I am the CEO of this company because I am a news junkie. I read news continuously and without end. I’ve never had a subscription and I don’t intend to get one. What I am is a man who realizes value. I used to download lots of free music and movies in college, but interestingly I never listened to it. No matter how much I stole, I could always find more music to download that I would never listen to. But when first Lala and later iTunes came around, I had to think about it, I had to like the music before downloading it. Now, I download far less music but when I do, it is music I like and it is music I want to listen to over and over again. Similarly, I used to only have my pictures on my computer. Why would I spend more money for a service to upload my pictures? But when flickr created unlimited storage and a way to share the photos, it became a service that was valuable and that I gladly paid for. But another reason that made me pay $50 per year was that they made it as easy to upload the pictures as Facebook. Technology must make our lives easier not harder, and we will pay for convenience of that easier life.
These are the changes which the news publishers have yet to create. These are the changes I want to make. Some people say I’m crazy, to charge for news when it is free now, why would anyone go for it. If I go for it, then others will go for it is what I say. Because I would rather pay a little bit for news rather than not have any news at all. And that is where we are heading.
Because newspapers haven’t figured out how to get us to pay for it. But the reason why we don’t want to pay for it is not just because it is available for free, but because we are sick of passwords, we don’t want to buy a subscription when we only read an article or two, we don’t want our information out there any more than it already is. Because they haven’t made paying for it an easy process.
That is what Phittle is here to do. Phittle is how I want to read the news. Affordably, easily, without a subscription and in a way that pays people who are brave enough to go out there and find information that we want to know, need to know. Because as Samuel Adams said, a free press is “essential for a liberty of a free state.” But a small press where we don’t have enough journalists to go after corrupt politicians, where we don’t have enough journalists to investigate corporations committing fraud and abuses and where corporations through advertisements decide what news is printed is not a state I want to live in. By paying for news, I become the person that news is accountable to. But to do so there needs to be a system that makes it easy, convenient and affordable while making it profitable for the newspaper.
That is the future of news. That is the future that Phittle wants to create.