LDV Vision Summit

Spent the day at an amazing event – the LDV Vision Summit. Evan Nisselson brought together amazing folks who are involved in photography and video in every capacity. Whether they are developing new apps or SaaS platforms for storage or editing, or producing Justin Beiber’s YouTube videos – it was the full spectrum of talented creative and technical professionals.

The main takeaways were as follows:

-The costs of video and photography production have gone way down. Anyone can participate, and with high quality production values.

-Brands are not just publishers, they are network production planners. They are storytelling with text, photographs and video. They should be looking at their editorial calendars more like television networks develop their schedules.

-Authenticity counts. If you’re doing product placement or celebrity plugs, the context needs to make sense and be authentic.

-If you want to be a successful founder of a startup, VC’s participating gave the following advice:

-“Solve a real problem.”

-“Create something that other people say cannot be created.”

-“Be confident, not arrogant.”

There were so many great pitches and panels. I wish I could do them all justice. Click here to see the full agenda and get on the distribution list so you can catch the next event.

The bottom line is this: marketing is storytelling. What’s your story and how are you going to deliver it? What tools will you use?


Reverse Demo

Have you ever heard of a “Reverse Demo?” I hadn’t either…until I was asked to participate in one…so…tomorrow night is the big night.

Yes, that means ME——>PITCHING TO——->MANY ENTREPRENEURS! The shoe will be on the other foot!

It’s all good. Jesse Middleton, Co-Founder, WeWork Labs and Kathryn Minshew, Founder & CEO, The Muse are judging! David Concannon, Partner, Orrick is moderating.

The competition is tough. Check it out here – http://blogs.orrick.com/totalaccess/events/event/panel-event-reverse-demo-day-with-rre-softbank-greycroft-37-angels-and-other-investors/#.UmW-tsOHV-A.twitter

Well, keep a good thought, because as you know, anything goes on Demo Day!

Follow me @KristinCalve to see how it goes.

Are you building a product or a company?

As an investor or an entrepreneur it is easy to get caught up in product development. And yes, it is incredibly important to have an excellent product – or ten.

But, in the long run, entrepreneurs need to be building healthy companies. I meet with lots of incredibly smart and hard working entrepreneurs, and I am often surprised by how little thought they’ve given to the development of their company. We usually discuss pitch decks, market, competitors and customer acquisition/conversion – but there is not a lot of talk about how the company is organized or their plans to “build.” Staffing conversations are usually about developers, sales staff or marketers – almost never about COO’s or CFO’s. Even among themselves, founders often have not clearly defined their roles and responsibilities, leaving gaps that will cause problems as the company grows.

So, the next time we meet, don’t be surprised if I ask you about your company and how you plan to build it.