As you all might already know, I created a new startup a few months back called DreamSync.
It’s a little piece of software that helps video editors synchronize their audio and video footage “automagically”.
Recently, I’ve had a lot of people approach me asking how I created such a successful solution for video editors out of (virtually) thin air. The entire journey is documented over at AppSumo’s Make Your First Dollar online course, but I figured I’d share it with you guys on here to show you what it takes to build a minimum viable product from absolute SCRATCH to a reality.
Here’s the original entry that I posted on the course’s internal page:
I came into this course with a good idea but no direction for how to move forward with development, validation, etc.
The idea was to create an application to help video editors easily synchronize their video and audio footage recorded on separate devices. In my personal video experience, I know that this is a HUGE issue and I wanted to find a way to personally fix it for myself… but what I didn’t realize was how many people had this issue as well. What they were looking for was an easier AND more affordable solution than the only 3 that are currently in existence.
So here’s what I did…
Step 1: Validated the Idea
I threw myself on every single “niche” forum I could find for video editors and asked the question “How do you guys sync your audio and footage together and what tips does everyone have”?
Their answers were ALL the same.
Exactly as I had predicted, the process of syncing audio and video together in this industry has not changed since the rise of digital video.
As a bonus, I asked everyone if they would pay for a tool that would seamlessly allow them to sync their audio and video. Everyone said “HELL TO THE YES”, but also said something along the lines of “IF ONLY there were such an app out there that would do this…”
BOOM. That’s all the verification I needed.
Step 2: Created the “Prototype”
I jumped on Elance.com (one of my favorite freelancer platforms) and posted a job to create the app.
I drew out a prototype (on a piece of paper) that explained how I wanted it to look. And I even went as far as showcasing some wireframes (digital mockups) of exactly how it might function using the wonderfully AWESOME templates over at Keynotopia.com.
If you have Keynote and a MacBook, this little $50 package is ALL you need to dream up any app/software that you can think of.
Step 3: Created an Epic Demo Video
As you saw on the website, I created a really great screencast video demo of the product and physically showed how it can take away some pain points in a real-life situation for editors. Honestly, without that demo video, the app wouldn’t be doing as well as it is right now.
Step 4: Reach Out
Once we had the prototype good to go, I threw up a “sign up for beta testing” form on the landing page next to the demo video, and posted a link on Reddit under the subreddit “/video editors”
I said that I was giving it away for free for a few days to “beta test”.
THE INTERNET WENT FUCKING CRAZY.
Seriously, I had 500 people sign up in 2 days. The site’s stats went from 0 to over 4,000 views in just two days. GREAT for SEO. After the initial 5 days of having the “free sign ups”. I took the beta testing form down and replaced it with a Paypal form, stating that “Beta tests have now ended, but you can still get DreamSync for 50% off before we officially launch on March 20th”.
And would you believe that over 50 people have purchased within the last month alone at $40 a pop?
I think all in all, it’s about solving people’s problems. That’s ALL there is to it. Come up with something that doesn’t have a solution yet, reach out to REAL people and ask them if they have the same issues with said problem, and create the solution.
I seem to have nailed it with this particular product. And everyone loves it. At this time, Beta testers LOVE the app, pre-sales are consistent, and we’re officially launching the app on Thursday so all those people that pre-purchased will finally get their product.
At this point, the sky’s the limit!
Sidenow: Noah, and everyone else over at AppSumo are absolutely INCREDIBLE people with high energy and the sheer belief that giving you tools to empower the greater good is their sole purpose for existing… and they never fail to impress. If you’re looking to create a digital product or run your business more efficiently, definitely sign up for their weekly newsletter. It’s free!