Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Mike Pritchett, CEO of Shootsta .
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Shootsta offers a unique video production subscription model which provides the tools and resources to empower companies to create high-quality video content cost-effectively at scale.
We provide companies with a purpose built camera kit that’s been optimised with custom controls to shoot great video regardless of users’ skill level. We then train their staff on how to shoot video using the kit and they upload it to our cloud-based video management platform, the Shootsta HUB.
From there, an editor works, within brand guidelines, to add logo animations, music, lower third name titles, music and colour grading, and turns around a professional video ready to share in as little as 24 hours.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We’re self-sustaining business growing as we add clients. At the moment, we’re adding them at a rapid clip. We hit a milestone around the in April 2016, adding over 20 blue chip clients in less than 6 months, which was a huge achievement for us.
We operate on an annual subscription basis, where clients can scale up or down their subscription based on the number of videos they’re producing. The model’s working really well as we’ve only needed to raise funds once in the life of the company, and only needed $1 million to kick-start our next stage of growth. Our strategy now is to expand the business growth into Asia.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
We’re disrupting traditional video production, changing the culture around how companies view and create video and that can take time.
Video typically seen as expensive and time consuming. We’re making it easy, cost-effective and convenient for companies.
Some grasp this straight away, given video is by far the best communication tool for everything from internal comms to marketing campaigns. Others don’t see the point immediately, but eventually come around.
We're working to change people's perception of creating video ad-hoc, to having an always-on video content solution.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
The key difference is that Shootsta empowers a company’s own staff to shoot their own videos, saving both time and costs.
Outside of our offering a company would have to hire in a professional video producer to create content. This can cost anywhere upward of $5,000 per shoot due to the fact a crew with all the equipment needs to come to your premises.
Aside from that we pride ourselves on being a great place to work. We host parties for our staff, regular off-sites and hold a 2pm Table Tennis session every day to energise our staff for the afternoon.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Slack. It's our primary communication tool that keeps us always connected with each other, no matter what corner of the globe we are in.
It’s also great for taking staff coffee orders.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
"Move fast and break stuff."
We started Shootsta with the idea of having companies shoot video on their iPhones, but found that didn’t work due to discrepancies in quality. We pivoted and created the kit, which has led to a much better result.
In this tech era, you need to stay ahead of the game and keep pushing boundaries of what's possible. Even though we’re on a good path, we continue to innovate, evolve and break stuff.