tv Rep. Bob Goodlatte R-VA Zello CEO Bill Moore CSPAN February 2, 2018 8:29am-9:01am EST
[inaudible conversations] welcome everybody. thank you for coming back. this is like, folks, we have today for lunch we are sandwiching lunch between two chairmen. chairman pearce we have coming up chairman goodlatte and chairman walden any between we had a quick lunch. we we are on a tight schedule but to introduce our keynote speaker for the first part, the prelunch i want to introduce jerry berman who spoke about earlier today. jerry created all of this. it was his vision to create an organization that could generate internet policy conversation when nobody cared about jerry
believe this organization to treat everybody as in a state called even if they didn't know it yet. we got along time but that was not the case that people see him becoming around thinking this is important jerry and other members of the board of directors, to recognize congressman rick white was a founder of the congressional internet caucus which is one of our major programs from the state of washington. rick, thank you for coming. .. >> is congressman goodlatte
here? he's coming in. as many of you know, he's retiring this year of after a long run in virginia. he's been a leader on internet policy and worked tirelessly on encryption and we've dialoged over the years on these issues, but what was critical and he's been absolutely critical to the education foundation which runs because of bob goodlatte and tim, they deserve a hand just for that. [applause] >> but my last word before i turn it over to bob, back when we started this, the big issue for the internet was spam.
no one -- and we were a footnote in the telecom, but going through free speech battle, what we learned is that there are going to be-- as the internet grew, there were going to be multiple policy issues that confronted it, but there was going to be no global government to govern it and what we had to do was consider ourselves a part of a community with a responsibility to work together, not just for the bottom line, but for the health and openness of this media. and that required state of the net annually getting together and seeing where are we, what are the issues, working together, not just in this room, but having a dialog between government, civil society and the private sector. not going off on your own, but holding hands to put solutions together because if you don't
do that, we will not end up with an open internet and my, you know, as i, you know, pass alo along, i just urge you, think community, think cooperation, think dialog and, you know, bob goodlatte has helped us with that and he deserves a lot of credit and i'm glad to be here to introduce him and our speakers. thank you very much. [applaus [applause] >> wow, thank you very much for those very kind words, they're from the heart, but they're not as deserved as you say. we have with us former congressman rick white, i took over from him about two years later back in the mid 1990's and really, the credit for this organization goes
overwhelmingly to jerry for having founded it and led it for a long time and having the brilliant idea to have tim bordon to take it on because tim operates and makes this a success every year. so let's give tim a round of applause. [applaus [applause] >> it's an honor to be with you all again this year and we have another very interesting ceo to talk about internet related issues and in particular, about his company and the technology that they've deployed. zel zello, incorporated ceo bill moore joined the net to talk about building and scaling zello, a simple walkie talkie app that has wide ranging abilities to saving lives in disaster and driving business. this fall workers in texas
relied on zello to find flood victims stranded in hurricane harvey. it became the hub for the cajun navy. mr. moore has been the ceo of zello, growing the user base to about 100 million and mr. moore is also the founder of the audio streaming service, tune-in, which offers thousands of radio stations on demand to more than 75 million users. today we're going to talk about the power of internet apps like zello to save lives during emergencies and, of course, the importance of the internet in enabling new technologies and companies like zello. bill, welcome very much. we're delighted to have you with us today. >> thank you very much, glad to be here. >> let's give him a round of applause. . [applause] . >> tell us more about zello. you have a free version and a paid version? >> sure, as you explained, zello is a walkie talkie app to down-led it and if anybody had
the thrill of playing with a walkie talkie, it brings that. sell zello is about live voice communication, flourishing through live communication, whether for companionship or to solve a problem. it's a fine medium to work with. the internet today is a sterile hostile place with lots of text and pictures, and live voice, as we are now, is wonderful because it's real. i can't fake, pauses not sure what to come up with. that creates a level of intimacy that doesn't exist in text or photos or other style communication. it demands-- voice demands attention from both sides, it creates trust. it's how we most naturally communica communicate. a two-year-old can use zello, a 92-year-old person can use zello. two parts of zello, one is a
