John Ham co-founded San Francisco-based Ustream, the largest live-broadcasting website, with Brad Hunstable. The brainchild that first manifested while both attended West Point now has 50 million users.
How did you come up with this concept?
At West Point, we knew we were going to serve the country and we wanted to use the time we have on this planet to do positive things. One day, it hit us. From our desire to help overseas soldiers connect with all their loved ones at once, the passion for Ustream was born.
How has Ustream impacted our digital society?
I think it has to do with mankind’s ability to share live moments. If you take a step back ... you can see that we’ve really evolved over time. Presently, the Internet has penetrated our commercial, residential buildings, but also your pocket with your smartphone. ... The people in our society are always connected. And for the first time in the history of man, anyone anywhere can share a live moment with everyone everywhere.
Do you remember a recent significant event where Ustream was used?
When the Chilean miners were trapped and rescued, we had millions of people tune into Ustream to watch, some of them through their laptops and mobile devices, which tells me that there were some people that were out and about and heard that this was happening. They wanted to watch live.