Tell us little about you, what is your background?
I’m a humanities person by background. I originally started my career in theater and film, and I morphed into becoming a marketing executive. This led to getting involved with digital media which led to getting involved with design, spending over 15 years as President of frog design and Quirky, which eventually led to growing and running businesses which have now led me to Vidlet.
Explain Vidlet. What does it solve and how does it work?
Vidlet is a mobile-first insights tool. The platform solves a couple of big business problems – on the market research side, it lets you quickly find and interview respondents all over the world without the cost of actually sending people to those locations. This means you can find respondents anywhere in the world.
How it works is we get their email address, we send them a username and password, they download the Vidlet app and it has a list of questions, especially for the subject that our client wants to know about, then the respondents use their smartphone in a sort of selfie mode to record themselves, show us the environment they’re in, show us what they’re working on, record a diary — whatever’s asked of them. It’s so simple, and it’s a really effective way to reach a lot of people in a compressed amount of time and also get a large, diverse swatch of people.
What’s also great about Vidlet is that it’s got this really robust web-based back end that allows you to tag videos, to do keyword searches, and to put together playlists. It’s really helpful in allowing companies to easily organize and distil insights from the video they’ve captured in a very effective way.
Your background is mostly in design. How does that lead to video insight?
Well, great design is about two things – it’s about knowing what the problem you’re trying to solve for is and for whom are you trying to solve that problem. So video insights means you’re allowing yourself to understand what the problem they’re trying to solve is by talking to people, and trying to get insights into those people and their unique needs, values, and desires. Because the problem you’re solving for in Milwaukee you’d probably solve for differently than you would for someone in Sub-Saharan Africa. And you have to understand those two things.
Who is a typical Vidlet client?
A Vidlet client is really any company that wants to truly understand their customers. So anyone who wants to understand and gain insights into what problems customers are having and into the people you’re collecting insights from. This platform really is for any company that wants to make better products and services, from startups to Fortune 500 companies and everything in between.
Vidlet also offers feature-rich video management features.
What can Vidlet discover that was previously invisible?
Before Vidlet, I think many of people’s true feelings, opinions, and tastes were pretty invisible to companies. That’s part of the beauty of Vidlet – the scale at which companies now have access inside the lives of their current and potential customers and users.Typical qualitative and ethnographic research has been done on a very small-scale because it’s very expensive to do therefore you’d usually only get a respondent pool of, say, ten people. It’s very expensive to send people to different parts of the world to do this kind of in-depth research. So what Vidlet allows companies to do is to get access to a wide swath of respondents from different parts of the world very quickly and effectively.
What excites you in the visual tech space today?
Over the course of my career, I’ve spent a lot of time in the video business, so I personally know — and there is longstanding research to support this — that visuals deliver much more attention and power than words alone. But the problem with video is it’s always been messy and hard to work with. So now that the technology has kind of caught up with the demand and the need is really exciting. The fact that we can now very simply use video, use our mobile devices, to capture these insights is really exciting in my opinion because you’re simplifying a really complicated technology, in this case video, and you’re making it really easy for people to use and understand. And the thing about video right now is people are really comfortable with using the technology to capture themselves and reflect their lives. So marrying those two together is kind of a perfect combination.
Vidlet greatly facilitate ethnographic research using mobile technology.
What would you like to see Vidlet offer that technology cannot yet deliver?
Vidlet is humanizing technology. You always hear nowadays that technology separates us, but I think in this case the empathy transfer that Vidlet allows for really brings us closer together. It allows for a learning and understanding that allows companies to much better empathize with their customers, especially when we watch these people in their own environment. So that’s the beauty of Vidlet – that it’s bringing together and it’s humanizing this technology.
LDV Vision Summit: What are you looking to get out of it?
I’m very excited about this year’s LDV Vision Summit. There’s so much going on right now in the visual space, and LDV does a great job of bringing together a core group of people that really are on the cutting edge. So the learnings that you’ll find in that kind of environment are so valuable. For me it’s about getting exposed to new information that I can bring back and incorporate into what we’re working on at Vidlet, meet some great new people, get ideas, and be inspired.
This Q & A was originally published on Kaptur.co.