consumer app we have 120 million registered users, they'll use it to stay in touch with friends or family or people they don't know so they can be these live channels that are private or public channels. the other half of zello, the ref into you model is that companies use zello to replace two ways. and some will roll out, why are we spending $500 on the secure radios they send text and they're secure and location, but the $100, you know, ipod does the same thing for a retail worker or a $150 android phone for a mobile worker. >> and how do you monetize that. >> $6 per user per launch for companies that use that and the main difference is companies get a private network and central administration, but of course, the vast majority of the uses is with the
individuals who use the frequency version. >> very good. now, tell us about some of these very practical applications that may not have been anticipated by people when they found themselves in a crisis, like the so-called cajun navy boats going out into neighborhoods to find people and rescue them out of their houses and had to coordinate that information. what can you tell us about that? >> it wasn't a complete surprise because radio has always been a go-to communication tool when the stakes are high. again, it's live voice, you can hear emotion, you can communicate and organize large groups of people efficiently. and really, the first inkling we've had in these crisis situations is in various countries, zello has been the number one overall app. it started in turkey and this is the arab spring and in egypt, the government of venezuela shut down zello
during the height of their troubles, happened a few years ago. and ukraine zello was the number one app. another case before harvey i'll get to in a second is south africa has a terrible crime problem and they've built a crowd sourced kind of a neighborhood watch on steroids, a 911 backup around zello across the whole country. millions of people that use it. it's been very effective there. so, the group cajun navy gets the credit if anybody saw the news or watched what happened with hurricane harvey especially, but also irma and some others, they came together after katrina, seeing, you know, the problem, the hole there. and i love the name the cajun navy, but they came to houston for harvey and zello was first used because they have some attention and they've used, over multiple incidents, they've learned that zello
works great. if you can help get on zello and if you need help get on zello. there were thousands and thousands of people who came from texas and nearby with trucks and boats and chain saws and fuel. as they're on the highway driving. they're finding zello channels and finding these dispatchers that emerged kind of bottom up sending them to the right places and as people are needing help, they're getting on zello channels and getting help. and it was exciting. zello was the communication tool for thousands of volunteers in the management efforts that they brought to bear that was so effective. >> so is this an example of the internet and new technology undercutting or supplementing the traditional way that people would have addressed this in prior disasters, prior hurricanes, the one in new orleans, for example, that whole area along the south
coast, didn't have this technology available so very few people would have had the ability to have that kind of instant communication because only the police, fire and rescue, organizations would have the big traditional walkie talkie type devices and now you've got everybody able to communicate with everybody else who has a device that has to put this app on the device. >> and so it's supplementing. there is some overlap in this to approve and we can get into how these public agencies, who have the rule of law and are structured and trained, work better with huge numbers of volunteers, but forever, you know, a disaster recovery means you set up a tent on site, hand out radios that cost, as i said, 1,000 $1500, protocols for who can use them. if you have a radio you're pretty special and there's a command structure that has been created around that.
so we saw with harvey and also irma and another example in puerto rico and another in mexico if you like, but now everybody has a radio, right. anybody that has a mobile phone can download an app and taking advantage of the infrastructure that makes it possible, it's reliable and super fast and it's available to everybody and not only that they don't have to be on site. what we saw was dispatchers that emerged as they put together within hours an amazingly effective process for, you know, who gets help. what's the channel structure like. and the dispatchers didn't need to be in the tent. in fact, half of them were out of states. one of the best was in new jersey working from their bedroom on a mobile phone. so, it's this wonderful infrastructure that, you know, that we can take advantage of. that's going to happen bottom up because it's there and
people can get to it and they want to help. >> and that's not how most people are using it. it's something that families are deploying so they can talk to maybe a parent or someone else while living by themselves and means of communication with their family, so many cases and the broad demographic of people that use zello. friends and family would be one, right. a ski trip, there's really no reason with walkie talkies, great coverage on the slopes. or going cappimping, probably t same. or a chat group, young people going out to the bar, perfect for that. or, it's also popular for connecting with people you don't know through these-- there's millions of public channels and they're about a topic, an austin mini cooper club and they have a road rally and everybody's going to get on
