On February 21st, Cinnamon (@CinnamonVideo on twitter) took the XRP community by storm when it announced Cinnamon, a video-streaming platform with exclusive content for Coil members, in cooperation with Coil, Interledger and Ripple.
But who is behind Cinnamon and what is Cinnamon really about? Róbert Tarabčák, Cinnamon’s founder, was contacted by XRParcade and agreed to do an interview. Róbert gave us valuable information about himself, his experience with Ripple and Coil and explained his Cinnamon vision.
We started by getting to know of Róbert and what his past experiences are. Especially his work with Coil and his relationship with Ripple are of interest to the XRP community.
XRParcade: First of all we would like to learn a few things about yourself. Who is Róbert Tarabčák?
Róbert: I am a 27 year old entrepreneur from Slovakia, living in Prague, Czech republic. I was a developer since I was 16, UX & UI designer since I was 22 and in the meantime I also tried multiple roles like product management, business development and online marketing. I was also recently engaged with my fiancée (yeah!).
XRParcade: Congratulations on your engagement! Now, we know you have been working for Coil for the past year. How did you start there, why did you choose to work at Coil and how did you like that experience so far?
Róbert: It’s no secret I’ve been a huge fan of Ripple technologies and XRP Hodler since 2013. Back then I participated in Computing for Good giveaway and helped Ripple with translations of the Ripple wallet (currently GateHub) to Czech and Slovak language. I also always dreamed to work for Ripple. A year and a half ago, when I worked for Czech banks as UX designer I managed to help Ripple to get in contact with our local banks and payment gateways. It was the first time I have been in contact with someone from Ripple. Few months later Stefan Thomas left Ripple and started Coil. I found a way to contact him willing to help him with whatever he is going to build. And guess what? He actually gave me an incredible opportunity to work for Coil as UX Designer. How did I like that experience so far? It is really empowering to be a part of his A-class team!
Róbert continued with explaining his different motivations behind the inception of Cinnamon. We know that – in order for a business idea to work – it needs to solve a problem, and Cinnamon does.
XRParcade: How did you come up with the Cinnamon idea, what gave you inspiration?
Róbert: After two weeks working in SF with Stefan’s team I began to understand real advantages and benefits of our work and of the concept of real-time micropayments we are playing with. I’ve always felt a desperate need to contribute to the ecosystem so I started doing what I am best in – ideation.When we implemented Coil tipping into Vimeo and Youtube through our extension, I realised that it was a mixing of the platforms’ business model with ours. That is when I decided to develop our own platform, Cinnamon, and only apply our own business model.
XRParcade: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Róbert: I have a huge problem with Ads. I’ve used AdBlock since its inception and whenever I have to watch something on YouTube using mobile phone I just feel very, very sorry for anyone who came with that idea. It significantly and negatively affects whole user experience and quality of the content. An additional problem I am trying to solve is the way profits are distributed. It is not fair to content creators in any shape or form. At Cinnamon, we strive to allow video producers to quit their day-to-day job and instead be able to focus on what they really love to do, without constantly thinking of how to survive using product placement and having to integrate ads to their videos – it is horrible!
After that, we went on to discuss Cinnamon in greater detail, how it will work, what kind of content it will include, what kind of fees will be involved, and what to expect in the future from Cinnamon. Róbert even explained the reasoning behind the name of the project.
XRParcade: What is Cinnamon? How will it work (in layman’s terms)?
Róbert: Cinnamon is video-streaming service like YouTube or Netflix. It will pay content creators in real-time, for every second their videos are watched. Coil members with valid subscription can watch videos, share and comment. Anyone can become a content creator on Cinnamon.
XRParcade: Will it be decentralised?
Róbert: We play with multiple technologies. If the community will request decentralisation and we will see potential benefits for the community using it, then why not.
XRParcade: What type of content will it include?
Róbert: Let’s say we will have the same policy for content as YouTube, Vimeo or Netflix. We can’t wait to see what creators will come up with!
XRParcade: Will there be any fees to use the service? Both by users and by content creators?
Róbert: A content creator doesn’t have to pay for a Coil subscription. The only requirement to upload videos on Cinnamon is to have a Coil account. If someone wants to watch videos, he/she has to pay for a Coil subscription. No extra fees are included.
XRParcade: What do users and content creators stand to gain by using Cinnamon?
Róbert: Users have the opportunity to be liberated from Ads (calculate for yourself how many hours per month you spend watching ads) and at the same time be offered quality content. Creators will have direct earnings.
XRParcade: Why did you choose to make Cinnamon work with Coil, Interledger and XRP?
Róbert: If you want to stream micropayments across the world in the most efficient way, I bet you will pick Coil, Interledger and XRP.
XRParcade: When you announced Cinnamon, most people were impressed by the name, what gave you the inspiration to pick “Cinnamon” as the name for the platform?
Róbert: Haha. CTO of Coil, Ben Sharafian, actually came up with the Cinnamon name and we instantly said yes. Two reasons:
“Cinema” + “Monetization” = “Cinnamon”
It is an english word that anybody knows, and it’s also very hard to misspell.
XRParcade: How many people are currently working on the project? Are you based in Prague? Are you looking to hire more people?
Róbert: We are a team of 4 very talented and enthusiastic people with a strong passion for perfection. In the future, we would definitely want to hire, but at this stage it is not yet necessary.
XRParcade: Are you funded by Xpring? If not, how did you acquire support, and do you plan on obtaining funds from any other source in the future?
Róbert: Initially, we raised funding from Angel investors within the XRP Community. We play with the idea of Xpring backing us, but we don’t focus on that right now.
XRParcade: What are your shorterm and longterm plans? Is there a roadmap?
Róbert: Our top priority is to launch and test a minimum viable product (MVP). Our launch date hasn’t been decided yet, but we will make sure to announce it beforehand, so no one will miss it!
XRParcade: What is your target market? Do you plan on expanding beyong Coil users to expand your reach?
Róbert: Anyone on YouTube, Vimeo and Twitch. We also seek premium content creators whom are not able to make a deal with big players like Netflix. Cinnamon will be a great place for it. Expanding our reach beyond Coil users is definitely one of our goals as it will also bring users to Coil!
Despite the fact that it is still the beginning of this project, our view is that Cinnamon has the potential to disrupt the video-streaming space, providing great benefits for both content creators and users. Cinnamon and Coil are closely related and the success of the one affects the other. The XRP community will be awaiting news from Cinnamon and Róbert Tarabčák, and XRParcade will be following its developments quite closely in order to keep you posted.
Special thanks to @IDCryptopia (twitter handle) for making this interview possible.