tv Charlie Rose PBS June 4, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a conversation between lloyd blankfein, the ceo of goldman sachs and michael bloomberg founder of bloomberg and former mayor of new york, about small businesses the jobs they provide and also about the experiences of the two men. >> most people optimists go out and create things. and i've always described a good salesman if the door's slammed in his or her face, she or he goes to the next door believing that they are going to make the sale. a great salesman not'k#>> rose:h perri peltz and robert de niro making a film about robert de niro's father the artist. >> i wanted to do something about my father about a
documentation, not really a documentary. now it's great. the family, for my kids who didn't know their grandfather. >> robert did he niro there's a story here not only a father and son story but a story about the meaning of fame. >> rose: we conclude then with two entrepreneurs, frank wallman and mike mower, they have created a system for faster reading on smart phones and other devices. >> reading will develop and we just started to read on stone walls. so we put in one character so we have to put the next character for the right side so the mean direction developed. what we do with this is we try to imitate the stone tablet from a thousand years ago. so then you analyze the reading
process and we see they are completely new, you need the freedom to do it and the way we did it for four or 5,000 years is not really necessary to do today. >> rose: lloyd blankfein and michael bloomberg on small businesses, robert de niro on his father and a new way to look at how you can read faster on smart phones and other devices. >> there's a saying around here: you stand behind what you say. around here, we don't make excuses, we make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places
where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it, when you know where to look. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: in his state of the union address this year president obama praised small businesses as the life boat of our economy. several initiatives are assisting entrepreneurs to grow their company, one is called 10,000 small businesses is lead by global investment bank goldman sachs. there was a conversation held today at bloomberg headquarters and moderated discussion between the ceo lloyd blankfein and the former mayor of new york city who is the founder of bloomberg, that is michael bloomberg.
we talked about the importance of small businesses to the economy. >> big businesses start off as small businesses. you wouldn't have those if?o6w u didn't have a small business. small businesses give you the opportunity to try new things. from the economy's on point of view, society's point of view, new inventions really come out of new businesses. there's the economic impact of generating jobs. if you were to go to goldman sachs with how many employees do you know. >> 32,000. >> 32,000 or bloomberg with 16,000, exactly half that number, is a structure. you just can't run a business that size without a lot of structure. there are a lot of people that would never get through the screening process unfortunately at either of our companies because they have none traditional educations, they have stuff on their resume that just big businesses would have difficulties dealing with. you have people need flexible hours. people have different set of
skills. small businesses can accommodate people who are different. and i can speak for lloyd. i think both of usx4 have very similar backgrounds. we were sort of young up and comers. wise ass isn't quite the right description but both of us certainly were not traditional following a corporate path. we both did. he was a commodity trader, i was an equity trader. we did what we did and we looked for organizations that allows you to be yourself and most companies don't allow you to do that at any size but small companies do. make sure in our company we have those career paths for the non-traditional person but nevertheless i think it's fair to say it's the small company that can adapt to the needs of the employee, the bigger the company is, the more the process has to go in the other direction. >> i'm sitting here and i'm
actually when i listen to mike i'm part of the audience too because i'm thinking i feel a little bit, i'm glad to be in his company because the fact of the matter is mike, the mayor works for a company called bloomberg. i work for a company called goldman sachs. there's not a blankfein in it. the fact of the matter is -- >> a little envy there. >> of course envy you wouldn't, you would have to be crazy not to. i would say appreciation and also the appreciation of the difference. and that's something the mayor has more in common with the entrepreneurs in this room than i have with the entrepreneurs in this room. i joined a company that was in full swing, that was a great company even before i got there and i'm thinking about how to maintain it and a little bit on the professional manager. the mayor like the entrepreneurs in this room took a lot of risk, took a deep breath, went all in and knows a little bit about the trials and tribulations and the sweat sweaty palms you get and it's hard to realize there was a time when the mayor was like the
people sitting in this room and i never was. >> do you remember what it was like. >> yes. this morning i talked about the first day my big accomplishment was getting a small refrigerator and a coffee pot, some milk and instant coffee. the second day we had four people and it grew from there. do you want to describe how you got into goldman sachs. >> i got into goldman sachs really by acquisition because i had gone to, now i grew up in east new york in the projects but i did go to very fancy schools along the way but my resume wasn't really up to kind of a wall street set of resumes. i went to college and law school, i practiced law for a while. and then like a lot of people in that era wanted to get a job in finance, new york being a finance town, everyone you're running into being like that sounded fun. i applied to a number of wall street firms including goldman sachs, and got turned down by all of them.
