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Heleo Wants to Make Lots of Glenn Becks, for People Who Don't Like Glenn Beck

"The power of individuals as little media companies is rising."

Courtesy Rufus Griscom

Let’s imagine you have a Big Idea. Great. How do you get that Big Idea to millions of people?

Books and lectures may reach a sizable audience. But a new startup called Heleo is aiming much more broadly. As CEO Rufus Griscom explained in an interview with Peter Kafka on the latest episode of "Re/code Decode," Heleo wants to help big thinkers find a broad online audience, and get some of them to pay up.

Think Glenn Beck, Griscom says, for the TED talk set.

"Most top writers and thinkers tweet, but they don’t really use Facebook," Griscom said. "They don’t have YouTube channels."

Griscom first gained Web fame as the co-founder of, the edgy dating service. But he says the idea of building an Internet business around these Big Idea people hearkens back to one of his other startups, Babble, which sold to Disney in 2011. The top parenting bloggers with whom Babble partnered were "young Martha Stewarts" who could pull down seven figures in annual revenue just from their low-overhead writing operations, Griscom said.

"People like to follow people," he said. "The power of individuals as little media companies is rising."

Listen to or download the episode in the player above, or click here to subscribe to "Re/code Decode" on iTunes. Kara Swisher will be back in this space on Monday to look back on 2015’s biggest tech stories and preview CES, and Peter Kafka will be back next Thursday to talk to Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wenger.

And if you like this show, you should also check out "Re/code Replay," an archive of audio content from our events and interviews by Kara Swisher, Walt Mossberg, Peter Kafka, Ina Fried and more. To subscribe to that, click right here.

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