A List Of Things Paul Carr’s New Startup Isn’t

“The companies who enjoy the most success in revolutionizing the book industry (as opposed to simply creating a totally new medium) will be those that disrupt the publishing process, the writing process, the distribution process — but leave the actual reading process the hell alone.”

Paul Carr

Apparently my former colleague and fellow Diet Coke fiend Paul Carr is founding a startup post-TechCrunch, instead of heading back to professional blog jockeying like the rest of us pixel-stained wretches. Yay Paul.

So what on earth is it already? Well Carr himself told me that the startup is a media-play, traversing the intersection between old media and new media — “the third way,” as he puts it. Okay.

Hitting a brick wall with Paul, I tried other avenues. When I reached them earlier, investor Tony Hsieh told me that he was “asked to be vague” and investor Mike Arrington told me that he “appreciated my reporting skills” but that he wasn’t going to talk specifics about his investment until Carr did.

What gives? Didn’t Carr once pour scorn on entrepreneurs who engaged in these kinds of reporter-evading tactics?

Oh well, here’s what I’ve got: Carr says in his announcement blog that the Las Vegas-based startup will “directly address an issue [he’s] written passionately about” and I’ve heard he’s recently been talking to people with Kindle publishing backgrounds about joining his team. If I had to guess, I would say that whatever it is some sort of attempt at a creating a new ebook/ezine-related publishing experience.

Carr tells me that he is indeed hiring, but wouldn’t comment on what for. Perhaps this recent tweet entreaty toward the creator of the Kindlegraph provides a clue?

Fed up with my constant badgering, Carr gave me a list of 25 things his startup isn’t, full email below:

Dear Alexia,

As promised, here are a list of twenty-five things my new company won’t be doing…

1. Creating a rival to TechCrunch

2. Any other kind of blogging

3. Last minute hotel deals

4. Creating any kind of social network for xxxx

5. Giving a shit about your social graph

6. Printing books

7. Any other kind of gamification

8. A browser plugin that explains to blog readers why something “is news”

9. Anything that helps “brands” do anything with “social media”

10. ContentFarmville: (“social gaming + seo = profit!”)

11. Building a robot army to kill anonymous commenters

12. Developing a better Barbiecam

13. Adding soundtracks to crossword puzzles

14. Publishing a newspaper

15. Creating a crowdsourced database of Julian Assange’s hypocrisies

16. “I, Mac” – A gourmet Mac and Cheese franchise for hipsters

17. Selling fancy pens

18. Selling shitty pens

19. Badges

20. Airbnb for nap pods

21. A microblog platform for public resignations

22. Potterless: a virtual community for grown-ups who hate Harry Potter

23. Wifi on planes (note: this may already exist)

24. Dogs with tiny hats

25. Quora

Hope that’s helpful.

Miss you guys,


Carr and Kindle image via: RachelC