Today’s guest blog post is from Gabe Vehovsky, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Emerging Businesses, upon the launch of Curiosity.com. For more information, you can read the press release and Vehovsky’s interview with VentureBeat.
It’s hard to believe that it was more than six years ago that I joined Discovery Communications, through the acquisition of HowStuffWorks.com. In the final days of closing that deal, I remember sitting around a boardroom table with Discovery leadership talking about ways we could add to the digital DNA of the company. It was at that point that I began getting excited about being part of the team that helps propel Discovery into becoming a world-class digital organization, in addition to being the #1 nonfiction media company on the planet.
Working within a mission-driven culture that is focused on satisfying curiosity, there are always a lot of interesting projects going on at Discovery. And, although I’ve worn multiple hats since joining the company, I’ve always kept my passion for building something great from the ground up again. There is something special about the buzz, energy and excitement associated with starting a new business. It’s something every entrepreneur knows and part of the reason you find so many entrepreneurs that make careers out of building businesses.
Fast forward several years and here we are, launching a new digital business, Curiosity.com. After spending more than a year meeting with VCs and their portfolio companies evaluating investment opportunities, I was blown away by how much new, learning-centric content is being developed. We spoke with dozens of super talented young companies investing in the creation of digital experiences that collectively have the power to truly democratize access to a world-class education. There are all sorts of amazing experiences being developed – free access to college courses, short-form videos, talks from renowned experts, long-form videos, technical instruction, music lessons, user-generated content, digital tutorials, hobbyist content, professionally produced content, free content, paid content, etc. Despite the broad range of content available, it’s all very fragmented, making it difficult for consumers to realize the access they have to learn from experts who have packaged their knowledge into digital experiences specifically designed for sharing.
With that realization, Curiosity.com was born. We set out to create a single platform that aggregates and organizes the best learning experiences from across the web and makes it easier for you to find, filter, track and share those that are most interesting to you. We aspire to play matchmaker between the content partners showcasing their content across our platform with knowledge-seekers looking to feed their curiosity.
I’m extremely fortunate to have been given an opportunity to pursue this project. Discovery has been exceptionally supportive, allowing the Curiosity.com team to function as a true startup. I am equally fortunate to be surrounded by an absolutely world-class team of creatives, developers, engineers and designers that are building this business with me. And, what’s best about this team, we have a shared passion around what we’re creating – we love the idea of what Curiosity.com can become. We’ve been consumed by the potential of helping introduce people like you to rich, learning-based content on a platform specifically designed to help foster knowledge exchange.
While today is only “day one” and we’re launching a modest beta version of our vision, we have big aspirations to grow our content mix, launch more mobile experiences, add new features and continually improve the way you’re able to find learning-based content that interests you. We hope we can become a rising tide that helps all boats rise in the online learning space, making it easier for people from around the world to find and engage with content that can feed their curiosity.
Never stop learning!
Executive Vice President of Strategy & Emerging Businesses, Discovery Communications & founder, Curiosity.com