We’re calling it: The Unheard Voices Project: An Oral History of the War on Drugs & the American Criminal Justice System.
There will be a premiere screening party in San Francisco next month. Each of you will receive an invitation, and I hope to see as many of you there as is possible.
As with all projects of this scope, not everyone I interviewed will make it into the first film (although all extended interviews will be posted in the archive for viewing). Taking into consideration over 100 hours of footage from just the first 55 interviews alone is a staggering task. And there are still many cuts to be made. But, as of this email, here’s a list of who is presently in the cut we’re working with (subject to change).
This brutal death and shooting in Arizona brought me right back to the sudden and shocking moment I learned of the death of one of my closest and dearest friends Tom Lapic and Senator Paul Wellstone back in 2002. They both were two of my biggest supporters and favorite people. It makes me realize how much I miss them now and how much I wish they could be here with us.
This is a little blurb I pulled out off a year end article. I thought it was a great example of how a better designed concept that was very similar to Wesabe arrived and just dominated it almost immediately. It seems so arbitrary why one does well and one doesn’t, but in this case it was more clear. In no small part it was because it had a phenomenal name, elegant design, and a tremendous user interface.
A personal finance Web site based in San Francisco. Wesabe opened in 2006 and closed in July.
AT ITS PEAK Wesabe was one of the first movers in the Web 2.0 financial space. Its founders, Mr. Hedlund and Jason Knight, envisioned a site that would help consumers budget their money and make better spending decisions. The company received two rounds of venture capital financing totaling $4.7 million and signed up 150,000 members in its first year.
WHAT WENT WRONG Ten months after Wesabe’s introduction, a competitor, Mint.com, appeared. As Mr. Hedlund acknowledges, Mint had a better name and better design and was easier to use. Within nine months, Mint had 300,000 users and $17 million in venture financing. In 2009, Mint was sold to Intuit for $170 million.
LOOKING BACK Mr. Hedlund wishes he had simplified the consumer’s experience. “We wanted to help people,” he said, “but it was too much work to get that help.”