Monday, April 16, 2012


Over the last few weeks, as I was working on my "next big thing," I started reflecting on the good, bad and ugly of prior start-ups and companies I've been involved with.  I started writing about building a start-up from the ground up - topics from raising money, pivoting, turds on the table, giving up control, keeping the day job and several more posts.

After being in the services business for over 20 years, I've thought for years about making money while I'm sleeping.  When I created my first Android app, I was so excited when I went from making $1 a day to $5 to $10 to $100 and beyond.  I loved how Google (and Apple) had created a marketplace that allowed you to write an application, put it into a market, decide on your pricing, and collect 70% of whatever price you set.  I had fun experimenting with pricing, features, etc.  I loved hearing the feedback and ideas from my customers.  I was making money while I slept!

At TUSC we provided Oracle consulting services, but we also provided training and education.  Early on I did a lot of training for our customers.  In the mid 90s I did intro (2 days) and advanced training (3 days) on SQR (a report writer for Oracle) nearly 2 months in a row.  I've done 100s of presentations at Oracle (and other) users groups.  I've written 100s of articles for user group newsletters to Oracle magazine.  I consulted for 100s of companies over the years.  But...none of these helped me make money while I slept...I had to be there, usually in person.  Then came the web and I started doing webinars.  I recorded many of those webinars over the years and we published them on our website.  But, I didn't monetize these webinars.

After many many hours of dreaming, working on the concepts, etc. I figured out my next big thing.  I decided to combine the concepts of the Android marketplace and webinars.  I decided to help people monetize their training and how to videos online.  In other words, if you create a webinar and you want to sell it, you can put it on the InteliVideo site, indicate how much you want to charge and we do the rest.  We sell the video, manage distribution to any device (mobile or browser), collect the money, deliver the content and you get 70% of the income.  It's a utility model.  No up front costs to you.  No storage costs.  No costs per byte.  No credit fees.  Simply upload a series of videos (i.e. a grouping you want to sell), tell us how much to charge (i.e. for a 1 day rental it's $20, for 3 days it's $50, etc) and sit back and wait for your monthly check to arrive.

When I first came up with the concept, I thought maybe I'd go out and develop a bunch of video content.  So I brainstormed about what I would develop first.  Oracle content?  I know people who know a lot about fishing, duck hunting, snowmobiling, wake surfing, home building, home fix up, and so many more I thought maybe I'd start there.  Then I realized that we didn't need more content, the world simply needs a video marketplace!

I'm also combining in something that was my first (paid) Internet project ever...developing a testing engine.  When I first learned Oracle Application Express (which I later co-authored a book on), I asked Larry (my co-author) to develop the testing application in ApEx.  Which he did.  I'm going to combine this functionality into the video side of the business as well.  There will be full event driven actions that you'll be able to take based on the answers.  For example, you can pause the video 3 minutes and 12 seconds in and ask a question.  If the viewer answers right, you can continue.  If they answer wrong, you can take the action you want to take - i.e. you might force them to start over or you might show them the answer in a small video.  Then at the end of the course, you can decide what you want to do based on their answers.  For example, as a part of continuing education, you might give them a certificate.  If it was a Meyers Briggs test that you were guiding them through, you might score them as an ESTJ and then up-sell them on videos about relationships for ESTJs.

What do I need from you?  Well, before long everything will be self service and I'll need your content.  So if you don't have content, please start working on it now.  If you already have content, I'd like you to be a beta customer!  I'll upload your videos, configure the site, develop the questions with you, etc.  You can either be part of the InteliVideo generic videos or you can have a white labeled site with your videos.  If you have a white labeled site, you can choose to include links for other partners (which you'll eventually get a sales commission if your site sells them) or if you want to exclude certain companies (i.e. your competitors).

So tell me...what would you like to see on the site?  There is a B to B side of this - i.e. my customers and the B to C side (i.e. selling videos to consumers).  What do you think I should tell each side?

You can view my SUPER alpha version of my "marketing" site, which I need to get all of the links working on...and you can view my generic and white labelled version of the site.

InteliVideo Marketing Site                                     InteliVideo Videos

By the way, please try out the social side of the site - i.e. enter a Facebook comment!  And, you can VOTE on the logo selection if you click on the link soon.

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