Khris Loux is the CEO and co-founder of Echo, the world’s first and largest real-time web platform. Khris has a bachelor of science with a double major in economics and finance and a minor in computer science from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Maryland. In this interview he talks about how the web is transforming from a static web to a real-time streaming web and how his company provides a platform to create apps that allow other companies to adapt to those changes. Furthermore, he gives interesting insights for entrepreneurs who want to become a part of this industry.
Sramana Mitra: Khris, let’s start with some context about Echo. Tell us what you do, what the company is all about, and a little bit about yourself.
Khris Loux: Let’s start off with a market-wide view. Our first position is that the entire web is moving from a static model that is a replica of its paper analogue to a dynamic one. You currently have a web that is created of webpages and those webpages are linked together – almost like a bound book. You surf there, you read it, and you move from one page to another. We believe it is moving to what you might refer to as a real-time social web. Instead of a webpage you have applications – you interact with an experience. Your data comes to you, and you push and pull things. Very good examples of this are sites like Facebook or Twitter. Consider, if you will, that Facebook is one page, but you are sitting on it 20, 30, or 40 hours a month. The reason is the data that I am interested in comes to me, and I can interact and push out to the world. I can say “Happy birthday” to someone, play a game, watch a YouTube video, etc. I don’t need to wander the web; I experience the web. That is our global view. There is this massive transition from a static web to a real-time web. Echo is a platform on which to build those experiences, to help publishers build real-time experiences – things that engage a visitor with interest and delight.
SM: Could you give us a few use cases? Give us a visceral feel for what it is you are saying you do.
KL: A great example would be an interaction model with an actress. The old static web might have the actress or her representative write a blog post or they might have a Q&A, and they would document questions and the actress would respond. That is the static web or the paper web. In a real-time web, you might have that same experience, but for some period after the article was released, you might have a live Q&A, where a fan can ask her, “Where did you get your wardrobe?” or “How did your character get her nickname?” and she would respond directly to that fan. The real-time experiential web is about experiences happening now and is allowing the consumer to connect directly to the content. In this case I am a fan and she is the actress, so we can have a personal connection.
SM: How does Echo play in that? What do you do? Given this is your worldview, what do you do as a business?
KL: Just as there were components or infrastructure to build a static web – things like CMS, blogging platforms, etc., there are infrastructure components to build the real-time web. Echo is that platform. Echo is a platform where you can assemble or build an interaction model. Something like real-time Q&A is an instance or example of one of those applications that have been built on top of Echo.