There has been a lot of conversation recently about Klout. As the CEO and Cofounder of Klout, I want to share my perspective publicly with you.
I get why Klout can rub people the wrong way. We are putting scores next to people and that can be initially off-putting. If you met anyone from the Klout team my hope would be for you to see that we are not elitist jerks but just a bunch of data nerds passionate about understanding the impact of every person online. We believe that every person who creates content online has influence on some topic, to some group of people. We want to help every person maximize their reach and influence and to be recognized for the impact they have.
Here I am sharing my vision nearly 3 years ago. We’ve come a long way since then, but the initial vision (first two minutes) is the same.
I started Klout in my bedroom almost four years ago while recovering from jaw surgery. During that time, I depended entirely on social media for communication. My goal was and is to create a system that recognizes people for the power of their voices on social media. I see Klout as a great equalizer for the normal person utilizing social media. Every day we are segmented by nearly every company we come into contact with. Usually this is based on how much money we spend; the level of service we receive is determined by the size of our wallets.
With social networks, I love that any person that has access to a phone can create an account, share their opinion with the world, and have an impact on their network. This value deserves to be recognized and I am proud of the work we are doing here at Klout to make that happen. To date, over 250,000 Klout Perks have been delivered to our community simply for being who they are online. These are real people getting real products of value and we look forward to continuing to help people understand, maximize and be rewarded for their influence.
The reality is that, while we’ve somehow become attached to celebrities like Justin Bieber, we don’t care about him. We may like his Christmas album, but Justin Bieber is not who Klout was created for. Everyone already knows the Biebs. We care about John Smith in Des Moines, IA who is passionate about music and wants to share his favorite bands with the world. We want to help John reach as many people as possible and hopefully unlock some really fun experiences for himself. This is only possible by continuously improving our service.
The idea of measuring influence is hugely ambitious and we have infinite work ahead of us. We know a lot of people think we’ll never get there but we love the challenge and you will never find a group more passionate about this mission than the Klout team.
As always, would love to hear any feedback you might have.