Sean Johnson says his podcast "The Disruptors" contains ideas, tools, techniques, and advice from people and organizations who are transforming our world. In this episode, Sean talks to founder and CEO Rich Stokes about the genesis of Winston right through one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns.
After 14 years in the ad tech industry, Stokes didn't like what he saw — he compares it to a Black Mirror episode coming to life. What he created was a privacy hardware solution that doesn't require a computer science degree to set up.
Most people know our internet activity is tracked, but what don't we know and to what extent? Rich describes the surveillance web as a "360-degree insight into your life." ISP's track their users, and smart home devices from Google and Amazon monitor your daily activity, down to the sound of a toilet flushing. Creepy. Even the travel providers track your activity and use it to raise fares when they think you can afford it or have to travel at certain times.
The most significant factor that makes Winston unique is the network, says Stokes. Better than a VPN, Winston's distributed network anonymizes your internet activity with something Rich calls zero-knowledge technology; not even Winston can see or decrypt your activity.
The core of the interview is Rich discussing how he built the hardware company. He touches on validating the demand for a privacy product and the process of delegating design, as well as his overall crowdfunding strategy. Listen to how Winston became one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history.
Back Winston Privacy on Indiegogo here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/winston-take-back-control-of-your-online-privacy#/