including goldman sachs. which is why to this day i admire the firm that i run today because they have a good sense. but, i did, are the only job i could get that kind of had you know related to wall street was j. arnie and company, a commodity trading firm which onn equities and fixed income and commodities commodities is just above the toaster compared to the other job but i got a job there and soon that got acquired by goldman sachs. that's how i got into goldman sachs. >> for the record when i got out of school instead of going to vietnam i applied to two firms both offered me a job. goldman was one of them. i turned them down and went to solomon brothers. >> between solomon brothers and vietnam. [laughter] >> and then you got fired. >> and then i got fired in 1981, yes. best thing that ever happened to me. but you know i've always thought tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life. i really can't remember even the
day i knew i was going to get fired i never had been fired before and i wanted to see what it was like. [laughter] i have nothing in common -- >> i saw you in the deep end. >> i have nothing in common with people looking at the glass being half full. what are you going to do bit. it's tomorrow. and you know it's always been a successful. i think most people that are successful, every once in a while you by a liter ticket that gives you a hundred billion dollars but most people optimists go out and create things and i'm always described a good salesman is a salesman that if the door's slammed in his or her face, she or she goes to the next door believing that they are going to make the sale. a great salesman not from the same boat. >> pessimisticman oxymoron, yes. >> but i suspect had the same
quality even though he wasn't the founder of goldman sachs kind of a risk taking entrepreneurial fashion. >> nobody does anything on their own. lloyd answers to a board. he answers to his employees. he answers to his wife and kids. we all answer to lots of people. >> who do you answer to. >> is diane in the room. just a gravity. but it's the balance. how to you keep it open to the next rocket scientist who is going to come in and do something just that has no chance. yet it is, at the same time you still have the obligations the bigger you get, it is harder. i was talking to sam thomasano, 7,000 people in ibm. how do you keep a spirit going yet ibm is still, you are a computer scientist and you want
to really forget about the commercial side you want to really, ibm is today the old bell labs. this is where the great, they've been able to keep that culture. >> it's been there for a hundred years. >> yes. >> but they had a transition too. there was a while it was slowing down. >> everybody does. who is an entrepreneur where everything is a smooth ride and you go through these things and i tell you and you get criticized and you have to have a thick kind. >> you been there. >> i've been there. by the way, you don't buy a thick skin and you don't even know you have it until somebody starts to try to puncture it. and then you discover what you're made of. >> rose: but there is some value in terms of understanding what mistakes you've made or what successes you have had to understanding the elements of them so that you can continue them and learn from them. >> yes. although i think in business and in life, any decision that is reasonably well thought out and presented to others correctly
and followed through on probably doesn't make any difference whether it was a or b decision. but the big problem is when nobody makes the decision or it's just not even thought out or they make a decision with no ways of implementing it. but there's no right or wrong answer. it's not like a physics problem where you can replicate the experiment a number of times to see which is better a or b. it's over and done. >> life gives you new course directions whether you need them or not. you're going in this area and it's wrong and you know it's ron instantly. people mark themselves to the opportunity. you knock on the door, the door slaps in your face, you better change your pitch. >> rose: but at the same time when you're looking at the quality of people you're hiring, can you tell me what you're looking for. >> well i listen to the mayor talk which is one of the things you do get a little bit channeled at goldman sachs. and we have people who came up a certain kind of way recreating
themselves in the next generation, which by the way i look at you know, i told you my background, my you know the cfo of our firm went to rutgers, my president went to american university and we only go recruiting at wharton and harvard. these things don't always work that way. and sometimes you get overly channeled and there's a bit of laziness that sneaks in because it's so much easier to fall into that pattern. i would say that the realm of the people who do well in our operation is so broad that you have to narrow it artificially and alas it has you excluding a lot of people that's non-traditional the way the mayor described. >> rose: mike, did you have a management philosophy having to do with performance of your employees and how you both quantified their achievements or failures and how you inspired them to go beyond. >> well, i think you can attract good people if you do two
things. one, you've got to give them authority to go along with responsibility. i don't know anybody that wants to pick a job where they're not going to have the opportunity to do something. and i thought the administration that we put together in new york city government we attracted people including very single person from goldman sachs, bob steel because you gave them the authority. they weren't going to just be spokesmen for the head office, i think. if you look at presidential administrations and it's not just obama but most presidents modern day all the decisions are made in the white house and then out in foggy bomb or the pentagon or wherever. they implement but they don't really have a lot of authority to make decisions and i think those are unattractive jobs. i wouldn't want to take it. the other thing is you always want to work in a company where the person you work for has your back as they would say. if one of our people screws up, either city government or here. you know, it was a rational
