Launched at the beginning of this month, Present.me enables individuals and businesses to combine online presentations with video, viewable on demand.
I've been asking co-founder & CEO Spencer Lambert about the challenges of launching Present.me, its business model and plans for the future.
In one sentence, what is Present.me?
In a nutshell it’s SlideShare meets YouTube. It’s you presenting your content, online and on-demand.
What problem does Present.me solve?
It’s a problem everyone has. You want to share some content online but you and your client or colleague aren't available at the same time. There’s a million live applications like Skype or WebEx, but no solution if there’s a time difference or you’re sharing content with numerous other people.
We solve that problem so you can share the content, and also hear your voice and see your face at the same time.
When did you launch?
Last Wednesday, May 2.
Who is your target audience?
That’s one of the main challenges as it is such a broad target audience. There are a lot of specific verticals we want to look at, but there are 30m PowerPoint presentations given every day across all industries so we have got a very broad market base.
Initially we want to focus on one or two verticals once we have got the business version launched. Sales and marketing are the obvious ones, but there are 101 use cases.
What are your immediate goals?
In terms of tasks we need to do, first we need to launch the business version, that’s the absolute number one goal for us.
That’s the multi-user environment so you can log into a private space, which is effectively a walled garden, and see content from everyone else around your own business. You can then share content with colleagues or external clients if you want to.
Goal number two is to launch mobile. We’re already live with our iPad app and we are working on our iPhone and Android apps, so you can actually download the content and view it offline as well.
So you are then able to check through your presentation on the train before a meeting, for instance. The wider goal is to build up the user base, simply get in as many users as possible and start driving content.
Because it’s content that drives usage, which in turn drives more content. We’ve got 9,500 registered users so far and we want to see that keep increasing.
About 500-600 new users have signed up since last Wednesday, so it’s sped up since then, but during the beta period we did no sales and marketing - it was all through word-of-mouth.
How will the company make money?
It’s a freemium model at the moment, so it’s free to try and you get a limited number of presentations, but for those who want privacy, which is one of the key benefits that you get along with some other bits and pieces, it's a monthly subscription of $9.
The business version will also be a subscription model based on a number of users.
Who is in the team and what does it look like?
There are four founders, all from the communications sphere.
My background was a presentation designer with new media and multimedia clients, while our CTO Mike Marshfield was previously involved with the web and new media.
Richard Garnett and Charlie Simpson are both communications coaches, so they teach senior level execs how to give presentations.
That’s the core team, but Mike and I are the only ones who work full time on the business, the other two kind of float in and out, then we’ve got a couple of interns and a couple of developers.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five year’s time?
I think in one year’s time we would like to have a huge user base and be self-sufficient, so generating enough cash that we don’t need to rely on investors, then we'd also like to be starting to creep into some of the big enterprise accounts.
In three years, I would like to have some pretty solid ties with some of the bigger sites. So one of the things we are looking at is how we get into those enterprise accounts and how are they using social at the moment, and marketing and communications internally.
And there are a number of sharing platforms that are creeping their way in at the moment.
So it’s how do we tie into those and become fully integrated, but we can’t even begin to think about that until we are big enough to talk to them on equal terms.
In five years, I want to be on the beach.