December 29, 2016
What was the inspiration in starting 90 seconds?
I was running a few startups at the time, such as Love to Ride, PlanHQ and Social Capital, and I saw a huge opportunity to use online video to tell compelling brand stories. However, the tools available at the time were prohibitively expensive, inaccessible and time-consuming. Video consumption had gone to the cloud with the meteoric growth of YouTube, but there were no online platforms that offered easy access to produce video. Instead of going out to market, I ended up making videos myself. As I produced my own videos, I found a lot of pain points that an elegantly-designed piece of software could easily streamline. That’s where I thought the market existed for 90 Seconds.
Was a large initial investment required to build this digital platform?
Building out an entire online platform from scratch with limited resources is both challenging and time-consuming. For the first few years, the development team consisted of myself and one other developer. During the first five years, the entire company was only built on USD $2m, so we had to be super strategic in what and when we built. Hiring additional product team members takes capital away from other areas of the business, so the investment soon stacks up.
At the same time, I also had to build out the rest of the company and secure new producers and clients, whilst driving the product from the top as the CEO, CTO, CPO and lead designer. Very often, I had to do 10 to 12-hour work days, which I still do today as I manage growth across 6 countries. Currently our product team is growing and we expect it to double by March next year so on many levels, the investment was, and still is, huge.