We’ve largely pegged PulsoConf as a meeting of technological minds of the Americas – a bridge between Latin America and Silicon Valley that will bring together entrepreneurs, developers and investors from throughout the region. However, there will be a number of figures present with a truly international reach – one being Ran Harnevo.
Harnevo is an international professional with a strong presence in both the United States and Israel. An expert in video, he is the senior Vice-President of Video at AOL as well as the co-founder and CEO of 5min Media, the leading syndicated platform for broadband instructional, knowledge and lifestyle videos.
Keeping in line with our features on PulsoConf presenters in preparation for the event, we got in touch with Harnevo to find out more about him, his background and his outlook.
Emily Stewart: You’re a bit of a king of all things video. What’s led you in that direction? How do you think video stands up to other forms of online media and content? Where do you think it’s headed, and what influence do you think the rise of mobile devices will have on it?
Ran Harnevo: I got into video seeing the rise of YouTube, understanding a new powerful market is being created. For me, YouTube just signaled the beginning of an era, and it was clear they’re betting on the user-generated content creation approach, rather than betting on professional content. This is where we decided to play.
For me, online video is a very timely definition, everything is going to merge eventually – video will include every screen, including TV. And this is where the gigantic opportunity lies!
Mobile, in that sense, is just another screen where people are watching video. Just like tablets, OTT, desktops. This is where the industry is going – multiplatform, device-agnostic products will win the game.
ES: You’ve got a pretty eclectic and unique background – you wrote for Tel-Aviv Magazine, served in the Israeli Air Force, did not finish college and are now the CEO of 5in Media and SVP Video at AOL. What experiences do you most attribute to getting to where you are today? Do you think your story can be looked to as one of international entrepreneurship off the beaten path?
RH: I would say that my biggest experience is not listed on my CV – I backpacked for more than one net year, and it was the most important thing that led me to where I am now. Meeting different people, nationalities, scenarios, and handling situations no school can prepare you for – this is a real knowledgebase entrepreneurs really need.
ES: At PulsoConf, you’ll be meeting with the Latin American technology community. What is your experience, if any, with the region? What do you see as the biggest strengths of Latin America, and how do you think it is perceived by the rest of the world?
RH: I have no experience whatsoever but am extremely curious to learn more.
For me, the main two things Latin America has as advantages are: first, only two main languages, so easy to scale, and second the advertising business is getting more and more mature, so it’s the right time to lead into the space. I think this set of opportunities puts entrepreneurs in an amazing spot.
Harnevo will likely prove one of the most intriguing figures of PulsoConf come September, given his unique background and point-of-view. As this will be his first experience in Latin America, we’ll be sure to welcome him with open arms.