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Ffwd to Bring Order to the World of Online Video

Patrick Koppula

> San Francisco, California

Patrick Koppula, 34, who cofounded the popular music-recommendation site iLike, started Ffwd (pronounced fast forward) to bring order to the world of online video.

"TV has evolved from three broadcast networks to 30 cable stations to 300 digital cable channels and now the enormous variety of Internet video. We've grown accustomed to having our smallest, narrowest interests attended to. What we haven't gotten is any way to navigate that choice. In Ffwd, you can subscribe to or create a channel for any interest you have and get related content in our player. Once a user subscribes to about seven channels, Ffwd takes that information and uses algorithms to create a personalized channel. The system makes intuitive additions to your programming stream. Imagine having the on-demand catalog of your cable provider sorted into a Netflix-like queue. Or a mobile app that lets you preview some choices and what you pick is waiting for you the next time you log on to Ffwd. An overload of inaccessible choices will be turned into customized control."

A version of this article appeared in the February 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.