There's not only Justin Timberlake's good looks, recording contracts, acting roles, viral videos and golf game to be envious of. He is also a successful entrepreneur.
Timberlake didn't portray Sean Parker in a The Social Network; he is becoming a high-tech deal maker in his own right.
Among the endeavors, past and present, in which he is an owner or investor: three restaurants; a Tequila brand (901, named for the area code of his Memphis birthplace); a clothing line; a record label (Tennman Records); Stipple, a cloud-based photo tagging service that "that lets publishers label and monetize the content inside the pictures on their sites"; and Miso Media, a music and education software development company.Last summer, Timberlake and venture capital firm Specific Media spent $35 million to acquire the floundering social media site MySpace from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (NWS). At Las Vegas' Consumer Electronics Show in January, Specific Media tipped its hat as to plans for the site. The company announced the launch of Myspace TV, a service that is to be available this year on the next generation of Panasonic (PC) Viera Connect-enabled HDTV. Initial channels on Myspace TV will be music-focused, leveraging its library of 100,000 music videos and 42 million songs. It will expand to movies, news, sports and reality channels. Audiences will be able to chat about what they're viewing and invite friends to watch with them virtually. "We're ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience," Timberlake said in a press release. "Why text or email your friends to talk about your favorite programs after they've aired when you could be sharing the experience with real-time interactivity from anywhere across the globe? As the plot of your favorite drama unfolds, the joke of your favorite Saturday Night Live character plays or even the last second shot of your favorite team swishes the net, we're giving you the opportunity to connect your friends to your moments as they're actually occurring. This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions, the television. And we no longer have to crowd around the same one to experience it together." Timberlake's most recent venture is an investment in Dekko, a start-up keeping a low profile. "We all had imaginary friends as kids, whether action figures, dolls or superheroes," the lone blog post on the site reads. "These were the toys that we built our games around and who helped us understand the world. We grew up a little and our imaginary friends moved into the Saturday morning cartoons or the cinema. Then we got a bit older still and they also became video game characters. They never left us. They just became trapped inside the computer. We think they should come back outside and play." It goes on to add that Dekko is "developing smartphone software that places digital content into the real world, but in a way that feels completely natural." "It re-connects us to our imaginary friends, and connects them to our online social networks," it says. "Augmented Reality is the term for this idea, and we're taking a whole new approach to anything that's been tried so far."
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