DynamicVideo founder and COO Jack Cohen-Martin discusses how he evolved his core customer base during the recession.
00:07 Jack Cohen-Martin: Jack Cohen-Martin. I'm the COO and co-founder of Dynamic Video. Dynamic Video works with agencies and brands to create a next generation of video ads, online video ads that are engaging, targeted, highly personalized and optimized for increased value. I've been involved in startups in the last 12 years. Different roles, different positions, mostly as a project manager or developer, product architect, consultant. This was my first chance to actually take the lead.
Tell us about Dynamic Video.
00:55 Cohen-Martin: We started 2007, approximately, launched 2008. Initially we targeted the small businesses with the self-serve technology to enable them to create their own video ads. So it's the same space, the same need, same technology, but then the recession came. And by the end of 2008, we realized that our market is gone. So, after three years of focusing on one business model and market, we had to spin. And it was hard. Believe me, it's not easy to explain to everyone why to do the change. A lot of stuff we had to start from scratch. Especially the business model, and sales, and marketing. We had to let go of several people who were pretty much from within the small business industry. They understood small businesses and publishers, but they couldn't make the move working with agencies and grants and looking at the big picture.
What are some lessons you would pass on to other entrepreneurs?
02:15 Cohen-Martin: It's a run for distance, right? You need to be, to be ready to work hard on this idea for a long time before it pays off. So do something you like, try to find an idea that also makes sense in the market. Again, as I said, it's not good enough to have a good idea. Try to see if you develop it into a product and find people who can actually buy it from you. Like ask people, "okay, so if I do this or that, would you buy it? For how much?" And then try to assess how many people there are out there who will actually pay for it.
02:57 Cohen-Martin: This will give you some kind of a sense of scale and so on. But it's all about people. It's all about connecting to people. Both to be able to create something meaningful. To take a group of people and make them into a company. And then, to be able to take this product of theirs, and sell it to customers. You need to be able to connect and understand the customer, connect and understand your boss, your investor, and the other employees and colleagues that you work with in order to be able to get their best work out of them, or give them the best value you can offer.