Waverly and the broken internet

Elon Musk
Building a better algorithm is not enough to fix the modern internet.

We know the internet is broken.

We know it implicitly, and if you’ve been around long enough to remember the beginning of the internet, you know it explicitly.

Every day, every Elon tweet, every Facebook and TikTok tracking feature, every viral piece of misinformation—we know where the virus came from.

So, how do we fix it?

Philippe Beaudoin thinks he can. Or at least part of it.

“If any AI startup comes to you and says, ‘we found how to evaluate truth,’ you should hold a reasonable doubt. I don’t think we’re close to this.”
– Philippe Beaudoin

The ex-Googler and former Element AI co-founder is back with a new company, Waverly, that is hoping to change the way people consume content on the internet.

And boy howdy do we need that now more than ever, whether you lament the current death throes of the big blue bird, or are really concerned about how Jordan Peterson is one click from every YouTube video. Or maybe you just want your parents to consume something on the internet that you can discuss over the holidays.

But as a first-wave internet survivor, I have questions.

You see, I was here for the beginning of web media and social media, and I remember the promises made. And I saw how these platforms and their algorithms were appropriated and misappropriated.

So when I hear about a new way to internet, I want to hear about why the founders think it will be better than what came before. But also how they’re going to prevent it from becoming everything else.

Beaudoin joins us today: a founder who thinks he’s found a better way—or maybe just a better idea.

Hey, at least he’s willing to admit he’s running a media company.

Let’s dig in.

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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Caravel Law. Feature image courtesy Flickr.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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