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Apoorva Prasad: Lead Climber

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Apoorva Prasad is an award-winning entrepreneur, multimedia journalist, photographer and writer. He is also an experienced rock climber and mountaineer, with over a decade of international media and outdoors experience in France, the US and India. He is now embracing his biggest challenge to date with The Outdoor Journal & Voyage.
(Featured Image: Apoorva Prasad, Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of The Outdoor Journal & Voyage / Image Credit: The Outdoor Jurnal)
What is The Outdoor Journal about?

We created The Outdoor Journal in 2013 to promote wilderness conservation and sustainable development through the authentic and diverse voices of the outdoors. We believe that the more people across the planet experience the joy of interacting with nature, the more they’ll fight to preserve it. Today’s younger generations value experiences over consumerism, and we believe that enabling them to travel far and wide will help make the world a better place.

What is your company’s philosophy?

Our purpose is to educate, inspire and enable all people to experience, enjoy and protect the wilderness. The Outdoor Journal is a call to action. We’re fundamentally an ecocentric company that wants to change the underlying philosophy of today’s economic systems. We believe that this is key to our survival as a species, in an era where we face multiple systemic challenges, such as climate change.

“Media businesses have now been replaced by Facebook and Google, which piggyback off content generated for free by users. Same idea, except now they don’t pay content creators. They do, however, still make money from advertisers using this content.”
How are you reinventing media?

As a journalist freelancing through the early 00s until a few years ago, I was very much in the maelstrom of change that the internet brought to media. My first real job was as at a print magazine. Legacy media companies were struggling to deal with the internet. They put all their content online for free, which essentially conveyed the message to internet users that content is valueless. As professional writers and photographers, we found ourselves struggling to make a living. VCs and some startups began to hail the rise of “user-generated content” and “citizen journalism,” which is basically a way of saying that content is valueless and should be created for free by people who earn a living through other means. But high quality content costs money. Creating content is a skill and, like coding or engineering, takes many years to learn and become good at. It used to be that media businesses produced great content, attracted readers and paid for it all through advertisements. Media businesses have now been replaced by Facebook and Google, which piggyback off content generated for free by users. Same idea, except now they don’t pay content creators. They do, however, still make money from advertisers using this content.

So we thought about other ways to make money out of content aside from just advertising. We realized that people were readily willing to pay for actual adventure travel itself. And we realized there was a genuine problem in this space that needed to be fixed…

“TripAdvisor doesn’t work; it’s not reliable enough. You need authentic, verified data and content, which we possess through our own grassroots knowledge from building the media brand. This is a very early-stage version in our roadmap, but we’re now live on outdoorvoyage.com, collaborating with over 60 of the best local partners from around the planet.”
You recently launched a new platform. Can you tell us about it?

It’s called The World’s Best Adventures. The Outdoor Voyage’s mission is to enable an enhanced adventure travel experience for anyone around the world: safer, more informed and environmentally sustainable. It became obvious to us very quickly that there was no way for people to figure out which were the best, safest, local adventure outfitters, guiding companies and operators around the world. TripAdvisor doesn’t work; it’s not reliable enough. You need authentic, verified data and content, which we possess through our own grassroots knowledge from building the media brand. This is a very early-stage version in our roadmap, but we’re now live on outdoorvoyage.com, collaborating with over 60 of the best local partners from around the planet.


This article was first published in the Summer 2017 issue of SILICON magazine. Be the first to read SILICON articles on paper before they’re posted online, plus read exclusive features and interviews that only appear in the print edition, by subscribing online.

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