the digital world. We help create basic ePubs for all platforms and Enhanced iBooks/Fixed Layout books for the iBookstore.
As a company we're focused on this concept of lateral publishing. A form of publishing (whether it is books, music or film) where you can now package content in an interesting way for digital distribution.
How did you get into this?
Every position I've held put me in the middle of content and technology. I started in Silicon Valley working on Interactive Television in the late 90's. My most recent position was in the digital group at Paramount Pictures where we got to build the business from the ground up.
When I saw content owners, especially independent artists, trying to figure out how to participate in the emerging digital distribution world, I saw an opportunity to help. So, Red Staple was born.
What has it been like working with media and technology companies like Apple? So many people want to get into a position to develop a relationship with them, any suggestions?
I started in tech, and it has always been an interesting space to play in. It turns out that a lot of people inside the large tech companies came by way of a smaller start-up or their own business. I find that a lot of people inside of larger tech companies are generally approachable. Meeting people inside these companies has generally happened through my network. In some cases I've met people through trade shows or organizations dedicated to a technology that we're all interested and working in.
I think the same can be said for media companies. The interesting thing I see happening is the cross pollination of tech and media. I find that in my network, there are a lot of people who have moved into one from the other.
Did you ever imagine that you would be starting your own company in the tech arena?
I have always been excited by the start-up community and how it plays a significant role in getting new ideas and products into the market. I've played with the idea of running my own tech based business for awhile, and am excited that I'm doing it now.
Do you consider yourself a geek? What are some of your more geeky qualities?
Yes! I always have.
Geeky qualities might include:
- Wiring my car for my iPod and Sirius so it would work through the current stereo system without looking ugly.
- Along with my husband, creating a central system in our home so all video, audio, etc. is accessible from all devices in the house, this included pulling 3000' of cable through our walls when they were open for a remodel.
- Getting excited about some sort of platform or tool and proceeding to spend a weekend(s) figuring it out - Learning about and building a Joomla based site with a shopping cart is one example of this.
- Playing Karateka for hours on my Apple IIe so I could defeat the game.
- Choosing to do the extra credit assignments in my BASIC class in Jr. High.
- Being way too excited when a college friend came over to my dorm to install the first version of Netscape.
What have been some of the ways you've educated yourself about the technology that your company is using? Did you have a background in it?
A lot of my knowledge came through working in the digital content space for a long time. If it is something new, I'll at least read up on it to have a basic understanding. It doesn't mean I'm developing in it the next day, but I have some working knowledge of what is going on.
Where do you think personal media is going? Do you think Extras/LP's/Enhanced books are just the start?
I think this idea of Lateral Publishing is going to be interesting to all content owners. In some ways it is bringing back the idea of getting extra content with your primary purchase. We used to get lyrics and liner notes and even photos when we purchased a record or CD. Now we get a file and we push play. The same is true for digital movies.
Books will now be given the same packaging opportunities that other media has had. If it makes sense to include a video with the text, or an audio stream, now it can be done by taking advantage of the new digital platforms and devices. Imagine a cookbook that includes a video showing you how the meal is cooked or a fitness book with video or audio to explain what you should be doing.
The opportunities for the new world of publishing are growing as new distribution methods and devices become available. This is true for all forms of media.