Vision The Founder Institute Prepared by Ziv Gillathttp://About.Me/ZivGillat Twitter: @gillat
What am I passionate about?• photography in general, but specifically: – making people look their best, especially: • women. But: – Ill shoot men as well, sometimes :-)• love to capture moments in time• love to be a "fly on the wall", and see and share moments of those that Im photographing• BUT, extremely passionate about having people share their images and videos with their loved ones, with their high quality cameras, not just their camera phones
Eye-Fi -- a tiny revolution memory card with built-in Wi-Fi make your camera wireless
connecting a complex ecosystem gadget? system.
Eye-Fi -- the system into the system from the moment of capturewirelessly through home, hotspot, mobile networks enhanced with cloud-based servicesto all the devices and places for sharing and saving
Eye-Fi – today…• From 4 founders to 45 full time employees + many that are outsourced (manufacturing, support, operations, distribution)• Raised 4 rounds, in excess of $50MM, ~ every 18 months (most common)• Sell in all major retail in the US, Europe (via Sandisk), Japan, Canada and now A/NZ• Multiple revenue streams, from cards & services• 300MM photos & videos uploaded last year (~1MM per day)• 85% across top 10 camera OEM’s – Eye-Fi Connected• 2.5X sales YoY
What is your vision?• My vision is Eye-Fis vision. I couldn’t imagine it any other way: – help consumers share & organize their photos and videos, effortlessly. • photos have a lifespan, and if theyre not shared quickly, they become stale. This is bad for families, as well as for business. – stale images dont get monetized, printed, shared, and could get lost easily
How do you translate your passion and vision into a business idea?• 4 of us started to meet in mid 2005, to discuss the issues with the photo imaging industry: – cameras are fun to use – getting images out of them is a chore. Its not rocket science, but people end up putting it off, like any other chore. – connecting cameras is key. Camera phones are connected but have poor quality. Cameras are unconnected, but have great quality.
How do you translate your passion and vision into a business idea?• the business evolved. We started with a totally different idea, but the VCs didnt believe that 4 technical guys could pull it off, business-wise. – we pivoted, and went to idea # 2 -- the Eye-Fi Card. Formed the company with the name Eye-Fi, but didnt think that well do Wi-Fi, until much later :-)• Started by thinking that well only sell cards.
How do you translate your passion and vision into a business idea?• didnt know that: – we will get into services – rev share with printing sites – geolocation – open hotspots – archiving and backups, storage – charging OEMs, to put our software inside their cameras. Were tiny & theyre HUGE. Even today. – smart phones will play such a key role in our future strategy, i.e. Eye-Fi Direct, KDDI, Docomo cloud services
Quick timeline• mid 2005 starting discussing the problem• 1/1/06 started full time, and raised our first angel• 4/1/06 “alpha” – the card uploaded the first photo over TCP/IP• 9/1/06 paid “beta”• 2006 raised $1MM from angels, about once a month• Q107 closed A• Q407 launched into online retail (Amazon, etc…)• Q208 launched brick & mortar retail• Closed B X2 Eye-Fi Connected closed C closed Sandisk Japan, Europe, Canada Eye-Fi Direct, Eye-Fi View Premium closed D announced KDDI & Docomo (#1 & #2 carriers in Japan) stay tuned
How do you brainstorm ideas?• insanely strong technical co-founders, very unique in breadth.• Sometimes, very passionate / argumentative, but never lose the respect and friendship. Never• put our ideas down on slides, debate, debate, and debate some more• then, we test them with consumers, or existing customers
What are the tools for evaluating your ideas?• test them around eStaff and employees• www.researchnow.com• www.usertesting.com• www.SurveyMonkey.com• www.MailChimp.com
What are the makings of a good idea versus a bad idea?• Will people love it?• Could it change or disrupt how they do things? – be careful from being too disruptive. Technology is already hard to market. Being truly disruptive will take longer to market. – many ideas can be good, but are just "solutions looking for problems"
What are the makings of a good idea versus a bad idea?• sometimes, you may be passionate about an idea, but youre the only one that thinks its a good idea. TEST. – Trust your friends, and ask them for their opinion – dont worry about copying. No one is going to copy your idea, and if they are, either its too easy to produce and you have no competitive advantage, or – you now have validation that someone else takes your idea seriously enough to attempt it as well (this is rare, especially at your stage)
Should you pursue multiple ideas at once, and when should you focus on one?• no. You cant afford to work on more than 1 idea. Your size is your best weapon• The fact that youre tiny, and can change on a dime, is also a powerful weapon, against the conglomerates. Have a LASER focus. Its the only way you will stand a chance to win.
But, some parting words• Don’t start with an exit strategy. Build a business, and keep building.• Being a founder essentially means that you have a disease. It’s the toughest thing that you will go through, but you’ll keep coming back for more.• Make sure that you plan for 7 years of fun. Imagine that now. Can you envision pursuing your idea, even when it gets tough, for 7 years?