What the hell is going on here?

About Vooza
Vooza
is a mobile web app that steals data from your phone so we can sell it to Eastern European spammers.

Alright, alright…that’s not really what we do. Vooza is actually a video comic strip about the startup world. Or as one fan wrote, “It’s the ‘Spinal Tap’ of startups.” Each week, we release a new video at Vooza.com for our audience of tech-minded folks (i.e. programmers, designers, entrepreneurs, copywriters, social media pimps, etc.). Our Wall of Fame is proof that people dig it:

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How it began
Vooza launched in summer of 2012 with a video that brought folks inside our world of Radimparency (radical, impactful transparency) and an animated explainer video (with folk music and BS jargon). Within a few weeks, Vooza had received hundreds of thousands of visitors, links from industry bigwigs like Dennis Crowley/David Karp/Tim Ferriss/Steve Case, and mentions on big tech blogs (Huffington Post: “The most hilarious tech startup spoof EVER,” The Next Web: “A must-watch for anyone who loves — or loves to hate — startup culture,” BetaBeat: “Really funny, and perfectly captures all the things that annoy us about the startup scene.”) 

Soon after came profiles in mainstream publications like Wired and the Financial Times. Gotta admit, it was fun to see the Financial Times publish a picture of a Vooza team member in his underwear under this headline: “It’s like Spotify meets Grindr except for rental cars.” 

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Since then, Vooza videos have covered topics like codingfunding, pitching, cultureproductivity pornfounder philosophy, minimalist design, Steve Jobs worshipthe tough part of hiring ninjas, and more. If it’s dumb and geeky, we’re on the case.

How we make money
Since our launch, people have been asking, “What’s Vooza really doing?” It was fun playing the mystery angle for a while, it’s time to come clean. For TechCrunchy types, here’s a buzzwordy explanation: Vooza is a video content platform targeted at the startup world that uses native video advertising integrated into the experience. Translation for normal human beings: Advertisers can use Vooza’s characters (plus our writers and production team too) to promote a product to our audience.

Basically, we’re trying to create a new model for producing quality/funny videos, building an audience around it, and making it sustainable by selling ads. But these aren’t typical video ads that interrupt a show to pimp an unrelated product. Our ads feel like part of the show, use our cast and crew, and show up in-flow with our regular episodes. And the products advertised are perfectly suited for our audience. For example, here’s an ad we did for Eat My Words, a naming company. And here’s another one we did for MailChimp, the email newsletter service.

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Call it branded content or sponsored product placement or whatever ya like. To us, it feels like a throwback to the old school TV advertising model when the stars of a show would do the ads, like Johnny and Ed schilling for Alpo. If you’d like to talk about it more, contact us.

We’re also exploring “alternative sources of revenue” (aka we’re looking to make money however we can). So speaking at conferences, merch, live shows, making non-Vooza videos, and other stuff is in the works. Feel free to invite us to come speak at your tech conference – we are significantly cheaper than a Tupac hologram. 

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The team
The company behind Vooza is called Fort Pelican and the people shown “working” at Vooza in our videos are actually comedians in New York City. My name is Matt Ruby and I’m the guy making it all happen (I also play Vooza’s CEO in the show). In addition to being a comedian (my comedy blog is Sandpaper Suit), I used to work in the tech world and was employee #1 at 37signals. Worked there for over a decade, helping author the books REWORK and Getting Real, the 37signals blog Signal vs. Noise, internal projects like eNormicom, and the original 37signals manifesto.

The rest of the Vooza cast: Sagar Bhatt, Sarah Tollemache, Charles Gould, Nick Vatterott, Tyler Fischer, Meg Cupernall, Zachary SimsNate Fernald, and Steve O’Brien (Nate and Steve also perform as Team Submarine). Jesse Scaturro has directed most of the episodes and Matt Lawrence has also done a few.

Now go watch some Vooza videos or contact us for more info.