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Powtoon: AWS Startup Stories Notes from Founders Vol1

Amazon Web Services Resources EMEA

Issue link: https://emea-resources.awscloud.com/i/1146520

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12 STARTUP STORIES Notes from Founders: Powtoon 'I wanted one of these cool, short, animated clips you see on MTV' Before that conversation with Danny, I'd been in many situations where I wanted to explain a new startup to someone and found it long-winded and difficult. Rather than a boring, corporate-style slide presentation, I wanted one of these cool, animated clips you see on MTV. But I discovered it would cost $10,000-$25,000 to get it done professionally, which was way over budget. It got me thinking: 'Wouldn't it be great if there was a product which allowed me to drag and drop things onto a template, add a voice-over, then click a button and create one of these videos?' I researched the market and although nothing like it existed, I didn't have the ability to execute it. So, it went on to my imaginary 'someone will surely create this product soon' shelf. Talking to Danny was the trigger to ask: 'What if we take the assembled knowledge and skill of those artists at MTV and bottle it? We can turn it into a product and the whole world will be able to create their own Powtoons.' 'Do people want this?' We started by asking: 'Do people want this?' Before we even started to write the first line of code for Powtoon, we launched a six-month market research campaign. I have a simple methodology when it comes to building a business. Once you've identified the market, one of the first steps is to go to where your potential target market assembles. That might be a website, online or offline club, or online forum. Once you've identified those hubs, you're looking to have conversations about your product's potential. When you have limited resources, every investment you make is tremendously valuable. You'd better quickly identify whether your assumption about where this is going is justified or not. Because if you're wasting your time, you're not investing it somewhere else it could be better spent. Right from Powtoon's earliest days, we involved what we call our 'tribe' in helping us make decisions. We didn't just throw something at them and say: 'Here it is.' We said: 'Guys, please give us your input and allow us to structure something around what your real needs are.'

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