As the CEO of betaworks, John Borthwick is one of the most influential architects of the social web. Borthwick, who used to run technology strategy at Time Warner, co-founded betaworks as a new medium company for the social economy. Today, betaworks is a network of around 30 companies – including Bitly, Tweetdeck, Chartbeat and SocialFlow – all, in Borthwick’s words, “loosely connected at the data level.”
Just as betaworks is a new medium company, so Borthwick is a new medium mogul. Richly networked (note the unscripted appearance of AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong – a betaworks investor – at the end of the first video), the understated Borthwick is a master not only of social media technology, but also of knowing the right people in today’s social economy. This may explain why betaworks is based in networking capital of the world, New York City, and why Borthwick’s chairman is Ken Lerer, the co-founder and chairman of the Huffington Post.
Above all, however, Borthwick is a products guy. That’s why, as an investor, he has no interest in business plans. All he wants to see, he told me last week at the AOL studios in New York, is what you’ve built. So if you’ve got a great website or app or service, Borthwick (@borthwick on Twitter) may be your guy. Send him your product and cross your fingers. Entry into the betaworks keiretsu is as effective a way as any of successfully getting into today’s new social medium.
Check back tomorrow for a post on how Borthwick says the social economy is changing not just the media, but all industries. And whether or not he thinks Google can become a leader in social.
Borthwick on betaworks as a new medium company
Borthwick on betaworks’ crown jewels