Jobs. Why we think VibMob will create so many jobs.

It’s hard to argue these days that the world is not going through aprinting press fundamental change in the nature of communication. Just as the world transitioned from an oral society to a written society in the wake of Gutenberg’s printing press 500+ years ago, today we are witnessing the dominant medium of communication transition from the written word to video. A few weeks ago, Twitter rolled out their native video player.  At the end of last year, Facebook re-prioritized their feed algorithm to favor posts with videos.  YouTube’s meteoric ascent continues.

To aid in this transition, an entire technical ecosystem has sprung up to support online video. There are countless solutions for delivery, tracking, advertising integration, annotation, promotion, and nearly all other aspects of the video world. And with every new smartphone cycle, better and better capture technologies are rolled out globally, with penetration previously unrivaled in the history of consumer technology. There are over 2 billion smartphones today, all of which have HD video cameras. And by 2020, recent estimates show that this number will rise to nearly 6 billion. This is a long way from the days of a few million camcorders.

But one aspect of this video revolution remains largely unsolved—the front-end creation point. Nearly 100% of smartphone users have videos in their camera rolls. But surveys show that less than 7% of those people ever edit them. That’s 1.86 billion people today who have taken the time to shoot video, but have gotten stuck after that. By 2020, that number would rise to 5.58 billion. That’s a lot of people who need a service.

Bill Gurley recently wrote a great blog piece about how it was impossible to estimate the size of a new market based on the old one it was replacing IF the new market was fundamentally easier to use and fundamentally cheaper.

When you materially improve an offering, and create new features, functions, experiences, price points, and even enable new use cases, you can materially expand the market in the process. The past can be a poor guide for the future if the future offering is materially different than the past.


At VidMob, we agree with this analysis, and we think it applies directly to what we’re doing for video.  Today, it is incredibly hard to get a professionally edited video. Just getting your video from your device to an editor is a difficult task if the video is any longer than 20 seconds. And where do you find the editor?  And what if the raw media exists on multiple devices—like yours and your wife’s? Or all of the parents of a high school volleyball team?

Because of this transmission difficulty, and because previous devices didn’t shoot great video, most solutions to-date have tried to match consumers who wanted videos made with end-to-end solutionsstoryboarding, shooting, editing, etc. This has resulted in price points that were out of the range of all consumers, all but a few businesses, and convenience barriers that were out of the range of all but a few events—who wants to hire a videographer to come to the park with you while you try to teach your four-year-old how to ride a bike?

VidMob has solved this issue by making it incredibly easy for anyone, with any amount of video on their smartphones to send it to the cloud and let editors all over the world bid on editing it for them. In doing so, we believe that we have “materially improved an offering, created new features, functions, experiences, and price points”, as Bill Gurley wrote about Uber. For Uber, that has resulted in literally hundreds of thousands of jobsgreat, high-paying, flexible jobs. There are countless articles on how much Uber drivers enjoy the flexibility of the new arrangement. As with other 1099 economy services, Uber has literally changed the lives of many, many drivers.

But for all of its wonder, Uber is constrained by geography. A driver in Utah cannot give a ride to a person standing in the rain in Boston. VidMob is different. There are no geographic constraints. Our editors can work on projects that originate anywhere in the world. They can work from home while watching Seinfeld re-runs, and then put in some more time while visiting their Grandma in Florida.  VidMob offers our editors ultimate flexibility. If we do our job right and build the tools we’re working day and night to build, you’ll be able to work whenever you want, wherever you want, as much as you want, and charge whatever your time is worth.

We do not know how much we’re going to expand this market. But with our eyes on more than 5 billion people who will need these services a few years down the road, and countless companies along the way, we’re pretty sure that we’re going to expand it substantially. And that’s going to mean a lot of jobs.

Are you ready to get to work?

