The Future of the News Business: A Distributed Bureau

If a media gathering organization has the right tools, in this case the One Degree app, that allows them to find a freelance professional journalist / photographer / videographer anywhere on Earth, then doesn’t that make a physical “news bureau” obsolete? What about keeping stringers around the world on the payroll when your news outlet can easily find a professional journalist on demand, wherever something in the world that you need to know about, is happening? One Degree lets your media organization find someone on the ground, close to wherever you need eyes and ears, quickly and easily.

We’re in closed beta. If you would like an invite to our open beta please fill out our request form at

One Degree Index

Search engines presently index websites, but what if there was a search engine just to index mobile devices and the people holding on to them?

For example, what if One Degree (named for the idea of one degree of separation between people) could map anyone who is available NOW for an hour / half-day / full-day or longer contract in any professional circumstance? What would that look like?

In the 21st century when traditional office based 9-5 jobs are being replaced with MOBILE Freelancers in all sectors shouldn’t it be easier to connect and contract hire someone than it is now? If LinkedIn MAPPED all of their Freelancers it would look like I want a future version of One Degree to look – a mobile tasking app for professionals: not just information gathering (photo, video, journalism), but production crews (film, stage, concert), healthcare and wellness professionals, software developers and any other professional person who is mobile and can fill a contract now – either in person or remotely.

Stand by for version 2.0

one° | One Degree Beta

Thanks to the generosity of an iPhone developer on HN (CeeK) one° (One Degree) now exists as a Beta iPhone application. A little more than 4 months in the making, the first iteration of one° is beautiful, functional and clearly demonstrates the value proposition of our first foray into the mobile space.

The concept is simple. You need someone on the ground somewhere in the world that you cannot be, to collect some information for you . You might need them to take a photo, or shoot some video, or get a hi-res scan of something in a book at a library, or something else. We call this intelligence gathering, but it is not in any way mysterious. It is simply collecting the information you need, from where you need it, on demand in real time. Scroll down for some images from the Beta.

The map is everything. This examples shows 4 results for a search in Vancouver, Canada.


Here the user has zoomed in to the local area where they need to find a contractor. They touch the red pin and the contractor’s name badge appears with a button to mark them as a favourite.


Touching the contractor’s name badge brings up some information about them as well as a button to send them an SMS or email (depending on the level of privacy required ie. the contractor does not want to enter their mobile number at sign up). Links to their social networks are also displayed if entered into their profile.

User side bar showing buttons to edit profile, view messages and toggle visibility OFF when they do not wish to show up in searches. This is also useful for users who are primarily searchers and do not wish to be contacted for information gathering.


Favourites list. Touching a name will take you to their profile and with one more touch to their present location on Earth.

Interactive Location-Based First Person Shooter Game

I’m building a new mobile game. Imagine sitting in an airport, for example, and being able to join a First Person Shooter Game where all of your opponents are in the same airport – they could be other travellers, airport staff, pilots – anyone. But here is the main feature of this game: The virtual location you see in the game IS the airport and it is created using all relevant data (floorplans of the airport, wayfinding apps, and apps on your phone that are able to map rooms, measure direction, etc.). The game environment in which you travel seeking your opponents is generated using data being generated by their devices as well – sort of a micro crowd sourced battlefield with some help from publicly available data.

Investors Wanted for Downtown Vancouver Real Estate Development Comprising 5 City Blocks

Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver is long overdue to for a change. There are 5 blocks in the 800 – 1200 Granville Street, between Drake Street and Robson Street that are prime for redevelopment. Please start here (Drake Street) on Google Maps and view/travel North to Robson Street. These five blocks could be mostly demolished and replaced with a combination of Retail, Office and Housing.


On Thinking Narrow and Coffee Shops

Everytime I peruse the Businesses for Sale listings on the internet, I am struck by the number of Coffee Shops for sale. Why are they for sale? For the most part because they are failing and the owners want out – hoping that someone else’s dream will grant them an escape from their 16/24/7/365 lives. 

If I find them for sale on Craigslist or find people on Reddit r/smallbusiness asking for advice about opening or buying a Coffee Shop I am compelled to answer them – to ask them what the Theme of their establishment is. Usually the reply is the textual equivalent of a very long conversational pause. Theme? What do I mean by that? 

We all live in a narrowcasting society now – fractionated to the point that if you like Norwegian cheese, Call of Duty, Storage Wars, and 1964 Pontiacs – you can find your EXACT peer group somewhere online. So what the heck am I talking about? Themes. Themes. Themes. What is the THEME of your Coffee Shop? Coffee? That isn’t a theme. Film Noir is a theme. So are model railways, Farah Fawcett, F1, Hockey, The Stones and a million other things.  

So please, give your Coffee Shop a theme, ANY Theme. It will give it a uniqueness that none of your competitors has. I’ll pick one at random. F1. I like F1. If I could go to a Coffee Shop and watch F1 races live and the highlights of past races and be surrounded by F1 memorabilia and feel like I’m someplace that Senna might have hung out when he was in town – then I’m there. And others will be too.

Find a theme for your Coffee Shop, and take down the For Sale sign.

Pony Express

Translink has a fairly extensive network that connects Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey and soon Port Moody and Coquitlam. 

Everyday of the week local courier companies DRIVE between all of these cities to pick up and drop off local packages. 

Why not leverage Skytrain’s network to achieve the same thing? Document couriers could easily use Skytrain for station to station deliveries – meeting a co-worker at whichever station is nearest to the final destination who would then drive or bike or walk the documents to their terminal address.  

What about packages? Well, as long as the package could fit on the courier’s lap I’m guessing Skytrain would not have an issue with it.  

Alternately there could be Drop Boxes for documents and packages at each station for pick up by the couriers – or even by individual addressees.