Viddy co-founder JJ Aguhob sees mobile technology as creative framework for entrepreneurial ideas.
Mobile technology is spreading to more and more corners of people’s lives. In the United States, 45 percent of adults now own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center, and that number leaps upwards of 65 percent for those younger than 30. All those pocket-size computers have uses far beyond basic communication. They are being used to make purchases, manage health information, coordinate disaster response, produce video and a host of other purposes.
Accelerating mobile adoption has created new business opportunities, and Viddy is one company riding the smartphone app wave. It’s developed an iPhone video app — an Android version is also planned — that allows people to capture 15-second video clips, add post-production effects and then share the videos on Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter and by email or SMS. Since launching in April 2011, the company has attracted 40 million users, including the likes of Jay-Z, Justin Bieber and Mark Zuckerberg.
Company President JJ Aguhob compares the video clips that Viddy users create to Tweets for the Southern California entertainment community, boldly claiming that “Fifteen-second Viddys are the ’140 characters’ of video for people in Hollywood.” In an interview, Aguhob, who co-founded the company based in Los Angeles’ emerging “Silicon Beach” with Brett O’Brien and Chris Ovitz, discussed mobility spurring creativity, experimentation fueling innovation and the end of form factors.
What has the so-called “mobile revolution” meant for entrepreneurs and startups?
I think mobile technology has shaped entrepreneurship by providing the entrepreneur with access to a wealth of information, connectivity to people they may not normally have contact to in the real world through social networks or public networks. Also mobile technology provides a creative framework for an entrepreneur to re-imagine and come up with new ideas.
[It's] a boon for creativity, partially because of how quickly technology evolves. As awesome as technology is today, it’s always going to change. Ultimately, creativity lies within people and their ability to decipher new technologies and to recognize new opportunities, and then to come up with really creative ideas around how to solve real issues.
Innovation is fueled by experimentation and the ability for you to measure failure. What you need to do as an organization or as a startup is organize yourself to fail quickly, but then to learn from that as well through measurement and testing iteration. I think 100 percent of innovation is driven by your ability to fail quickly and your ability to learn [from it] and evolve.
What do you think will happen with mobile computing over the next 5 years?
I think you’re going to continue to see miniaturization of technology. From a personal computer, to a laptop, to a mobile device, ultimately the form factor will disappear, and really you’ll have the access to all your important files, the processing power to be able to do whatever you want with it, and a form factor that will just be as powerful as you need it to be, whether it’s a full screen or whether it’s just something that you have in your pocket.
To experience technology in a much bigger way, either through, you know, an interface where you just kind of visually see things in front of you and be able to manipulate that, I think that’s kind of the direction where it’s heading.
How has mobile technology changed the way we live?
[It] has transformed the way that we interact, play and create by giving us connectivity to a network of people, giving us the ability to interact with them in a real social, intimate way, and also the ability for them to be creative and to make things that would be interesting to not only to their friends, but also to the world.