thing they tried it, it just doesn't work. or they said something stupid. they all say things stupid. are you going to shoot everybody that said something stupid there would be nobody left. and so i want to make sure people see me walking down the aisle with that person telling a joke, laughing and you know having a cup of coffee. because people got to understand that if they don't try or if they don't fail, they're going to be, how to phrase it, if they can't fail and succeed. the truth of the matter is you want people trying skiing double black diamonds and to ski double black diamonds you're going to fall and if you don't fall you're not steering the white steep slows. >> rose: and you're not challenging yourself. >> you're not challenging yourself. you have to have some confidence there's somebody behind you. in government they never stand behind you, they just throw somebody to the winds right away. i don't know in you read in the
paper, kathryn sebelius was undeserving of getting ceremony justly fired in a nasty way. no question that nobody care software didn't work and it wasn't implemented the right way. okay they screwed it but the whole question is obamacare something that the country needs and finding ways to make it work. and if it doesn't, are then we shouldn't have it but if it does, it's not going to be perfect and you can't shoot the people that delivered it non-perfectly. >> rose: you feel the same way about shinseki. >> i don't know anything just a little bit i read in the paper. it is true the head person is responsible. on the other hand, the head person was not the head of the va. the head person was the head of the country. and you know when we have this we've got to fire the head person, well then why aren't you resigning. >> i take full accountability he fired. just in general. you have to be careful in leadership. it's not that particular instance but i say in general to
the point you have to be careful. with what the mayor said it's an embellishment. as a leader you have to be very careful between learning from your mistakes, somebody made this point about going out and learning versus being a second guesser and after information the way things turn outo#o infm your view in terms of the criticism you give somebody who made the decision before they sold it. so in other words, now that i know it was bad now i know the software didn't work now that in but really what you have to do is put yourself in the shokvthee foggy. and you didn't know what kind of decision. if you hold people accountable for information they could have had, it veers from a learning experience into second guessing and who wants to go through that process. i think one of the things progress matic in the country today is the process of taking
the personal risk that someone takes in taking a responsible job even if you want to serve becausea#kyt's such a dangerous place to be, to be second guessed and held up and potentially vilified for things not working out well even though you made a great decision based upon the information that was available at the time. and at the end of the day you're going to get people who fill all these jobs but it might not be pete -- the people you want. >> rose: i'm going to come back to the phrase don't let perfect be the enemy of good. and the idea is you have to be decisive, you have to make decisions. >> yes. shinseki did his job. and legislators job is different. when i find the sense when you see it every day you read the articles in the paper, congressman or senator says mr. blankfein, isn't it an outrage, shouldn't you feel ashamed that you served know vanilla ice cream in your
cafeteria when the president made ice cream appreciate day. and then the guy leaves the room. you see the congressman saying that and when lloyd's trying to answer the question, congressman gets up and walks out. he doesn't care. he was told and sometimes i guess read from the national strawberry's ice crime association's question. >> the question often isn't the question. >> they're accusations. the whole idea is to get visibility, inches, minutes whatever and they don't want an answer. they don't even know what they're talking about. there's a city council person, i won't say who but they are talking about one union and the person comes in and the city council and takes the question and reads it. not having sometimes fumbling over the words and then lievers. that's unfortunately the society we have but the executives don't have that option. you make the decision and you got to learn to live with it and it's a very small difference
between being pig headed an,ói÷ having the courage of your convictions when knowing give it the old college try and it doesn't work. >> rose: what were the lessons you learned from goingéñ through the kind of attention and crises that you faced during the heart of 2008. >> well, aside from the content of the underlying things and taking it as a lesson in crises as opposed to the specific one, i'd say that people, the loyalty that people have and the work ethic people have and the sense of belonging and ownership that people have is hugely important and i think it's a big take away that myself and other people in this room that you can't do things by yourself and you also learn in a crises what people are made of. there are people that i work with who possibly manly men, women, strong women and held
themselves out. and when the crises happened people metaphorically curled up in a fetal position. pea have people who work for us who didn't look like they could climb up a flight of stairs. you don't always know what's going to happen but it's a very very big difference how people behave and i'll say most important lesson one notch more than that you learn about other people and people learn about how you act in the crises. the most important thing is you learn about how you act in a crises. it's very important to know who you can count on, who you can trust. but the most important lesson is you learn the stuff that you yourself is made of and that's what either, that's what either erodes confidence in yourself or creates greater confidence in yourself taking on the next issue. if you've gotten through something that's really really hard you're not going to be dawnltd the next time but if you crumble you're going to knock together and you're not going to do well.
