Josh Harris (Internet)

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Josh Harris
Josh Harris 02A.jpg
Josh Harris (2009).
Bornc. 1960
OccupationInternet entrepreneur

Josh Harris (born c. 1960) is an American Internet entrepreneur. He was the founder of JupiterResearch and Pseudo.com,[1] a live audio and video webcasting website founded in 1993, which filed for bankruptcy following the end of the dot-com bubble in 2000. He "may have been the first internet millionaire in New York," where "he rode the web 1.0 dotcom boom to a fortune of $85 million," and then lost all his money.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Josh Harris was born circa 1960. He grew up in Ventura, California. His father worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) while his mother was a social worker. He has three brothers and three sisters.[4]

Harris majored in communications at UC San Diego and later was a graduate student at the University of Southern California's (USC) Annenberg School for Communication.[5]

Career[edit]

Harris founded the technology market research consulting firm Jupiter Communications, now known as JupiterResearch, in 1986.[5][6] An initial public offering in 1999 raised $65.6 million.[7]

Pseudo[edit]

In 1993, Harris founded Pseudo Programs, which started out netcasting 40 radio programs and throwing parties, and grew into an "online television network."[8] In the Soho Pseudo offices at the corner of Houston and Broadway, Harris, sometimes dressed as an ersatz Luvy from Gilligan's Island, would throw parties, often raided by the police and fire department,[9] attracting an array of artists who would come to work for Pseudo, "a paid playland," eventually developing channels dominated by electronic music and hip-hop.[10][11][12]

Funded by Intel, the Tribune Company, Prospect Street Ventures, and Prodigy, under Harris' leadership as Chairman Pseudo "burned through $32 million in two years," more than "$2 million in cash a month," and was seen as emblematic of the dot-com excesses as it "fabulously flamed out."[13][14][15][16][17] CEO Larry Lux left in 1999 after disagreements with Harris. Lux raised $20 million during a nine month tenure where he introduced more mainstream content.[18][19][20] Former CNNfn executive, David Bohrman, was brought in as CEO in 2000 to ready the company for an initial public offering.[21] Bohrman raised $14 million in funding led by LVMH Moet-Hennessey Louis Vuitton's media group, Desfosses International, but "was unable to secure a $40 million round of investments that would have kept Pseudo afloat." In September 2001 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[22][23][24][25] In early 2001 it was bought in bankruptcy court by INTV for $2 million.[26][27]

Harris owned and operated Livingston Orchards, LLC, a commercial apple farm in Columbia County, New York from 2001–2006.[28][29] He was subsequently the CEO of the African Entertainment Network, based in the Sidamo region of Ethiopia.,[28] where he lived after leaving New York.[30]

We Live in Public[edit]

Harris' art project Quiet: We Live in Public, an Orwellian, Big Brother concept with "a neo-fascistic element," developed in the late '90s, placed more than 100 volunteers in a three story loft on Broadway in New York City. There were 110 surveillance cameras capturing every move, and "every “resident” had their own channel through which to watch each other. Harris proclaimed, “Everything is free, except your image. That we own.”"[31][32][33] Alanna Heiss, then the director of the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, was among those who moved in, calling it "one of the most extraordinary activities I've ever attended anywhere in the world."[11] The project was forced to shut down on January 1, 2000 by order of the New York Police Department.[34]

A few months later, Harris started weliveinpublic.com, a project that entailed himself and his then girlfriend, Tanya Corrin, living at home under 24-hour internet surveillance viewable by anyone. After a few months Corrin left Harris and the project citing mental and emotional stress. Harris continued "living in public" for a few more weeks, finally ending the site due to the mental, personal, and financial losses the project caused him.[33][34][35][36]

On the Swedish TV show Kobra, Harris stated that he had been widely influenced by the 1998 film The Truman Show.[37] He strongly believes that the technological singularity will be reached and the human being will cease to be an individual, while the machine becomes the new king of the jungle.[38]

In 2001, an episode of director Errol Morris' First Person television series centered on Harris and the weliveinpublic.com project. Harris was the focus of director Ondi Timoner's documentary film, We Live in Public, an entry at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival that was awarded the Grand Jury Prize award in the US documentary category.[39][40]

Harris was the CEO of The Wired City, an internet television network which would allow viewers to interact with each other, based in New York City.[41] In 2011, he ran a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to resurrect The Wired City.[42]

In 2011, he made a pitch to run the MIT Media Lab promoting technological singularity.[43]

As of 2016, he believes he is under surveillance by the FBI over his ties to 2001's The B-Thing, a covert art installation by gelitin, possibly a hoax, of a balcony on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center.[44][4][45]

In 2019, Harris was a contributor to the Cam-Life exhibition at the Museum of Sex.[46]

Personal life[edit]

