Founder Interview: How the Recession Forced us to Change our Business Model

Bettina HeinBettina Hein is Founder & CEO of Pixability, a startup based in Cambridge, Massachutes, close to MIT of which she is a graduate. It aims to help people make professional videos in a real simple way.

"Our biggest challenge was finding a market segment that had a) a strong need for our services and b) willing to pay for them. We started the company to serve families but quickly discovered that our customers loved the service but it was 'nice to have'.
We launched our service in October 2008 and luckily the recession quickly showed us that we were on the wrong track. I also founded my last company in a recession and I've learned that a tough economic climate magnifies the weak points in your business model and forces you to iterate faster."

When the company started it targeted the consumer market, but recently it has changed its business model to target the business-to-business market.

"Our goal is to create 1 million videos with over a billion views."

Time for The NextWomen Founder Interview:

How did you come up with the idea of your start-up? Were you always an entrepreneur by nature?

I come from a family of entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals. Pixability is my second startup. I came up with the first iteration of the idea as I was graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My previous startup SVOX, a speech software company based in Switzerland was a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

How did you form your team? Do you have a mentor or coach?

I formed my team by asking people in my trusted network to work for me or recommend capable people to me. I've never had a formal coach but I've been lucky to have very good mentors. I've also learned a lot from my co-founders and entrepreneurial peers.

How did you fund it, with how much money, and what is the business model? I understand you went form B2C to B2B, do you think you will go back to B2C at one point?

As far as I'm allowed to answer them according to the confidentiality requirements of our investors, here I go: I funded Pixability during the first year from my savings. An angel investment round followed. Our business model change to business videos has been very successful and no return to the business-to-consumer segment is planned.

Can you tell a bit about your current method of having enough cash flow? What is the most difficult hurdle to overcome? Or are you bootstrapping?

Our customers pay us for creating videos for them. We are currently working on achieving large enough scale. Scale in production as well as marketing are the keys to success in our sector.

What makes you different from other players in your sector?

We have a simple 3 step programme: 1. Pixability sends out a video camera ), 2. The user shoots the video and sends it back, and 3. Pixability edits the video.

Pixability helps small and medium-sized business market themselves with video. Our extreme focus on making video easy and affordable for growing companies differentiates us from most players in the sector that are specialized on enterprise solutions.

pixability

 

What was your biggest challenge during the development process and how can other start-ups learn from that?

Our biggest challenge was finding a market segment that had a) a strong need for our services and b) willing to pay for them. We started the company to serve families but quickly discovered that our customers loved the service but it was 'nice to have'.

We launched our service in October 2008 and luckily the recession quickly showed us that we were on the wrong track. I also founded my last company in a recession and I've learned that a tough economic climate magnifies the weak points in your business model and forces you to iterate faster.

What is your vision for your company long term?

Pixability wants every business website to use video because we believe that there is no better way to leverage the entrepreneur's passion for their company. That is why we are working very hard to democratize video and make it accessible to all small but growing companies.

Our goal is to create 1 million videos with over a billion views.

Video is very important for entrepreneurs to grasp in this web 2.0 and social media atmosphere.

We recently did an interview with a woman business owner who also describe her challenges in starting her business.

http://www.inspirest.com/interview/vanessa-maddox-the-girlfriend-group/

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