>> all small business people because this applies to you just as much as it applies in a big company, maybe even more so because you face people. you don't do things from distances, whatever. two rules i keep trying to insist people follow. one is, you've got to be genuine. if you screw up, people want to know at least you tried. if you have to make a tough decision, you don't agree with it, it was a wrong decision you made a mistake you got to know you were genuine, that you were, didn't have an agenda other than trying to get people to work together and come up with the right decision. if you ever get to the point where you have to lay somebody, if you fur somebody -- fire somebody and they are surprised you got to look in the mirror. your first responsibility is your employees from a plain selfish point of view you invested in an employee you want to make them work. if the employee isn't working out you're the loser. they're going to lose your job but you have now made a bad
decision and you're going to miss somebody. you miss the services you might have gotten and it's just not fair to the person. you're supposed to be helping them and you can guide them along and say look, you haven't done this here i'm going to try something, find some other place you could be helpful in the company or you know, this probably isn't the right thing for you, you need something we can't accommodate. why don't you start looking around and we'll carry you for a while. that's just loyalty in people when they stay. people stay and say my next boss isn't going to be as good as this i'm going to stay. >> you ask for loyalty you got to get it. >> rose: from president obama basically says small businesses are the life boat of our economy creating most of the nation's new jobs including the way of rerifing the economy. is that your fence. do you awe agree with the president on that. >> yes. >> rose: because they're doing most of the hiring. >> it's not an exclusive thing. elements, a lot of times big business is throwing off the
work for small business. i'll give you an example, we built a big tower downtown, spent well over a billion dollars building it. and oddly enough a lot of small businesses service our new building sprung up. so there's kind of a symbiotic good relationship both ways. but really it's the way energy gets focused and cycled in more in small business. most innovation is happening through small business. we're in the m and a business. do you know one of the reasons why there's so much m and a big businesses buy smaller companies. the big companies don't innovate. they get trapped when i try to talk about hiring people who replicate themselves. people get trapped in the world view. another smaller company is the one that's making the great films or the innovative drugs or
has the new9u application or te new technology investment and then an apple or big company goes out and acquires them because you cannot get that kind of innovation. some do more or less but ia5ñú k there's a great symbiotic relationship between small business and big business. i will tell you i've not yet met the small business who doesn't wish he or she doesn't do big business in a certain amount to time. >> some big businesses wish they were back in those days. it was much more fun. you did everything. >> >> rose: why is it big businesses can't maintain that spirit. >> just the size, the structure. you cannot run something of the magnitude of goldman sachs or even bloomberg without a structure. >> rose: let me close this, we've got a minute left, with lloyd, talking about how4small g and how other people can have access to the program. >> sure. well, we have 10,000 small
businesses now in 23 cities and counting. initially our other co-chair warren buffett is to make sure everything works or start small and work your way up city by city when something worked well. we decided there would be some cities there wasn't such a critical mass or infrastructure you couldn't find great partners necessarily to be the platform for teaching or the cdfi for financing. we have kind of a catch all collective where we pick people from around the country where we aren't otherwise in cities where we have a core program and bring them i think from bapson college who has the great entrepreneurial program and we want a separate program out there that we have in residents. we're also adapting to the environment. >> rose: thank you all for coming to be here. mike bloomberg, lloyd blankfein. [applause] >> rose: when you hear the name robert de niro you think of
one of our greatest actors but there was another man by that name who was a very talented his father. his father robert de niro, sr. was part of the school along art i like jackson pollock and mark rats co. he never gained the popular recognition. art historians consider him a talent. new documentary focuses on the life and work of a painter who many believe went unnoticed. here is the trailer for remembering the artist robert de niro, sr. >> my father created all this beautiful artwork. he was the real thing. he was to me a great artist but he never imposed that on people. my father felt he was different, and he was different. he was very particular about
