NewsClipper provides good example of smart innovation

It is a reasonable question: Why isn’t there a Google News for news video?

And the answer is: An entrepreneur in Norway has launched NewsClipper (via TechCrunch).

In light of my previous post on innovation, it’s fair to ask, why didn’t a newspaper company come up with this idea.

It’s a simple idea — take the example of an existing product (in this case, Google News), and imagine a new use for the same concept using available tools and build a product that is just good enough to launch.

So nobody is confused: I’m not saying this is the kind of idea that should necessarily come out of a newsroom (again, in light of some comments on the previous post), but that if newspaper executives freed up their programming talent to work on innovative ideas, then maybe they would come up with sites like these. The talent and staff is out there, and some of newspaper programmers are doing innovative work. But there’s an aspect to this NewsClipper idea that is, “duh!”

The good news is, NewsClipper isn’t fully developed. It’s only scraping a few top news sites. It’s a nice proof of concept, but it needs work. It needs more content. It needs more meta data. It needs a better UI. And it’s going to run afoul of major media legal teams because it strips ads from the content.

A product that can get to market first that over comes those limitations could stand a chance at success. Building it won’t be easy, but NewsClipper provides an example of where and how to start.