We’d like to apologize for not getting this second part of the interview out quicker, but as most of you know it’s easy to get lost in one of Steve’s videos. So, you can only imagine what it’s like when you’re re-watching a conversation you’re having with Steve. We wish we could share the video interview with you, but unfortunately that’s not allowed. So, the best we can do is remind you how animated Steve gets when discussing a subject he’s truly interested in … hands flying, facial expressions changing fast enough to make you giggle like a little girl, which is the case with these next two subject matters. Oh, and Steve’s hair is getting long enough to curl up in the back again.
Stephen Moyer’s entrepreneurial venture with Weev has intrigued us since it’s public launch last July. From the initial idea to actually getting the app off the ground, we wondered what all is involved. Steve talked through the process of launching a social media app during his Skype interview with Simply Moyer. Additionally, he shared his and Anna Paquin’s initial reluctance to join social media, but have since discovered it’s a fun way of communicating with fans.
Simply Moyer: Any particular reason you joined social media when you did?
Steve: Yeah, I think we both had (Steve and Anna) … we knew that we were going to be doing this development deal with HBO, that had already been sort of spoken about. We both wanted to be able to tell our fans and people that would be interested when events would be happening. When things would be exciting for them to know about. We’d been fighting it for years not wanting to do it, because we’re quite private really, but the lovely surprise about it is that it’s a way of communicating with your fans that takes away the middle man, you don’t have to speak to a journalist. You’re speaking directly to them and we both actually have been incredibly surprised about how much we enjoy that.
Steve was quite adamant about how much he and Anna enjoy tweeting with their fans. Keep it up, folks!
I don’t look at it that often, that’s the honest truth, but when I do, it’s because I’ve suddenly … like in the airport that day … I suddenly had a couple of hours and I was like, fuck it, I might as well see what’s happening online.
Simply Moyer: You made your fans quite happy that day.
Steve: It was fun! I enjoyed it!
Simply Moyer: Tell us about Weev. How long did it take from your idea … the concept to actually airing it for everybody?
Steve: Well you know, it’s been interesting, Weev. Weev has been constructed in a way that most start-ups aren’t constructed, so we didn’t go out and raise a $1,000,000. We didn’t … or $10,000,000. We didn’t go up to San Francisco or Silicon Valley. We didn’t do a bunch of things you can do when you come up with an idea like that. We didn’t trade on my name. What we wanted to do was do it from the ground up. Joe Sumner, who is a great friend of mine that I’ve known for 20 years, he had already got this app called Vyclone and so I went to Joe and went, ‘Look, I’ve got this idea. I want to be able to …’
It all started around Billy … Billy and I live in different time zones and I just wanted to be able to send Billy a message that he would be able to respond to, do like a call and respond thing. It wasn’t out there. It didn’t exist. And at the time, you couldn’t go into iMessage and do that, you couldn’t do Skype messages on here, which of course, now you have to pay for anyway and that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to just leave him a message and there be a record of it and me be able to keep a record of his messages. So, that was the idea, and Joe had his own very, very cool app called Vyclone, so I went to him and said, ‘What do I do?’ We started talking about it, and so we had this amazing thing, which is a patent meeting where you go and sit with a patent lawyer and the four people who are part of this thing. We all went and sat down with this patent lawyer and we said basically this is what we think it could be and this is what we want it to be and this is where it could go, and so then you apply for these patents. This is way before the thing is even built. And we got somebody that we knew to sort of build it, and at this point, we have built our app for way under a hundred thousand dollars and what that means is we own it. Right? I haven’t put any of my own money in it. None of us have.
What we were trying to do was create something small and do it in a way that was organic. I think there’s mistakes with that, there’s a part of me sometimes goes, ‘Oh fuck, why didn’t we just go and get the money and do it that way?’ Because there’s still elements of the app that I’m not happy about, that I’ve been asking for for 18 months. But, because we didn’t fund it in the way that most people usually would, we haven’t got 30 people working on it at a time … we’ve got three. So, every time I go, ‘Have we got this set yet? Is that bit there yet? Can we do this yet?’. It’s not there! So that can be frustrating, but ultimately what has been really interesting and exciting is that when people get on Weev, when people download and get on it, they spend an average of 10 or 15 minutes on it a day, every time they turn it on. That is way longer than any other app, any other computer program, other than Facebook.
Simply Moyer: Weev’s a lot of fun!
Steve: It is fun. And it’s gonna be even better. There’s a couple of things that are still waiting to come down the pike that are gonna be really great. But it takes time. So, it’s been, you know, it’s been a long 18 months getting to this point. But it’s slowly getting to be where I’d hoped it would be. But there’s still loads of things that I want to be able to do on there.
Simply Moyer: So, obviously you never got to use it in the desired way with Billy?
Steve: No. That’s not one of the things that’s built into the program yet. You can’t use it individually and have a private conversation, because what we’ve been trying to do is what we call, the metric. We’ve been trying to get the metric right and once the metric’s right, they can build that all in. But what we’re trying to do is very sophisticated because every single film, has it’s own IP address, right? Which I had no fucking idea what that means, but basically, what that means is that billions and billions of these little films exist in the stratosphere and we’re trying to string them all together and that’s not how most of these apps work, and what I didn’t want was a second gap as each one loaded. I wanted it to be a continuous stream. So, getting that metric right has been the hardest thing. But, if you look out there at the people who are trying to do what we do, there is no one out there who does it as well as us. The time has been well spent, it’s just, there’s lots of other things that I want to do within the app that aren’t available yet.
Simply Moyer: Well, that was pretty cool that you were able to share WEEV with Stan Lee at Comikaze.
Steve: Yeah … well its been nice, you know. We’ve managed to get a few people, you know … Jimmy Fallon was very sweet to me, and Conan was cool, Joe (Sumner) got his dad’s (Sting) thing to do something for us which was awesome. And so, having that sort of content is great because it generates people getting to it. We’ve been … yeah, Stan was lovely. Stan’s done a few things for us. It’s cool.
Around this time, Steve has a side conversation with his assistant, Mark (“Markie”) Mallorca, and it’s mentioned that when Steve leaves the office, he’ll be heading home to pick Anna up. We take advantage of this break in conversation to give Steve a heads up about the fan questions we’ve gathered. We want to make sure we don’t run out of time.
Simply Moyer: We’ve got some questions from fans that we’d like to ask you before we sign off later.
Steve: Cool! Love it! Love it! Yes, I am wearing underwear!!!
Simply Moyer: How’d you know you’d be asked that? Jockey or boxer?
Steve: I don’t know, I just, the jockey question …
Simply Moyer: So, did anyone ask, jammies or no jammies?
Steve: No jammies. No jammies ever! EVER! That’s it, we’re done! Bye!
We’d like to make it clear that the order in which we’re presenting our interview with Stephen Moyer is not the order in which it happened. We’ve already shared the fan questions with you and that was actually at the end of the interview. Part II is solid middle ground. So, don’t worry. We’re not quite finished yet! Stay tuned for part III of Simply Moyer’s interview with Steve.