Rise Above Regular Email And The Telephone

Inception

Hi, I’m Will Franco aka Flywheel (one of the folks that created jiveSYSTEMS).

And this is our story…

As a consultant migrating businesses from entry-level systems like AWeber into the beast that is Infusionsoft, I recognized a pattern:

> The clients I met at conferences would close the fastest and were the easiest to work with.

But I didn’t need a calculator to know it was time and cost-prohibitive to fly around the world and meet new clients face to face.

And so the little voice in my head kept saying, “There’s a huge opportunity here to create a solution.”

Two Guys in College and a Dream

will-and-paul-college

Yup… that’s us! You can see Paul’s excitement.

And then one day that that solution became clear.

It was 2007, online video was starting its meteoric rise, and that solution was glaring me in the face.

“Enable sales pros to record and send video email—allow them to teleport into their clients’ home or office with a few clicks on the mouse.”

That’s when I turned to my friend Paul Sokol (co-founder) and asked him if he was up for a challenge.

You’d think the Electrical Engineering Master Degree he was studying at the time was challenging enough. But the genius (and part mad scientist) that Paul is, he’d aced every test with ease and with a big smile on his face said “Yes.” (I love Paul!!!)

With Paul’s invaluable “High energy, we can do this!” attitude, we set out to create a solution.

Breakthrough #1 “The Godfather”

I made him an offer he couldn't refuse ;-)

I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse ;-)

Our first challenge as a start-up was…you guessed it…money.

I had some…but it wasn’t enough to create a minimum viable product and get us launched.

Besides, if we were going to do this, we were going all in. We wanted to skip MVP and go straight into beta launch.

So I called my Godfather and said:

Online video is going to change the way businesses is conduct forever. Equipment like webcams will become cheaper and better very quickly. And there’s a huge market for a video email and hosting platform enhanced with training for sales pros and teams…giving these folks the ability to teleport into their clients home or office.

After this brief phone call, and a then very rudimentary version of The Digital Handshake, he said “When I was younger, I wish I’d have taken more risks. I learned that success isn’t only about having a good idea…it’s about timing as well. And it sounds like the timing of this idea is spot-on. I’m in.”

He wired me the cash and we were in action.

Why Do We Exists?

Paul and I believed video would change the way sales pros do business.

And at that time, sales pros were limited to using email, telephone, and costly in-person meetings.

Companies like YouTube were already beginning to serve mid-sized business and enterprise.

But no one was focused on the the desires real sales pros had, such as:

  • I want to send a video email to one person or a group of people.
  • I want to embed a video in my emails.
  • I want to embed a video in my website or blog.
  • I want to display a call to action message at the end of my video.
  • I want see exactly how each person watched my video…etc.

It was shocking and we worked around the clock to fill the gap.

Will-Franco-aka-Flywheel

That’s me (Will) rocking Version 1.0 of our maverick-style Webcam and USB microphone setup!

Breakthrough #2 “The Launch”

its_free_rocket_bannerChance favors the prepared. And it seems chance also favors those who have a dream, roll-up their sleeves, and make it happen.

Our second breakthrough came in the form of a phone call from Infusionsoft, announcing they were doing the second co-sponsored webinar in the company’s history.

And seeing as though our new video email and hosting software was getting off to a strong start (and thanks to some strategic relationships we formed with some influencers early on), Infusionsoft invited Paul and myself to host the webinar and reveal to all their clients how to supercharge their emails with video.

The title of that webinar: “Learn How to Produce and Deliver Dazzling Videos in a Matter of Minutes.”

At the time, this kind of thing was unheard of… it might as well have been a webinar about “How to Find and Harness the Power of Golden Unions.”

Suffice it to say, the attendees thought we made a compelling case for our maverick-style of video production. The icing on the cake, we provided the video email and hosting platform too!

As a result, 300 people signed up in just 48hrs!

Breakthrough #3 “Tapping into the Power of Wistia”

“Standing on the shoulders of giants,”

…coined by Bernard of Chartres, a 12th century scholar, and popularized by Sir Isaac Newton.

What does it mean?

shoulders-of-giants

Said Sir Isaac Newton

Simply put “If you’re not a giant (or don’t want to be one), go find one you can trust and stand on their shoulders.”

And we were searching for a giant we could trust.

And that’s when Wistia caught my eye.

It quickly became apparent that we shared the same core values (Very Important!!!).

And Adam Zais graciously gave us the green light to tap into their encoding and hosting network.

He and the Wistia Team went above and beyond to get us connected.

We owe much of our success to the guys at Wistia (Respect!!!)

Their encoding and hosting network gives our software an indestructible backbone.

The Revamp/Version 2.0

Starting from scratch, we rebuilt the app brick by brick.

Starting from scratch, we rebuilt the app brick by brick.

Giant befriended, we secured the assistance of an elite Ruby on Rails programmer.

This is the same setup 37Signals uses (creators of the wildly successful app Basecamp).

Pete “The Code Ninja” Wright.

Pete had published 15 books on coding and sold over 250,000 copies worldwide.

And when I met with him in a coffee shop, he walked in with one of those trendy laptop backpacks, looking every bit like you would think.

But it quickly became clear Pete was far from a hacker.

He was a skilled programmer with business savvy.

He was lead on two projects called SocialSpark and Pay-Per-Post, enabling them to go from $1M to $100M in annual revenue.

We knew instantly Pete was our guy!

Pete rebuilt the platform from the ground-up making it easier and faster than ever before.

Today

The new maverick rig using a tripod.

We added in a tripod to achieve a better webcam angle!

So that leaves us where we are today:

We have the single-most powerful platform for sales pros to leverage video…and we do it in our shorts from beautiful locations (like my beach loft to the right).

No, we don’t have fancy bells and whistles like a web-based recorder.

And for good reason:

> Web-based recorders, while convenient, create crappy videos.

If you’re looking for a platform that’s packed to the brim with gimmicky features, we’re not for you.

But if you’re looking for a honed workflows and software platform that will get you results with video…

Join us and dominate your competition with short personalized video email message.

When you join, you get access to our platform, unlimited storage and bandwidth for all your videos, plus access to our library of curated  best practices.

Check out some of the companies using jiveSYSTEMS:

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