Justin Wastnage

Origin story

Biography of Justin Wastnage

Justin Wastnage is a visionary pioneer in the field of collaborative video production, known for his innovative contributions and passion for democratizing video creation through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). With a career spanning multiple prominent ventures, Justin's expertise has significantly shaped the landscape of digital video production.

Early on, Justin embarked on his professional journey at Static 2358, a digital television startup based in London and Palo Alto during the late 1990s. Static and its video game spin-off PlayJam were sold to Open TV (now part of Sky UK) for $68 million in 2001. This experience exposed him to the nascent realm of digital media, providing a foundation for his future endeavors.

During this time Justin founded a digital video production company HowWasIt? with adventure sports author Paul Howard. In addition to introducing low-cost, rapid turnaround B2B videos to the convention industry, the duo also won short film festival awards for their pioneering use of steady cams to capture mountain sports.

Recognizing the transformative power of video, Justin went on to establish Microsoft's video public relations unit, where he spearheaded initiatives that showcased the potential of video in corporate communications and brand storytelling. His groundbreaking work in this domain allowed organizations to harness the engaging nature of video to effectively convey their messages. His key invention at this time was video press releases, packages of B-roll, interviews, case studies and product demonstrations for distribution to broadcasters during major announcements.

Further cementing his influence, Justin played a pivotal role in establishing Reed Elsevier's (now RelX) video publishing arms in both London and Sydney. This role saw him pioneering the concept of business-to-business television programs from live events across the United State and Europe. This endeavor enabled him to extend his impact on a global scale, fostering the growth of video publishing and distribution within the media industry.

A true innovator, Justin made history by coining the term "video blog" on YouTube in 2006, a term now widely recognized and used in the realm of online video content creation. At the time, advertiser budget fell through for a series of the Flight TV show that he presented. Justin then composed the music, filmed all the interviews, cutaways, b-roll and pieces-to-camera and edited together into episodes. This DIY approach had not been attempted previously and exemplifies his foresight and ability to anticipate emerging trends in the digital landscape.

With a deep commitment to democratizing video production, Justin's current mission centers around harnessing the power of AI to make video creation accessible to all. By leveraging AI technologies, he aims to break down barriers and enable individuals and organizations to easily create high-quality videos, transforming the way content is produced and shared.He believes that all communities large and small should be able to produce high-quality video content at scale. His vision is that every online community should have its own TV channel made by and for the community, using tools such as Vloggi.

Justin is also an innovation entrepreneur-in-residence and commercialisation expert. He consults widely and was formerly an adjunct research fellow with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation stream of the US Studies Center at the University of Sydney. He is also currently an adjunct industry expert at Griffith University and a Founder in Residence at Swinburne university of Technology. Read Justin Wastnage's LinkedIn profile here.

Justin Wastnage's visionary leadership and trailblazing contributions have left an indelible mark on the collaborative video production industry. His unwavering dedication to democratization and his relentless pursuit of innovative solutions continue to shape the way we create and consume video content in today's digital world.

Watch Justin delivering the winning pitch in 2019's Pitch for $1m contest at StartCon. Sadly, before Vloggi could claim the prize from Edge196, Covid ruptured the global economy and the prize money was never awarded.

The early days

Vloggi app

In many ways Vlogg's app, debuting in the Apple app store in 2019, was a precursor to Instagram and TikTok. It allowed users to record video in bursts and then combine to make a story. They could add overlays and stickers. Without funding to take it further, the B2C app was shelved during Covid and the company refocused on B2B video applications.