After bouncing around Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working at startups like Billpoint, Classifieds 2000 and OnePage, Keith Richman returned home to Southern California to try and make a go of working in Hollywood. When he couldn’t crack that industry, he “started looking around online.”
And then the 2004 Super Bowl happened.
“I missed Janet Jackson’s nipple slip,” Richman recalled on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “I was at a decent computer with a relatively high-speed internet connection, and video had never worked for me. I went online, and there were 5,000 websites that, within two minutes of the actual event, had it up on their website.”
“I thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty immediate,’” he added.
That feeling was the start of Richman’s career as a video entrepreneur. Today, he’s the president of Defy Media, a network of owned-and-operated online video channels like Smosh, ScreenJunkies and Clevver, which was formed from the merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media, which Richman co-founded.
In 2004, after browsing through some of those 5,000 Janet Jackson video sites, he found one called Big-Boys.com that he felt had a unique, funny and resonant voice about the incident. He contacted the creators and wound up buying a chunk of the site from them.
“From that, I was in the media business,” he said. “That’s what became Break.”
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.