The Holocene: TOC Startup Showcase Finalist

A direct-to-consumer multimedia micromagazine and platform

We’re giving our readers a chance to get to know our TOC Startup Showcase Finalists a little bit better before the big showdown in NYC. We’re featuring the startups with a personality profile here on our website.

Our next profile is from Kim Werker, Brett Sandusky, and Corey Pressman from The Holocene.

I’m really good at …

holoceneDelivering fascinating, useful information; well-designed tutorials; and brilliant patterns (and, eventually, recipes) to crafters, makers and doers, on whatever device they use.

What is the first thing that people notice about you?

We’re experimenting with new publishing, business and content models, with a defined audience in mind. The first part might make people think we’re daring innovators; the second part makes us think we’re simply creating a publication that we – as crafters, makers and doers – want to read and learn from, ourselves.

The three things your friends say you are…

We’re lean, passionate, and dedicated to great content.

What are your three BEST life skills?

We’re keeping great content at the heart of our tech development, with the goal of solving our own problems as do-it-yourselfers. In that regard, we’re laying out a path that could be followed by other publishers of niche content who want to reach their audience digitally, with as little friction as possible.

In fact, we hope to end up creating a very successful model of direct-to-consumer digital publishing. Our use of metadata and user-centered design will allow us to interact with our readers and influence the development and evolution of our product so it remains smart and, most importantly, useful. Only time will tell, but we think the open relationship we’re entering into with our readers will result in exciting work.

As such, we’re being very public and transparent about the decisions we make, the tech we use and the ways we reach out to our audience.

What are you most passionate about?

We’re obsessive about making stuff, about disseminating information, and about learning. We want it to be dead simple to follow how-to instructions on a smartphone, tablet and desktop. It’s surprisingly not easy to do that right now – it involves zooming, paper note-taking, Post-it-note-sticking, scrolling, and constantly losing one’s place. To be frank, it often involves just printing it all out.

The Holocene delivers content formatted for different screen sizes so there’s no zooming, we make it easy and intuitive to navigate the content, we allow for annotation (and, eventually, for annotations to be shared so people can learn from each other), and we deliver step-by-step instructions one at a time so there’s no zooming or losing one’s place.

What is the one thing that people don’t notice about you right away that you wish they would?

We’re experimenting with a publishing model that’s very new, so people might not yet be familiar with it. We’re also experimenting with subscription models. Conveying both types of experimentation, along with the reasons we’re confident that they’ll be successful, is very hard to do in just a few minutes. Also, we all love making and eating pastrami, which may or may not be relevant but certainly isn’t obvious.

Your best (and most sincere) VC pickup line reduced to the length of a tweet…

The Holocene is a digital, multimedia micromagazine and platform that delivers outstanding original content to makers, crafters and DIYers.

Complete this phrase: Valentine’s Day is for _______________.

…making pastrami and eating it, with good bourbon.

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