The Light L16

Disclosure time, I’m part of the Light Creative Advisory Board. In fact, they first pitched the Light L16 camera to me over a year ago. When Dave (the CEO) and Brad (the VP of Marketing) told me about it, their pitch was simple: DSLR quality with a zoom in an iPhone-sized form factor. My brain immediately went in two directions, a million skeptical questions about how it worked/clarifying every word of that pitch and “want.”

The Light L16

The Light L16

Product/Market Fit

Earlier this year, I was doing some product consulting work at a startup. They’d been working on their app for a while, yet they essentially had no users and didn’t understand why. The new VP of Marketing and I quickly found that there was no product/market fit or path to one: product development was based on guesses for varying target audience needs, ranging from consumers to enterprise, depending on which person in leadership had the best argument that week. The CTO, who wasn’t familiar with the idea of product/market fit, believed that they had no users because they didn’t advertise the app, and if they pulled the marketing lever, everyone would flock to the app.

Storytelling for Success

Starting a company is a wild experience, but even from the very first event you go to, struggling to figure out how to start a business, there’s one big thing that separates the crowd. No, I don’t mean who’s wearing Google Glass and who isn’t. I mean how each person speaks.

Valuing A Company

I know the basics of finance (buy low, sell high), but the world of startup valuation and financing is a mystery to me. Recently, I took a seminar entitled “Startup Finance: Valuation” from Startup Saturdays that was really great! The absolute best part was the Q&A that happened between the students and instructor (I don’t have his name unfortunately), who absolutely knew his stuff and clearly has experience with this field. By the end, we understood why Snapchat is valued at $3.5 billion.

Stop Piracy Using Gamification

You might have noticed numerous websites “going dark” a few weeks ago to protest the anti-piracy bills, Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). I seriously doubt that Google or Wikipedia have any desire to promote IP theft, but they did have valid issues about the way those bills implemented that IP protection and the unknown technical, economical, and socio-political ramifications. And when push comes to shove, people care more about uninterrupted Facebook access than they do about protecting a studio’s content, plus as we saw with the music industry, the people trying to protect their IP often come across as villains. We as an industry need to create a reason for people to care about stopping piracy. Gamification can provide that incentive.

DSLRU Lessons Learned

DSLRU logo

DSLRU

For a while now, I’ve been part of an educational photography site called DSLRU (DSLR University). It was essentially like the iTunes store for photographic learning material, having a mix of video, text, and downloadable content (like Photoshop actions). The main idea was that you’d own any content you purchased, unlike other subscription sites, and that the content would be available in low-cost chunks so that you could buy just what you wanted.

Unfortunately, we recently decided to shut the site down because we weren’t breaking even from it and didn’t see a viable way to increase our business. I wanted to share my experience in case anyone else finds it helpful.