Having already succeeded in building two of the most spectacularly successful Internet companies of the modern age–PayPal and YouTube–what on earth do you do next? We’d be inclined to buy an island and never touch a computer again, but that’s not the plan for Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who just announced that their digital magazine building platform, Zeen, will roll out next week.
Zeen is a part of AVOS, an Internet company helmed by the duo that acquired bookmarking tool De.licious last year. Precious little info is known about the mysterious Zeen. “Discover and create beautiful magazines,” reads the sparse splash page.
Perhaps the biggest hints about Zeen’s ethos come from its Facebook page, where avid fans have been posting about beta testing and wanting more information since April.
We’re not sure how closely you follow the fascinating world of college dropout fans Peter Thiel & Pals, but the writers at Betabeat have had more than one animated conversation about Thiel-funded libertarian utopias and life longevity experiments. One of the PayPal cofounder’s buddies is Patri Friedman, the San Francisco-based grandson of economist Milton Friedman, who shares some of Mr. Thiel’s notions of libertarian politics: mainly, that establishing floating cities in international zones will “give people the opportunity to peacefully test new ideas about how to live together.”
Mr. Thiel has funneled millions into the Seasteading Institute, the primary initiative working to construct these floating cities, which is the brainchild of Mr. Friedman. But recently, Mr. Friedman stepped down as the institute’s executive officer to become chairman of the board, a move that had some wondering whether Mr. Thiel and Mr. Friedman had had a falling out.