30 minutes at 12seconds.tv shows future of “reality based” tech startups

Welcome back after Christmas. Yesterday I visited Santa Cruz to shoot some surfers with Marc Silber, photographer, and to visit 12seconds.tv.

At first glance 12seconds.tv is a lame idea. But, most of you thought the same thing about Twitter. So, that first impression should be thrown in the recycling bin along with all the torn up wrapping paper from Christmas presents you received yesterday.

What is it? It’s a service that lets you upload or record videos 12 seconds at a time. Sort of a video Twitter. It’s gained a cult following around the world.

But forget all that.

In my 30-minute video interview I discover a few other reasons to pay attention to this team and this service and why this company shows the future of tech startups in our new “reality-based” economy (I split the video into two parts. Here’s part one and here’s part two).

1. This isn’t their day job. They all work other places during the day. But are building this on nights and weekends, which is why I visited the day after Christmas.
2. They are part of the new “reality economy” which is self funded until they find a revenue stream which is significant enough for them to live off of. Only then will they go for VC funding, if they need it at all.
3. They are using a “cloud bursting” architecture. All the videos are hosted on their own servers, but if one gets popular they move it, and all the traffic, over to Amazon.com’s web services, to protect their servers from being overloaded. This lets them serve a lot more people very efficiently and cheaply.
4. They use Twitter for everything. Customer service. Building community. TweetDeck is up on their screens and they use iPhones — even answering questions on Christmas day.
5. That lack of resources causes them to focus on one thing, and one thing only (I wish Podtech had learned that).
6. In the second part of the video they demo their new iPhone app which they charge for “if no one is going to pay for this why are we building it?”

Anyway, enjoy. You’ll also see Marc Silber shooting photos in the video and Jeremy Toeman explaining how he’s helping 12seconds with PR and strategy. From 12seconds.tv you see Jacob Knobel, lead developer, who, along with Sol Lipman and David Beach started 12seconds.tv (you see all three in the videos).

What do they mean by “reality based?” Well, they have already noticed that investors are looking at monetizeable ideas much more closely and are less likely to fund things that don’t have community support already and don’t have a good idea of how they’ll make money in two years.

Welcome to the new “reality based” tech startup. Anyone have any other examples?

19 thoughts on “30 minutes at 12seconds.tv shows future of “reality based” tech startups

  1. BlackTree TV is, as you coin, a reality-based startup. BlackTree TV is a media company producing urban content with a social twist for broadcast on new media platforms. We’ve been going at it for 5 years with the last year bringing in rev as we finally build a community and views we can actually monetize. We see 2009 bringing in much larger rev streams. check it out on http://www.blacktree.tv and youtube.com/blacktreemedia

  2. BlackTree TV is, as you coin, a reality-based startup. BlackTree TV is a media company producing urban content with a social twist for broadcast on new media platforms. We’ve been going at it for 5 years with the last year bringing in rev as we finally build a community and views we can actually monetize. We see 2009 bringing in much larger rev streams. check it out on http://www.blacktree.tv and youtube.com/blacktreemedia

  3. Hi Robert !

    Since you ask… let me plug http://storytlr.com ! We are trying to reinvent how people share their stories by mashing up tweets with photos and videos. We are two guys based in Belgium and The Netherlands, doing this during our free time. I would be happy to tell you more (eschnou on twitter) !

  4. Hi Robert !

    Since you ask… let me plug http://storytlr.com ! We are trying to reinvent how people share their stories by mashing up tweets with photos and videos. We are two guys based in Belgium and The Netherlands, doing this during our free time. I would be happy to tell you more (eschnou on twitter) !

  5. This is a great look inside. Thanks Scoble. I signed up a few weeks back, but haven’t used it much since I don’t have a camera on my phone and am not in the habit yet of carrying around my flip.

    You are so enthusiastic about Twitter – have they asked you to be their official mascot yet? :)

  6. This is a great look inside. Thanks Scoble. I signed up a few weeks back, but haven’t used it much since I don’t have a camera on my phone and am not in the habit yet of carrying around my flip.

    You are so enthusiastic about Twitter – have they asked you to be their official mascot yet? :)

  7. thx for the video: great to see that the guys responsible wear old-school santa cruz hoodies. i still haven´t found out why to use 12seconds, but anyway i´m pretty fond of it so far.

  8. thx for the video: great to see that the guys responsible wear old-school santa cruz hoodies. i still haven´t found out why to use 12seconds, but anyway i´m pretty fond of it so far.

Comments are closed.