Book Review: iPhone Millionaire

This is a guest post from Michael Rosenblum, author of iPhone Millionaire. In this series of posts about social media books, I invite the author to share something about themselves and why they wrote the book, and what in the book might be of particular interest to association or nonprofit audiences.  

Maddie’s Take:  This book is supremely fascinating to me, as a content creator. I’m only about a third of the way through it and right at the part where I need to start making some iPhone videos as per Michael’s very simple – yet strict – instructions – so it remains to be seen whether I make a million dollars out of my videos or not. However, you may be the first to see whatever it is I end up creating, right here on this blog. So watch this space.
Verdict (Buy, Borrow, Skim, Pass?): Buy if you’re at all interested in this medium (and don’t have an in-house video department). Video will increasingly become an essential part of your content mix.



We live in a world that is increasingly dominated by screens. I call it ‘screenworld’.

The average American now spends an astonishing 8.5 hours a day staring at screens. Between smart phones, tablets, computers and television, screenwatching is now our number one activity every day, surpassing work, sports, reading, eating and even sleep.

And we are just at the very beginning of the ‘screen revolution’. In the next few years, virtually every interaction and transaction we carry out, whether it’s buying new clothes or finding a new mate, is going to be carried out on a screen.

And screens demand video.

They are the natural home of video. You can, of course, have text on screens. Up until now the technology of the web has pretty much only allowed text – and then stills, but video is fast arriving. And as it does, it is going to drive text to the background. Video is just more interesting, more compelling as a medium. (If it were not, we would have lots of text on our cable TV channels – which we don’t).

For the past 25 years, I have been in the business of teaching media companies to use small and inexpensive cameras and edit systems to create their own television and video content. I have built TV stations and cable networks around the world based on this idea of ‘video journalism’. But until very recently, this work was confined to major media companies – broadcasters or newspapers or magazines that wanted to move in the world of digital content creation.

The arrival of the iPhone has changed everything.

Now, for the first time, hundreds of millions of people (literally) are walking around with a complete professional television and video production studio – in their pockets. And they don’t even know it.

The cameras on most smart phones like the iPhone are actually vastly superior to the ‘professional’ broadcast cameras TV stations and networks used for years. And simple and often free editing software such as iMovie is far more powerful than the million dollar edit suites I used to work in when I was at CBS a long time ago.

It’s a remarkable moment in ‘media history’. Television, and the power to create what ‘the rest of us’ watch (5 hours a day), used to reside in the hands of a very few network executives. Now, for the first time, the power to make that content is in everyone’s hands – quite literally.
That is an incredible change.

Television is, quite literally, the most powerful medium the world has ever known. It shapes public debate; it informs public opinion; it has a great deal of sway over what we eat, where we go, whom we vote for, what music we listen to and so much more.

Rosenblum0071800174What we are looking at is the ‘democratization’ of television, and as video migrates to the web and phones, of all media.

We already have the tools – thanks to Steve Jobs largely. And we carry them with us pretty much 24 hours a day.

Nothing like this has happened since Gutenberg first set ink to moveable type. And look at what that revolution begat. This one is going to be even bigger.

While we may have the tools, what we are lacking is the training – no one taught us how to express ourselves in this very powerful medium. So that is why I wrote the book. To encourage people to pick up their phones and learn to use them to create video content and ultimately TV.

It’s really important in a democracy that we take control of the most powerful medium of communication that we have.

And, if you can make a million dollars at the same time, which you can, so much the better.


For more than 25 years, Mr. Rosenblum has been on the cutting edge of the digital ‘videojournalist’ revolution. During this time, he has led a drive for video literacy, and the complete rethinking of how television and online video is made and controlled.

His work has included: The complete transitioning of the BBC’s national network (UK) to a VJ-driven model, starting in 2002. The complete conversion of The Voice of America, the United States Government’s broadcasting agency (and the largest broadcaster in the world), from short wave radio to television broadcasting and webcasting using the ‘VJ” paradigm (1998-present). The construction of NYT Television, a New York Times Company, and the largest producer of non-fiction television in the U.S. Rosenblum was both the President and founder of NYT TV, (all based on the “VJ” paradigm – 1996-1998). He was also President and founder of Video News International, a global VJ-driven news gathering company, with more than one hundred journalists around the world. (1993-1996). In partnership with Al Gore, he conceived of and founded Current TV. In partnership with Lisa Lambden, he founded The Travel Channel Academy ( and New York Video School (

He has designed, built and implemented VJ-driven news channels around the world, including Time Warner’s NY1 News, Associated Newspapers (UK) London based Channel 1, Young Broadcasting stations in the U.S., Switzerland’s largest commercial TV broadcaster, TeleZuri, as well as a host of smaller projects such as Eritrea’s ERI-TV and Sri Lanka’s SLBC. His consulting clients include The BBC, TV-24/Germany, TV4/Sweden, Oxygen Media, BBC, KBC, TVL, Danmarks Radio (DK), TV-3 Sweden, Norway & Denmark, Tokyo Broadcasting, and Korea Broadcasting.

As a producer, Rosenblum has produced or overseen production on more than two thousand hours of programming for both network and cable television. His shows have included the long-running Trauma: Life in the E.R., Paramedics, Police Force, Labor and Delivery, and Science Times. These series have aired on TLC, Showtime and National Geographic channels. He has also produced for ABC, CBS, Oxygen and the BBC. Most recently his groundbreaking 5 Takes series for Discovery has completely rewritten the production paradigm. The company currently has more than 300 hours in production for this year alone.

He has conducted his unique VJ training classes all over the world, from Thailand to Marrakech, and has lectured extensively both overseas and in the U.S. He is an adjunct professor of communication at New York University, where he teaches “Television and the Information Revolution”, a course of his own design, and at The Bauhaus in Germany. His Brussels-based Rosenblum Institute trains European journalists to work as VJs. He is the author of Videojournalismus (Germany) and iPhone Millionaire: Six Weeks To Change Your Life (McGraw Hill 2012).  He is a regular blogger for The Guardian (UK) and The Huffington Post. 


Michael Rosenblum January 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM

We are offering a one-day seminar in London, in partnership with The Guardian (UK) on how to use the book to enhance your business. Mention Socialfish and we will give you a 20% discount.

Brian Morgan February 3, 2013 at 6:06 AM

Very good & interesting article, glad you shared it via twitter. I was in video production for a short while, nothing serious though. Editing video is so complex or at least time consuming, I don’t think many people realize the amount of time an editor (video) takes to make even a short 1 minute spot, it could take from hours to days, based on the amount of video content. Anyway, I was preaching the coming of the video-marketing for online-small-businesses, yet my small community has no real need. A much larger city, yes, very much so. Thanks for the insights and trends information. Brian @BrianMorganNow

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: