I haven’t been active here for some time, but I have been busy. Today I’m happy to introduce VidHug. It’s currently accepting mailing list sign-up, but the full experience will launch very soon (in a matter of days).
The idea for VidHug (which I know is not unique and has been attempted before) came about a year ago as my siblings and I were brainstorming a meaningful birthday gift for our mother. We decided to get her friends & family (dispersed globally) to record videos and edit them into a single montage for her to watch on her birthday. I assumed a SAAS that did this for me existed and was disappointed to find that I was wrong. In the end, I patched together a very lousy MVP, doing most of the things manually myself (think DropBox + iMovie + many hours of tech support), but it worked and the birthday was a success. Since then, I worked on turning that into a real product that anyone could use and friends & family have used it along the way for birthdays, congratulating new parents, and several other occasions.
At the core, VidHug enables anyone, regardless of technical ability, to source video recordings from a potentially large & dispersed group, and then edit those into a single deliverable. The first test market is kind of like the greeting card space, but we believe there are many potential markets for this offering.
In many ways, this business (as currently marketed) is what many of you (and depending on my mood, myself) would consider a SAAS nightmare in terms of business model. Low price, pay-per-use. Rob Walling, for example, is someone I look up to and respect and I’m sure he would shout to run away from this… but something about the product, and people’s reaction to using it, has kept me going. Even in the small amount of beta testing we’ve done, tears of joy have been a regular occurrence (now how to monetize tears of joy?). Anyway, the view I’m taking right now is I want to see if I can make this a product people love and am somewhat hoping that the business model will become more apparent when I get to observe usage patterns. There are also B2B avenues that we’re considering, but again, want to nail the product experience before we go there.
Would love to hear your feedback. I know this places dishes it out in the tough & honest variety. Thanks in advance.