what art is. part of remember anything is love. artists always recognize that after they're long gone. i just want to see him get his due. that's my responsibility. >> rose: joining me now the director perri peltz and robert de niro the artist's son. i'm pleased to have him at this table. my question is how come you and how did you get together. >> i always wanted to do a documentary about my father as a documentation not a documentary the way it is now which is great. so the family for my kids who didn't know their grandfather. i kept the studio for years, as you see in the documentary, i kept it until now and still have it. i wanted them to see what their grandfather did. and so jane rosenthal and i were talking over the years about
this and finally -- >> rose: your partner. >> yes. jane said let's do it now and she knows perri and i knew perri a little bit and they were friends and she asked perri if she would do it and that's how it started. we finally did it and someone as you see some footage there had been done by a guy in the 70's who followed my father around. he contacted me and i bought it from him and so i wanted to use, i gave him that and we just went on this journey, if you will. >> rose: how did you approach this request. >> you know, it has been a journey because initially when jane and bob came to my partner, it was really not necessarily something that was going to be broadcast. it was going to initially be something that was for the family. and i think that what happened along the way is we all came to the conclusion that this was a story that was more than just
about one man. it was about an artist, a wonderful artist at an interesting moment in american art history where the world went from one kind of painting to first abstract art and then pop art. and for the sacred painters of that time that was a difficult transition. so robert de niro, sr. who was a wonderful parent was one of mann overlooked. so it really became a process and finally realizing that there was a story here not only a father/son story but an art story and a story about the meaning of fame. so that's the process. >> rose: do you feel that not only is this for your grandchildren but also in a sense for those who might not have appreciated your father, they will know what he did. >> yeah. i mean it's, all those things. that's also absolutely a plus. anybody whose been, who is not aware of him now will be aware of him whoever watches the
documentary, you know. >> rose: bob, is it also saying to your father in any way, this is a homage to you but also it is a sense of a kind of i wish we had more time together, i wish we spent more time together, i wish like all kids feel at some point in their life i wish i had spent more time. >> i say that in the document tree. because i was busy with my own life and this and that. so i wish i had done certain things. i wish i had done the documentary 10, 15 years earlier and included my mother in it and other contemporaries of my father. but this is what it is. i'm lucky that i at least got and did it at this point. so then my kids can see it my younger kids especially because they don't have any recollection. they don't know him. >> rose: i'm going to take a look. this is a clip from you talking about your father. here it is.
>> he was the real thing, my father. i seen his work, i see how dedicated he was. he was to me a great artist. but you can't, you';g never ie that on people. they have to make their own decisions. the thought of what he's done, all his work, i can't not but make sure that it's held up and remembered. so i just want to see him get his due. that's my responsibility. >> rose: the reason he didn't get his due was because of where
he came. was it more than that. >> it's a matter of timing sometimes and what was going on at that time in the arts scene, in the art world. it's just he also left to europe for a few years so that might not have been the best time for him to leave. but you know i still think it was the real, it's just what it was at that time. >> charlie, one of the people that we used on the film a wonderful man named irving sand her who is an art historian called that period a blood bat when the art world made this shift. rob store from yale, another person we used who says and i think really sums it up so well that the art world turned its gaze elsewhere on to pop art. it doesn't mean the parents weren't doing their thing and weren't painting away but the attention went elsewhere and i think that painters like robert
de niro, sr. got overlooked at that point although he did have quite a big success at the beginning of his career. >> rose: when you say pop art we're talking about. >> andy warhol. not to take anything away from what they were doing, it was a different kind of art than the sacred painters and it didn't make sense that they weren't painting in the same style. >> rose: was this hard for your mother. >> i'm sure it was. he would sometimes talk about it. he saw, he felt it. >> he says in one of the clips as bob mentioned there was some footage andkz=d he says i suppi could have done, i could have gone and done that kind of art. but it didn't make much sense to me. and i think that really kind of sums up what that experience was. he's used to painting figures and painting land escapes and all of a sudden people are throwing you know putting payment on can -- paint a canvs