zello for that. and there's a channel called the glasgow channel, profanity laden, fun to watch when you're drinking with your buddies. storm chasers, or all sorts of public channels. so it's usually one of those two cases. >> how has the infrastructure played a role in innovations like zello. >> i mean, it's been so exciting. i spent the first half of my career in internet protocol and that sort of thing so you fast forward now 20, 30 years and unbelievable, you know, these devices that everybody has in their pocket that are so cheap and so fast and so great, and so companies like zello, 23 people, you know, when with the company. with so 120 million users and making a difference in the leverage and the power that these layers of technology, you
know, have had on society has been so much fun to watch and so exciting and it wouldn't exist in any way whatsoever had that not existed. >> so with that in mind, what role do you see the public having in encouraging that kind of investment in infrastructure that's necessary to make something like zello? >> well, the free market style guy, this will be personal. you know, be careful and let's not fix what's not broken. it's worked extraordinarily well with a relatively, you know, like a touch. plenty of problem, and one of the things that's become clear to lee at zello through the emergencies, you brought this up earlier was, you know, how much is supplement, what's friend, what's foe, but clearly, it's clearly friend and it's also easy to see that the official organizations are, you know, look in where i think you can help and senior people
can help by looking out and whether it came from inside this organization or not, how do we best use these new technologies and alternatives that are moving so much faster because they're in such a different environment inside a large organization. >> so you're a techno space company. is that a decision made to locate there? or is it that you were there and the company-- >> no, very purposeful. so the company tune-in was built in texas and we moved to palo alto for investors and ventures and it was in dallas. and zello came out of the some of the same team and the short list do we move this to san francisco, palo alto, austin, texas? we close texas with no regrets. texas is a wonderful business
climate and austin is a fabulous place with a culture that, you know, the slogan is keep austin weird. and it's true, there's-- in every dimension except unorthodox behavior and thinking, there's a top worldclass university there. and it's very easy to encourage people to move to austin where we don't have it locally so that's been a decision on our part. >> so what should states and cities be thinking about in trying to attract investment and businesses and tech talent like you've brought together with zello? >> yeah, i wonder how much, you know, they can do, you know, stay out of the way would be one, you know, one answer. again, a light touch. and it does feel like so much of it needs to be organic at
universities. it's got to be key wherever you see these technology communities working and i guess government can help quite a lot there. >> so before zello, you founded tune-in, an audio streaming service, and many of you may not know it, but you've listened to tune-in. tune-in screams pod casts and audio through amazon's alexa and other smart home devices. tell us about tune-in and your journey from tune-in to zello. >> sure, in the journey to tune-in started early in my career, i wanted a company and went through way too long getting ready. you know, you have to learn all of these different disciplines and so my own story was 9/11 happened and at the year i was 40 years old, and i thought well, it's a wakeup call, time to do it and the original idea was tivo from radio because from high school i wanted a
tivo from radio. i love audio, i love radio. vcr for radio and now, let me build that to learn not many people want that. but through a pretty tough period, five, six, seven years of supporting connected devices for a radio feature, the iphone came out with apps and it exploded and quickly became a top overall top 50 app for quite a while in most of the markets around the globe and then finally about that time, we had a nod from sequoia capital who says, hey, we like waste going on, why don't we help? why don't you move this to palo alto. i wasn't there too much longer and about that time zello was really the brainchild of a guy, alex, the founder and cto and he and his team had done such
great work from st. petersburg, russia, so we'd used, you know, amazing development team and i had tried to get a handful of people into tune-in with some success, he was a holdout. so i'm out of tune-in and he starts to get tomorrow traction with zello which i was immediately drawn to because it's a different kind of radio. we call it social radio, but instead of being, you know, one to many, it can be that, but it's about live, you know, conversation, peer conversation, and when you listen to zello or listen to these channels and you hear power in it that people have zello campouts and send their zello pictures. if you search facebook for zello, tens of thousands of these communities come together. so it's easy to help alex in the way that he needed, a group of unbelievable talent from st. petersburg, russia and needed business help and that's the point we moved to austin.
