Howcast: Google NY Vet’s Stealth Startup


We hear that ex-Googler Jason Liebman, who most recently worked at Google East in Chelsea, is launching a startup called Howcast, a how-to video site. Here’s what we know so far:

• It will be bi-coastal, with launch plans for early fall. In an ad seeking S.F.-based engineers, Howcast describes itself as a ” a stealth mode company focusing on developing video content for a highly-specialised vertical. The founding team is comprised of several media and technology executives, including veterans of Google and YouTube. This is not your mother’s internet video.”

• They’ll be producing content out of a Manhattan studio. Are you an actor between the ages of 18-24, or a stylist who can help make those actors look “very natural”? They may have a job for you.

• They will have plenty of competition. How-to video is one of those pitches that makes intuitive sense to investors: Internet surfers like video, advertisers like video. And short clips that tell you how to do something — cook lamb chops, break a Kryptonite lock — seem compelling and easy to produce. A host of traditional publishers, from AOL to Cnet, already feature them, and how-to sites like HowStuffWorks and eHow are ramping up video efforts. There are also standalone how-to video sites like London-based VideoJug.

• Jason’s resume should make it easy to attract funding and employees: His last assignment was at Google’s video unit, where he was charged with securing content deals for YouTube; he’s also worked on AdSense. He came aboard in 2003 when Google bought Applied Semantics, where he ran sales and bizdev.

Anyone have more details? Please send to [email protected]