After Pulling Plug, Veoh Networks’ Dmitry Shapiro Says Litigation “Choked Off Our Oxygen”

2/12/10Follow @bvbigelow

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on long-form video and high resolution. I don’t think YouTube hurt us in any way. If anything, I think they helped because we were all in it together, trying to raise market awareness.’

In a statement on his website, Shapiro referred to YouTube, saying “While others were working on helping people share short video clips, Veoh created technologies that made it possible to cost effectively transport full-length, long-form, high resolution content. Some of the technologies we pioneered now form the basis for standalone companies and many are now standard features of video services. We grew our passionate audience base to over 28 million users per month, built a business with a run rate of $12 million, and helped educate many blue chip advertisers about the bright future that online video holds for them.”

Shapiro, who arrived in the U.S. from the former Soviet Union in 1979, when he was 10 years old, learned to speak English from watching television. Shapiro also told me he became a self-taught computer programmer because his overly protective Russian mom was too worried while he was growing up in Atlanta, GA, to let him play outside with the other kids. After getting his B.S. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, he began working in computer software.

Before starting Veoh in late 2004, Shapiro founded San Diego-based Akonix Systems, as a peer-to-peer network security company. He launched another business last year that he calls “Weekend University” that provides one-day classes in how to use the Internet more effectively.

When I asked what’s next, Shapiro answered, “I don’t know. But I’m going to take the rest of the week off.” When I reminded him it’s already Friday, he said, “I know. It’s still going to be nice to relax.”

Shapiro says the members of the skeleton team that remained to the end are close. They enjoy working together, and Shapiro says he’s already been contacted by some companies that need help on some Internet projects. (He says his email is Dmitry@FluxPartners.com, just in case any more are interested.)

“I would like to thank all of my fellow team members and their families, our courageous, dedicated investors, our suppliers and attorneys, and all of the passionate people that have made it possible for us to be a part of this great revolution of social media,” Shapiro wrote in his farewell post. “This is a critically important time in the evolution of the Internet as an open communications medium, and all of us at Veoh wish those companies that continue to innovate in the space, great success.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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