>> here in the room we have a lot of people engaged in internet technology, public policy issues. but we also have some entrepreneurs here and on-line we have lots of people who are starting up their own tech companies. any advice you'd give them? you've had two successes. >> yeah, two successes and i guess, one major mistake was making decisions because you're afraid, because it's hard. and when i look back, most of my mistakes have been because of that, right? you're doing something because you're afraid of what may go wrong. and in the case of tune-in, we really had no revenue model and so that was good reason to be afraid for a long time. [laughter] >> and so, you know, happily with zello, we have a wonderful revenue model and both because i'm a little more experienced and mature, but also 'cause
there's cash in the bank i'm not nearly as afraid. you find a revenue model that works where you're not dependent on outside money coming in too long, because that's pretty risky business. >> so these companies have a connection between the two, radio in recent years has been kind much used as old tech, as opposed to electric cars or the internet of things. what is your take on that? why is radio such an exciting innovation for you? >> well, you know, i led off, radio is about voice, right? it's music or it's news or talk or sports, or conversations or podcasts is a form of radio. it is such a sentimental part of being human and so it's been around forever, and as radio, you know, or phone calls, is it a.m. or is it fm or is it ham radio or cb radio, is it
satellite radio, you know, those are really incidental, but the medium itself is very exciting. as an advertising medium it's phenomenal. somebody you trust, you know, in your head as a way of solving problems, as a way of passing time. one of the great things about radio is it's a companion. you can enjoy radio, you can enjoy audio while you're doing something else. you know, so unlike a video, you can be driving and listening or running and listening and so, it's-- you know, it's a medium that's always with you. and in the zello version, it's a medium, as i explained, that has so much power to communicate compared to text, but it doesn't have the barriers or the cost of video. it doesn't have the social barriers. when are you going to turn on your skype camera. it's a pretty high bar before most people are comfortable. versus when would you turn on your microphone. so, as a -- as a fundamental
that we enjoy as humans, it's important, isn't going away, it's a great niche for technology and i'm so excited with alexa and controlled applications that they're creating a whole other way for audio. >> the tune-in streams a lot of sports, including my favorite, major league baseball and i'm wondering is the future of tune-in live events like sports or music, so on? >> tune-in has been internet live from the beginning and it's one of the things so special about radio. it's, you know, it's live, happening now and there's something special about that and sports really demand live. so, and tv and radio both, there's a recognition that that's, you know, that's a co core. advertising, audio advertising is a pretty tough business. tune-in's moved to e-building subscription option because
it's tough for the pod casts and the talent on the other end is still not a great digital market for audio ads, but sports is important, news, talk, and of course. >> time for questions here? >> [inaudible] . >> well, it's you need some connection. that was some bad information, really the start in florida, the hurricanes. it worked by magic, i guess. no, it needs a network. it could be any kind of network, it could be wi-fi or cell, but it works well on 2g networks and well around the globe with countries that have really terrible networks and typically works when nothing else works and that's one of
the reasons it's popular in a crisis situation. you've got to have-- >> or budget. >> my is carrie with the d.c. public service commission. the federal government and states are investing frankly billions of dollars in deploying a nationwide first net network. the description of zello sounds like it would eliminate the need for that type of investment. am i misunderstanding what your service provides? >> well, first responders need a reliable network. they need to be able to communicate between agencies. there's a need, i am sure, for first net style technologies, i'm not that close to first net. our business traction is really in the commercial sector first, although we have some government business. that these agencies need a network that's reliable, where they can communicate between organizations. it doesn't need to be radio, i
think that's been tough for these agencies, you know, as a citizen you look at the amount of spectrum that's allocated for public service, you know, for technologies that are reliable. they've been around a long time, but the real life reliability of today's cell networks, you know, are unbelievable and so, applications like zello can, you know, rival with the top without all the money or complications. and certainly, zello for citizens and this match of citizens and agencies, i'm pretty excited about how can zello help better there. >> i am informed we have time for one more question. your hand went up first. >>. >> thank you, gentlemen, i'm from georgetown. i work with congress to bring
it into the 21st century and hearing your both of your opinions on this. so congress is really not-- considered not kept up with digital technology certainly, and also just working at 45% less capacity on expertise than it had in the 1970's. i can actually get you the data. >> i'd like to see it. >> no, it is, it's only recently that there's been longitudal data. it's things like 30 to 50% of hearings that are happening so there are whole deliberative turnings that have fallen off the radar screens. one of the idea that some of us have is that we create, through technology and data and social media, sort of c-span and channel 4 which doesn't exist now, but it would be a civic purpose channel that high school a cureation purpose for congress that breaks through
the time and space restrictions, that the old marble institution has, to find and locate optimal knowledge from people's own constituents in their districts. and i know, mr. goodlatte, you've about been on top of internet forever with the co-founder of the caucus in the '90s when i worked on the hill. it seems now it's possible to do this, but as you put it, there's no revenue model for congress, it's a public serving organization and the privatization of this kind of service would be a disaster, i think, unless there were really strict rules put around it to protect it. do you see this as something that possibly the technology and data industry might do on behalf of democratic institutions? >> well, yes, i guess, i am o ooh-- i mean, the short answer.
how much can we help. one. lessons from harvey back, is organizing. with the right infrastructure and the right rules, respond to meet the needs of society in such a wonderful way, of course, a free market is based on that principle. not totally, wikipedia style market would work for the public dissemination and orchestration of that, i don't know. so, that's way outside of my zone of expertise, but i know at zello, we're totally satisfied when you see what you've worked on be used for good and make a difference in design and i'm sure that most every other technology business. >> that's a challenge for both of us. so, i think we are the last thing standing between you and lunch, and therefore, we're going to get out of