Sam Bogoch’s company, axle.ai, helps clients with massive video files make sense of the content they have. The accumulation of video content is going way beyond the traditional broadcast networks and includes universities, large enterprises not in the entertainment industry, churches, sports venues etc. Video has yet to migrate to the cloud. It still sits in hard drives.
The conversation with this brilliant interlocutor expanded my understanding of significant trends in video.
Here are some highlights:
Some content owners have a petabyte of video in storage, that’s 1000 X what my laptop’s hard drive holds.
Video files are too big to move to the cloud; cloud storage used only for distributing final product so raw footage is still stored in big hard drives.
Footage captured in one night in Madison Square Garden could take weeks to upload.
Amazon actually has 18-wheelers that drive to sites of customers with particularly large amounts of data and receive the data via a 10-gigabyte connection, rather than sending the data over the web. Then they drive the data to Seattle!
Amazon now storing data closer to client sites.
Sam helped Avid rescue a product as a consultant and then signed on as a manager. Tripled business.
Sam was an intrapreneur for half his tenure at Avid.
Sam Bogoch’s work at Avid led him to discover the need that axle.ai now addresses.
Avid confronted innovator’s dilemma. Go after low-end business while cannibalizing its mainstay product.
Sam decided to leave Avid to pursue the low-end opportunity.
Joined co-founder Patrice Gouttebel with whom he had collaborated in an earlier venture.
Founders went to trade show with resume in hands just in case things did not work out; ended up winning award for best of show and getting validation of their product.
Pivot that axle.ai executed. Small players such as wedding videographers have little need for axle.ai due to the nature of their work. Company then focused on larger players who really had a problem with video content.
Customers came to axle.ai.
Solution included creating a low-resolution browser version of the video which could be easily scanned with AI object recognition.
Revamped the architecture of the software to accommodate the new type of client.
Availability of storage gives videographer permission to shoot indiscriminately; contrast with film days: Monty Python and the Holy Grail ended when they ran out of film.
Basic functions for searching on laptops don’t exist on network devices used for video storage.
Customer found lost movie master using axle.ai; instant sale!
Big stadium staff searching through duffle bags of disk drives looking a valuable scene.
Thousands of churches across the country are in axle.ai target market because they shoot so many videos.
Universities taking videos of classes are big users.
The U.S. Senate is a client. Going after state legislatures.
Company doing $1 million in revenue a year but growing fast.
Has raised a bit of angel money plus some VC money.
It’s a hundreds-of-millions opportunity in the near future; not a unicorn.
Will spend money on user interface to make it simpler to operate for a broader range of users.
Clients are leery of sending content to the cloud due to fear of breaches; another advantage for axle.ai; it’s air-gapped.
Sam Bogoch’s parting thought: reach product/market fit and everything else, like funding, will fall into place.