Great interview with Ashok VA from Bangalore, India, founder / CEO of Rodin’s Lab a company which is committed to re-imagining the way visual stories are told through Saga@ . A smart mobile tool that lets you contribute video clips and stitches it as part of a larger story which takes a different perspective every time it is viewed!
Your background, how did you get into what you do now?
I stopped studies after high school, thinking I will do something that I enjoy. Did not know what it meant. After exploring many professions, I got into the film making industry. I immediately connected with it because it was about stories and human emotions. Also editing films, which I do for a living, showed me how stories are conceived, narrated and the impact they can have on the viewers. Loved it and I still enjoy the process.
1 minute pitch, what does Saga do and why is it awesome?
More than half a million users are generating content every day. On video. Through apps like Vine, Periscope and Meerkat.
The good thing is these apps have democratised storytelling. Everyone can now shoot something and upload them. That said, there one huge lacuna that exists. All your existing video apps allows you to shoot and upload video in silos.
No video app is conducive to collaboration. That’s where Saga comes in.
Saga is here to ‘reimagine storytelling.’ Through: One Clip. Many Perspectives.
Here’s how it works: It uploads what you shoot and combines similar clips to create narratives in various perspectives which also allows for contextual viewing.
What are you excited by at the moment?
Right now I am excited about the prospects of how Saga will be used by people. It is something that will help people enjoy watching what they want to. In a manner never done before.
Any of these that will help in your day to day work also / what sort innovations are you looking to introduce?
Though Saga is not a productivity app, in the conventional sense, I believe it is a tool that will give the creator and viewer a new sense of freedom to enhance their storytelling / story viewing experience.
There are a lot of new tools we want to introduce as to how people share and watch videos. In the way clips are used, live streaming and the way music is used.
How was the last 12 months for you?
The last year has been very exciting. Frustrating at times because this has been an idea that has been bothering me for more than 3 years. The past 3 months have been really crazy when the team (Sagameisters as we call ourselves) came together and we decided to go ahead and make it happen. Then came our selection to the Web Summit for Alpha – which means, planning, executing and getting prepped for Dublin with tons of expectations 🙂
What are you most happy about?
At a philosophical level I am happy I have a lovely family and a set of great friends. As far as Saga is concerned, I am happy that we, Sagameisters, are together on this journey.
Anything you would do differently if you could?
Not really. I think I went through all that I have gone through and am grateful for the results and the lessons learnt. I am happy where I am. Not sure how I would have felt if it was something else.
Where do you hope to be in next 1 – 3 years?
I am committed to creating / doing things that will ask interesting questions. Questions that will encourage us to not just do things, but also think about how / why we do it.
Have you been to the Dublin Web Summit before?
No. This is our first trip. Another reason to be excited 🙂
What will you be speaking about when you attend this year / who might it appeal to?
Am I going to speak on stage to an audience? I don’t think so. But I don’t mind checking with Paddy about it 😉
Otherwise, I hope to meet a lot of interesting people, listen to their stories and get inspired. Of course, we hope we meet people with a lot of money as well, who would be willing to fund us. It is a big idea. Need a lot of their support / money.
What tech do you wish was already invented and available to make your life easier?
Any idea that helps people get together and enjoy makes me happy. Also, I give a big thumbs up to ideas that makes people move and not be lethargic. That way, I am happy with many things that are happening.
Life / work, online / offline, what are your strategies for managing it?
Enough time spent with family, goofing around with friends and a good night’s sleep are things that work for me. Also spend time with people from varied walks of life – helps me be grateful for what I have, and realise how much more I need to experience.
— Saga (@sagameisters) October 5, 2015
How / where do you create time for yourself to be a dreamer and a thinker?
I have realised the trick is not to find time for thinking. It is the ability to steal moments and let thoughts happen. Having a note pad ready helps a lot. Meditation, reading, walking and trying to paint on my iPad help too.
Anything else we should have asked you / you’d like to add?
I think I have explained the vision for the brand. The only thing missing is the people with me on this journey. It’s a group of people from varied backgrounds – tech, design, advertising & brand management – who have come together to get this idea to shape and launch it in the market.
Thanks again for the encouragement.