in a very different way. it was confusing and frustrating for him. >> he was in the countryside in central france and then i visited him when i was 18, hitchhiking through europe. and then when i was 19, turning 19, i came back three years later, he's now in paris and sort of in a hotel not feeling too good about everything. and in a rut. and so i had to get, i said i'm going to send him back. i told him i'm going to send him back and he was terrified of flying and all that so he went over on the queen mary. i had to push him to get him back. >> rose: you knew you had to get him back. >> yes. i didn't go with him. i stayed and made him go back
>> rose: here's what he wrote in his journal. bobby always visited me in europe and gave me a shock like in paris and gave me the courage to leave in an embarrassing situation. it was he who pushed me on the plane. thank you god for having bobby turned out so well. so he appreciated not only a loving son but a son who is also an artist. >> well yes. i mean, he appreciated me as a son just getting on the plane. >> rose: he appreciated your work as an artist. >> as time went on, then i was a young actor. i was just studying and but as time went on, of course he was proud i know of my, you know, what happened to me. >> rose: do you have any painting talent. >> i'm not interested. i never concentrated on it. i did study it a little bit on a scholarship at music and art the
first semester but i couldn't continue. >> rose: what's the most interesting thing for you in doing this. >> you know, it's interesting. i mean to make a film without somebody who is no longer here with us, it's hard to find that person's voice. and he left behind hundreds of pages of journals and we really felt that we got, were able to learn about him and understand him in a much deeper way because of his writings. and then of course there are these incredible paintings that tell so much. so it was interesting for gita and myself to be able to piece these various components together, the journals, the letters, the art and of course you know with bob's interviews. >> rose: the studio. you kept it from, you never changed it. >> never changed. i mean i had to do some minor things to preserve things, change the skylight, tinted sky lights and pull shades stuff like that but basically it is what it is, yes. >> rose: was there a time
that you changed your mind about your relationship with him? >> um, i just felt that this was ear responsibility-8grandmotherr openings and his openings and when when he passed away i take my younger kids and of course my older kids, i think i remember to take them to shows. as i started getting into my late 20's, early 30's, mid 30's and after that it would be pretty much a tradition of going to openings of his shows and he would come to openings of films of mine, my grandmother. >> rose: what made him a painter. >> i tried to find people, students of his and i haven't.
maybe after this comes out then they'll come out. people that i had maybe met or some of places he taught at. because i know students liked him. >> we had a letter from one student who we actually spoke to. and i love this story because she wanted to let us know that bob, sr. was so incredibly proud of you, that your first film he insisted that all of his students go see his son bobby the actor. and ever said they kind of rolled their eyes like we've got to go see the teacher's son in a movie. they came back and it's like okay we saw bobby your son the actor. that was one of the stories that we were able to find from the student. >> rose: good for you. >> thank you. >> rose: congratulations. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> rose: let me make note of this. the work of robert de niro, sr. will be exhibited in new york from june 6th through july 11th
remembering the artist robert de niro, sr. premier on monday june 9th. imagine reading tall stories epic war and peace in ten hours while the first harry potter novel in just over one. a boston startup claims you can do that. spritz allows users read up to one thousand words per minute three times faster than the average adult. here's a look at spritz. ♪ >> rose: here to explain the technology behind the company and what it means for the future of reading co-frontedders frank wallman and mike mower.
explain this by nature of what i do and by nature of a curious mind i read all the time. so you're made for me. >> you're not alone. everybody reads and we found interests from all over the world all age groups. it's really fantastic. people are totally engaged with reading. but the funny thing is reading hasn't changed in thousands of years. and luckily my co-founder mike decided to put research together to enable a new way of reading. >> rose: what did you do? >> just think about the reading process, that's all we did. so as frank said, reading will never change. it will develop and be just started to read on stone walls. so we put in one character so we have to put the next character to the right side so the reading direction developed. and they read digitally, what we did digitally we tried to imitate the stone tablets from thousand years ago.