Harris resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Josh Harris: "Pseudo was a fake company."". Boing Boing.
  2. ^ Smith, Andrew (March 15, 2019). "'We're in the Business of Programming People's Lives'". Wired. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  3. ^ Ilagan, Reina (November 24, 2016). "Meet Josh Harris: The Entrepreneur Who Lost $50m Over The Internet". Venture Capital Post. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b c McLannahan, Ben (November 23, 2016). "Josh Harris, the internet entrepreneur who lost $50m". Financial Times. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Charles Platt (writer): Steaming Video Wired 8.11, November 2000
  6. ^ Tsai, Jessica (August 1, 2008). "Forrester Acquires JupiterResearch". CRM Magazine. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Jupiter IPO in orbit". CNN Money. October 8, 1999. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  8. ^ Bunn, Austin (January 20, 1998). "Free for All by". Village Voice. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  9. ^ Austin, Bunn (July 7, 1998). "CopyCat". Village Voice. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  10. ^ Romano, Tricia (July 11, 2000). "Pseudo Gets Real". Village Voice. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  11. ^ a b Carr, David (2009). "Documentary at Sundance Traces Josh Harris, Pioneer of Real-Time Online Living". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  12. ^ Becker, Noah (March 1, 2019). ""Art Lovers New York" Artist and Publisher Nancy Smith Talks To Noah Becker About Her Life In The New York Art Scene". White Hot Magazine. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  13. ^ Blair, Jayson (January 25, 2001). "Remains of Pseudo.com Bought for Fraction of What It Spent". New York Times. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  14. ^ Katz, Richard (June 17, 1999). "Pseudo Programs interacts with $14 mil capital infusion". Variety. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  15. ^ Kirkpatrick, David (December 20, 1999). "Suddently Pseudo". New York Magazine. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  16. ^ Soat, John (April 13, 2015). "The Dot-Com Crash: 15 Years Later". Forbes. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  17. ^ Smith, Andrew (March 12, 2019). Totally Wired The Rise and Fall of Josh Harris and The Great Dotcom Swindle. New York, New York: Grove Atlantic. ISBN 978-0-8021-2934-5. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  18. ^ Gallivan, Joseph (November 22, 1999). "CEO Lux Quits Pseudo After a Spat With Harris". New York Post. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  19. ^ Katz, Richard (June 17, 1999). "Pseudo Programs interacts with $14 mil capital infusion". Variety. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  20. ^ Rewick, Jennifer (September 19, 2000). "Pseudo.com goes bust". ZD Net. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  21. ^ Huhn, Mary (February 5, 1999). "Pseudo Brings In New CEO, Plans IPO". New York Post. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  22. ^ Renwick, Jennifer (September 19, 2000). "Pseudo Programs Shuts Down, Laying Off All 175 Employees". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  23. ^ Salkin, Allen (August 28, 2009). "For Him, the Web Was No Safety Net". New York Times. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  24. ^ Kamer, Foster (August 29, 2009). "Josh Harris' Sunday Styles Treatment: The Ultimate Tech Cautionary Tale". Gawker. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  25. ^ "Pseudo Appoints David Bohrman As New CEO". Streaming Media. January 19, 2000. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  26. ^ Romano, Tricia (March 27, 2001). "Pseudo Pseudo". Village Voice. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  27. ^ "Pseudo.com to Resume Broadcasts". PBS News Hour. January 25, 2001. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  28. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-01-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Radar Online - Hottest Celebrity Gossip & Entertainment News". Radar Online. Archived from the original on 2009-01-29.
  30. ^ "New York Post Interview". NY Post. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
  31. ^ Grove, Martin A. (January 27, 2009). "Commentary: 'Public' focus is private lives on Internet". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  32. ^ Timoner, Ondi (August 26, 2014). "Where Is Josh Harris Now? Catching Up With We Live in Public's Star Prophet 5 Years Later". Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  33. ^ a b Wallace, Lewis (2009-01-13). "We Live in Public Tracks Net Spycam Madness | The Underwire from Wired.com". Blog.wired.com. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  34. ^ a b Stephen Dalton: The rise and fall of Josh Harris? The Twitter generation’s voice from the bunker The Times, October 17, 2009
  35. ^ Kumar, Aparna (February 23, 2001). "He said, She Said, Web Dread". Wired. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  36. ^ Corrin, Tanya (February 26, 2001). "The Harris Experiment". Observer. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  37. ^ "Kobra (Episode 8 of 11) | 2009". SVT. 2009-11-24. Archived from the original on 2010-01-10. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
  38. ^ Kim, Jonathan (2009-10-28). "ReThink Interview: Josh Harris -- Nostradamus of the Net Tells Your Online Future". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  39. ^ "We Live In Public". sundance.org. Sundance Institute. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  40. ^ "2009 Sundance Film Festival Announces Awards". sundance.org. Sundance Institute. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  41. ^ Erick Schonfeld. "Wired City: Josh Harris' Plan To Make Us All Live In Public (Video)". TechCrunch. AOL.
  42. ^ "The Wired City | Kickstarter -- The Wired City". kickstarter.com. 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  43. ^ ""Singularlity Effect" drives Joh Harris' Dream for the MIT Media Lab". Wired. January 31, 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  44. ^ Dewan, Shaila K. (August 18, 2001). "Balcony Scene (Or Unseen) Atop the World; Episode at Trade Center Assumes Mythic Qualities By". NY Times. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  45. ^ Haden-Guest, Anthony (January 6, 2017). "Anthony Haden-Guest on What Happens When Fake News Hits the Art World". artnet. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  46. ^ "Cam Life". museumofsex.com. Museum of Sex. Retrieved 6 February 2020.