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AZ Tech Beat | April 24, 2017

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Interview with Livefyre CEO Jordan Kretchmer

Interview with Livefyre CEO Jordan Kretchmer
Tishin Donkersley

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At TechCrunch Disrupt Livefyre, a provider of the leading real-time conversation and social curation platform, announced the acquisition of Storify, the drag-and-drop storytelling tool that has changed the way journalists and brands tell stories on the web.

Storify was created by a journalist for journalists and helps them filter out social content around news events and create multimedia stories that can be embedded anywhere. To date, nearly one million journalists, agencies and brands utilize Storify.

Livefyre, founded in 2009, helps companies engage consumers through a combination of real-time conversation, social curation and social advertising. Through this application, brands can integrate real-time social content into their websites, mobile apps, advertisements and television broadcasts to increase viewer engagement, boost website traffic and drive revenue.

Livefyre will integrate Storify into its StreamHub platform, combining the two top social curation technologies into the industry’s most comprehensive real-time product suite.

I sat down with CEO of Livefyre Jordan Kretchmer soon after the announcement.

How has storytelling changed?

The biggest impact on storytelling is that it’s controlled by the masses…there are a lot of people telling stories. [Today,] it’s about keeping up with what is happening in real time and there is a ton of breaking news. [Also,] the quantity [of stories] is up and the quality is down. We want to help publishers improve the quality of a story.

How does it feel to acquire a company?

This is my first acquisition of a company, and wont be the last, I’ve know Burt (co-founder Storify) and Xavier (co-founder of Storify), and we’ve shared the same vision…to tell stories-we are the Yin and Yang.

Tell me about your culture at Livefyre.

Culture is super important to me…it’s the culture of autonomy. I like for people to come up with their own ideas and collaborate with each other-everybody [at Livefyre] is like that. If you lack passion or drive, or the ability to be autonomous, Livefyre is not for you.

And how does your leadership style play into the vibe?

My leadership style is open transparency, collaboration and I believe ideas come from anywhere. I like to get down into the weeds, even on product design, public relations and marketing.

How will the culture of Livefyre impact Storify?

It’s a great culture match, Xavier and Burt are very passionate guys and all of the employees from Storify will continue on with the acquisition-we would hire these people even if it wasn’t for the acquisition…the cultures match.

What are the next steps of Livefyre?

We [continue to be ] interested in new technologies and the kind of products to give to our customers. Our focus now is transitioning Storify into an enterprise version for journalists, brands and large media companies, and bring specific engineers into the mix [to accomplish that].

Learn more about Storify here.

Learn more about Livefyre here.

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CEO Storify Burt Herman (left) & CEO Livefyre Jordan Kretchmer (right) soon after announcement