How Many Einsteins Might be Out There? Outernet’s Thane Richard Shares Their Plan to Reach the World

In this episode we’re joined by Thane Richard, the COO of Outernet – the new company with an incredible mission: to broadcast the most important content of the web to the two thirds of the world – or 4.3 billion people – that do not have access to the internet.

Providing access to people is a competitive business. Facebook wants to use a fleet of drones. Google is trying out weather balloons in their Project Loon, and Tesla’s Elon Musk wants to use low-cost satellites. But Outernet is offering an alternative: an offline FREE library accessible to anyone, anywhere.

And the role of our guest, Thane, is a big one. He decides what content is broadcast. Outernet’s crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo was ambitious too – they wanted to fund a receiving device called Lantern that would shine the light of information into remote corners of the world. And because it works offline, Lantern could provide vital news during natural disasters, making it an essential addition to one’s emergency disaster kit.

Their work has been featured widely: on the BBC, Wired, Forbes and others. Outernet’s goal on Indiegogo was to raise $200,000 to bring Lantern into the world… And almost 7,000 backers took the total up to $626,000. An impressive result. So let’s find out how they did it.

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Links and things mentioned in this show

Lantern – Indiegogo campaign page

Outernet on Facebook

@OuternetForAll – Outernet on Twitter

@ThaneRichard – Thane Richard on Twitter

Outernet Broadcast Guidelines – Public Google doc

@ThaneRichard – Thane Richard on Medium

Motion Parade – Video production in Plymouth, MI

YERKA – “The unstealable bike” campaign page on Indiegogo

Words to live by

History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.

Winston Churchill

Sponsor information

Syndicate-Room-Logo-NewThis episode of Crowd Scene is sponsored by Syndicate Room. Syndicate Room is an equity-based crowdfunding platform in the UK with a unique model. Find out about current investment opportunities at

The Crowd Scene theme music is by Kim Boekbinder.