Commentary

Using Online Video, Talktala:_ Aims To Make 7 Billion People Happy

We’re human. We work hard to find the right person, the right job, the right boss, the right group of friends, and the right journey in life to end up being fulfilled and hopefully happy.

It’s not easy. Just the fact that we have access to so much information puts us at a situation where we need to confront more, and confrontation is one of things people will try to avoid at almost all cost.

This is somewhat similar to my thoughts about startups and fear of failing. People will try to avoid failing as long as they can, trying to prove to themselves there is still a chance they will win. But is that really the goal? To not confront failing and get to that “win”? I don’t think so.  Looking for success is constructive only if you welcome failing along the way. Confrontation is key to our success as executives, and as people.

If you’ve ever gone to see a psychologist, you know it’s not about “being fixed” in 60 minutes -- but rather a process of multiple discussions, question asking, shedding layers and getting to know yourself better. Confrontation.

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Imagine a world where 7 billion people, the world’s population, could afford a weekly session when they confront and talk. Wow.

Then came talktala:_  -- a New York-based startup aimed at enabling people to “confront”  in a scalable and, most important, an affordable way. Thousands of therapists are already signed up, ready to go online, and there are even more people on the other side looking for a session. The price? Less than $10 a pop (same as iced coffee and a croissant at Starbucks, mind you).

I talked to the founders, husband and wife Oren and Roni Frank. Roni, super-charismatic lady, has a masters in psychology and has been an executive in the industry for many years. Oren is the ex-chairman of McCann Erickson Israel, and recently headed the McCann creative group here in New York. Both Roni and Oren are convinced it’s time to make us all healthier by enabling us to confront our issues.

How does the magic happen? Online video and group formatting. Once you've paid the fee, you will be assigned to a group of people, which allows talktala:_ to charge you less. talktala:_ is leveraging online video streaming, and storage capabilities, to bring an in-person experience and post-session analysis capabilities. I tried it myself, and it feels real. The therapist can click buttons to allow different people to video-stream their answers or ask questions. The rest can watch, and then click to participate and stream their own opinion. Video-conferencing in a group format gets the magic going by far and is key to this product success. If “I can see you, I might feel more open to talk about my issues,” says  Roni. “If not the first time, perhaps over time. It was not available 20 years ago but it is now.”

We all use video to listen to music on VEVO, to check industry segments or just get entertainment. On Youtube alone we are doing it 4 billion times a day!

Can online video do even more? talktala:_ thinks so, trying to make 7 billion people just a tad healthier and happier, allowing us to confront.

I wish them the best of luck. If they do well, we all do. 

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