so then we analyze the reading process and just seen they are completely new degrees of freedom to do it and that the waive we did it for four or five thousand years is not necessary to do today on digital. >> rose: how do we do it. >> we do it so far by moving the eyes or by hopping over the text a to find a new landing moment and to take up a word of unit and then have to move the eye again. and so significant part of reading is the eye movement. and so if you turn that around and say well how would reading like like if you don't move the eye, you move the text that way that each word is just delivered in a perfect position for your eyes so that you can get the whole word of the unit. and so you take out the time for searching the next word. and that makes reading a lot easier and faster. >> rose: an exampleug=úy of soe books. so the idea just in case, the
idea is that you are moving the text and not your eyes. >> right. >> rose: you see it as a unit. that means what. you see a whole word rather than syllables. >> not syllables or characters. you're not reading a word character by character and putting it together. you know a word of five characters you capture the unit that's what you did. you land with the eye at a specific point in this word forget the whole word. in this point it's all different. >> rose: so this is not an app. >> no. >> rose: this is a technology. >> correct. it's a technology that can enable all the apps to read that way. to implement reading in a way compactive. normally for reading you need a lot of space for your phone which is getting bigger and bigger because you need the whole space. you need 13 characters to make a compact disk play so you need
it. >> rose: you had to go raise financing. >> indeed. >> rose: how did you do that. >> fortunately i've been around for a while in technology and had a collection of friends who invest in this type of disruptive technology. >> we were able to raise seed funding and that neighborhood us to file a punch of patents on core technology and streaming text this way and the integration of it into media like photos, videos, augmented reality. and also the analytics tracking the way you can assume content. so it provides not only the reader with a better way to read but the publisher has a better way to publish. >> rose: was your background computer science? >> no a mechanical engineer. it's a long way but doing all the same stuff all along. >> rose: what lead you to this just your curiosity about something that had been the same for thousands of years, perhaps
could be changed. >> in general, when you think about innovations, there are innovation gaps all the time. you see something we are trying to imitated all stuff with new technology and so i searched for innovation gaps because out of curiosity. and reading is one of the biggest innovation gaps i found. >> rose: so you're looking for innovation gaps and then you came to reading. >> right. >> rose: take a look at this. this is an excerpt from the old man in the sea at 250 words per minute. tell me what i'm seeing. >> you're looking at the red character. that's the place where your eye will focus. the two little marks there direct your eye and try to keep your eye there because that's where we want you to look. >> rose: let me see that over. could we look at that again. >> when it begins it will draw your eye to that point and your eye will recognize each word without moving. and that speed is very slow. it feels very slow. and what we found is that there is a speed which is too slow it
feels robotic. as you speed it up, it gets smoother and smoother and eventually you go too fast. so really there's a point in the middle that's your comfort zone. >> rose: when you go too fast what happens, you're not -- >> you're skimming. you're losing words. you're still learning -- >> rose: comprehension declines if you read it too fast. >> that's right. >> if you try to read page two fast, faster than you can normally lead your comprehension will drop. >> rose: take a look at this from the sun also rises. this is at 300 words per minute. >> well here now we're going faster and you can start feeling it's streaming to you. we have people that say that it's actually seems like it's talking to you, like the words are talking. >> rose: is there a negative to this. >> of course. it's not made for everything. this is reading for mobile situations for these new situations when you pull out your phone 150 times a day statistically just to catch up the news, just to read a quick e-mail. >> rose: it's not made to sit
down for a long term reading of a book for an hour or so. >> i think reading what you mean is more than just information delivery. it's the whole feeling of a book, the tactile feeling of a book. this is more. also if you have to work with effects, if you read a technical paper and you have to go back and forth and just you know figure out, this is something else. this is simply else. we are not trying to replace reading. we want to enrich reading expand reading. >> rose: to certain categories. >> exactly to this used cases. these cases have never been there before. >> rose: show me one more time the sun also rises and then i'll show you for whom the bell toltz. here it is. >> especially in short messages. >> rose: this is for whom the bell tolls at 350 words per minute. >> this is my comfort zone.