 

13.BIDS

 

How to Interact with Your Clients

In my last post, I walked through what the average VidMob project will be like.  I worked with our designer to customize a few of our editors’ site mock ups to show how this project will go.  Just as a note, due to the nature of VidMob, we have a bidirectional approach supporting both editors and clients.  Right now, the clients will be using the App, but editors will go to a site on their desktop.  This is done primarily to streamline the process to eliminate confusion, but also because editors will need to be able to access their clients’ videos on their desktop to do the editing.

Our first mock up, is an example of the editors site showing what you will see when a client sends new media for a project:

CustomerMockWithBorder2-1

Here, you can see the interaction with the client.  The page displays relevant data like client and project names, so that you can easily keep track of everything if you’re doing multiple projects.  Below that are different clips that the client uploaded, along with the client’s notes.  This is a convenient and organized way to group everything together.

Our next mock up shows the screen that editors will see after uploading a new iteration:

CustomerMockWithBorder3-1

Here, we can see the newest iteration, with a few notes from the editor.  Here, I hadn’t touched the audio yet, and the ending needed to be fixed up, but it was an opportunity for me to let the client see the new cut before I went through and tweaked the individual clips.

Our last mock up shows the communication between the editor and the client.

CustomerMockWithBorder1-1

Here, you can see all of the communications with the client in one convenient place.  This makes sure that you won’t miss any notes from the client and allows for one inbox for all of your VidMob messages, as opposed to clogging up your email inbox.

Please note that we still have a ways to go before we launch VidMob, so these mock ups aren’t necessarily representative of the final design.  If you have any notes, suggestions, or comments, please send them my way!

The Average VidMob Job

We recently completed a test run to evaluate our editing process. I worked as the editor, and we built a recruiting video for a high school water polo player to send to prospective coaches. Recruiting videos like these are very common across all high school sports, and if you search YouTube, you’ll find videos of mixed quality for every sport. In talking to the client, our goal was to make a high-quality video that would show off not only athletic prowess but also a bit personality.

After our initial meeting, I received 15 clips of the athlete playing in games. The client also gave us specific timecodes for plays they wanted highlighted. I went through all of the clips, pulled out the specific plays mentioned, and arranged them in order. I sent this iteration back to the client to wait for their feedback.

 

For the second iteration, I received 15 more clips to add. I broke down the clips into the individual plays, and added them to the appropriate sections. I also began to add some graphics, tweak the audio, and add a soundtrack underneath. Realizing there was something missing, I contacted the client and asked them to film an introduction that we could put at the very beginning of the piece.

The client sent me the new intro, which I added to the video, along with further refining and tweaking. The client had a specific song they wanted to use, but the song was about half the length of the total runtime for the third iteration. I went through and picked specific plays that I thought should be cut for time.

For the fourth iteration, the client agreed with my suggestions, and I removed the selected plays, tweaked the graphics according to some new notes from the client, and added the last bit of polish to the audio and graphics.

The client was thrilled with the results and immediately began sending the videos to college coaches. From my perspective, the experience was very straightforward and easy, taking me about 12 hours to complete. We are constantly tweaking the process to make it as easy as possible for both clients and editors, but this is how we envision the average VidMob editing job.

 

 

Why VidMob Matters

A large percentage of global Internet traffic is videos. Hundreds of millions of people have smartphones capable of capturing high-quality video, but a majority of these people don’t know how to edit their video into something another person would actually want to see. VidMob wants to connect these consumers with editors who can give their video that extra push to make it more appealing.

Imagine a consumer who has multitude of videos of her dog. With VidMob, the consumer can upload her dog videos, select an editor, and work with that editor to combine the videos into one video to share on Facebook or Twitter.

VidMob also allows consumers to open up their project to multiple contributors. After a wedding, the bride and groom can ask all of their friends to upload any pictures and videos taken from the wedding to VidMob. The couple can then work with a VidMob editor to see their wedding from their guests’ perspective.

There are endless uses for VidMob from a consumer’s standpoint, but VidMob is great for editors as well. Too many editors working in independent film need to have a “day job” to support their passion, but through VidMob, editors will be able to take on as many editing jobs as they can handle, while setting their own price.

VidMob represents new opportunities for editors and consumers, with both sides benefitting.