It all started in 1998, with a LIGHTBULB MOMENT
2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Octopus Newsroom, today the world leader in the development and supply of newsroom computer systems. The ‘lightbulb moment’ came in 1998 when the company’s founder, Petr Stokuč, was asked to advise on improving the efficiency of TV Nova, a European based news channel.
« I had spent several years as a newsroom system administrator at TV Nova so knew very well that they wanted to break free from the limitations of the solution they had been using since they first went on air in 1994. They were looking to support more channels and operate more efficiently but were held back by the high cost of the NRCS systems available at that time.
« We rose to the challenge, confident that we could create new software that would outperform the competition and to be more cost-effective. Equally important, the system we planned to create would be capable of easy expansion, easy to use and to handle an unlimited number of users. It was a busy time: we had just two months to create a solution. »
« Our starting point in developing which would eventually become the world-renowned Octopus NRCS was the realisation that a lot of time in newsrooms was lost by editors having to switch between multiple software tools throughout their shift, some of which did not integrate. We were keen to make the entire task of news preparation easy to achieve via a single control screen. »
« TV Nova liked the development direction we had adopted and agreed to become our first customer if we could progress the prototype into a mature system and establish ourselves as an ongoing business. In 1999 we did both. Choosing a brand name was easy given that our goal was to extend the reach of each connected operator across every aspect of newsroom operation like the many tentacles of an Octopus. We named the company Octopus Newsroom and the product itself Octopus.
With Octopus Newsroom established as a company and Octopus as a product, our next challenge was to promote our existence and our unique-selling-points to broadcasters here in the major markets of Europe, the Americas and Asia. That’s another story which begins in our second year, 2000 blog post that will be published next week.