i don't spec english so this is for me the comfort zone. >> rose: at 350 words a minute. >> for a native speaker in english, this is already an increase. it's not necessary to read on 700 or 800 words. if you can do it great. >> rose: is it possible this could be used for people with reading difficulties? >> well what we found was when we launched the company two and-a-half months ago, people started experience spritz on their website and they wrote us on twitter and facebook they wrote us about how they were dyslexic or add and often it was parents writing about their children. so we decided to give them a form. so we opened a linkedin group to allow calling the spritz for reading difficulty. we have hundreds of people engaged with each other so they could test their own experiencs of spritzing for more formalized
testing and mike is running that group. >> rose: and the results are. >> tremendous, really tremendous. >> rose: what is this. >> this is the samsung. >> those are e-mails. you're reading that full content e-mail and using spritz in that small display. you got a few minutes you can read all your readouts. those could also be news stories, it could be your book you're catching two pages of your book. >> rose: this is exciting stuff. so the final question is somebody wants to hear this conversation they say that's for me. what do they do? >> well they come to our website and we offer a lot of information about how spritz works for them. we offer them a play to find where they connect perience spritz so apps like the one on the watch, are the one on the phone, you can read books, you can read pdf's and websites with a spritz book mark you can read any scripts content. >> rose: what's this. >> that's rapid serial visual presentation. that was a technique invented
back in the 70's for presenting words one at a time in a display. long before we had smart phones. the problem with that is that red letter that you see, that's what we call the recognition point. >> rose: optical recognition point. >> exactly. that's not in the center. so rsvp centers words forces your eye to move from right to left to recognize the words. >> rose: are there other companies that are working the same idea? that are looking at how do you use rsvp technologies. >> oh, sure. >> rose: who is your primary competition. >> there would be no one you ever heard of. that's the point. the rsvp was fundamentally flawed. so none of the applications of it ever became commercially accepted. and so that's the thing that mic saw to fix. >> rose: where are you going to take this? as you think about it and as this becomes scalable and you think about how else you might apply this or other places where
there is an innovation gap. >> of course all the variables coming up. so the age of variables just started with smart phones and reality glasses things that come up in the feature. they all have limited space so you need compact forms. if you want to deliver a text to these variables then spritz is the perfect solution. >> rose: this is what was said going back to reading the text ten% of the time instead of going back to read it speed reading is never going to be as successful in terms of comprehension as natural reading. you don't argue that point do you or do you. >> well personally, the studies that have been conducted have not been conducted with our technology. so there is no testing. >> rose: you would think that schools and everybody else would be interested in testing your technology. >> and they are and they will
be. we've only been two and-a-half months in the public eye there. just hasn't been time. we do think and in fact we're doing our own larger scale research now that will help address that. >> fundamentally, you know, the word technology and we think if you implement it correctly you'll be able to go back as far as you want as much as you wanted. in fact there may even be better techniques for aggressive reading if you want, if you need it for your comprehension. part of the thing about moving your eyes, when the eye's moving you can't, your brain is busy moving the eye. with rsvp you're moving your eye. so that's important. in fact you're moving it in the opposite direction. it's very disruptive and so your comprehension will decrease with rsvp, we've known that, that's why we developed our tech new -- our new technique.
>> rose: it won't decrease with your technique. >> we've seen that from our users but we weren't conducting that research formally. >> rose: tell me about the experiment with your jurors. >> we developed a news reader app so an rsf reader like pulse. you could pick any story and spritz it. and we gave that to, we started with just people we know and then we asked other people to try it out. and because we're streaming it, we can understand how they're reading with it. and we also test conducted and asked five questions. we asked five questions and scored them on the answers and tested that against reading. >> first of all what resulted is that you will not answer five out of five answers correctly when you meet the stand up rate. if you read at a normal speed
you will also miss some questions. if you are in your comfort zone, it was the same comprehension even sometimes a little bit better because people thought they are concentrating and focusing better. in fact they got more time to watch because the eye was not moving. so there is not a drop of comprehension if you go at your right speed and with the right context. it's for specific use cases. if read comprehensive text, or if you read your daily news or e-mails your comprehension will not fall. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thanks for having us. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
explore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this, made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. welcome to classical rewind. i'm martin goldsmith, and this is my music. tonight we're going to take you back with some real oldies from the 16th and 17th centuries. we'll meet many of the great masters and tell their stories. i promise you an exhilarating ride. along the way you're likely to hear melodies that you know but perhaps you don't know why. tonight meet the masters, next on pbs. ♪