Q&A with VidIQ Founder Rob Sandie


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Rob Sandie is the founder of vid.io (update: rebranded as "VidIQ"), a new startup that helps companies with the management of video and marketing on YouTube. vid.io is currently accepting applications for beta access and it has already been called the "HootSuite for video."

I've been able to test vid.io and I'm excited to see where Rob takes the tool and company, especially because this is his second startup - Viddler being his first. In this interview, Rob shares about the problems vid.io hopes to solve, his thoughts on the startup scene, and insights from his experiences as an entrepreneur.

"Time is your most valuable asset. Hustle. Fail fast. Do what you love."

Social Nerdia: You haven't yet publicly shared details about vid.io but you did mention that you're "rethinking the entire video management paradigm." What are some of the greatest pain points in online video management today?

Rob Sandie: YouTube accounts for 70% of video minutes viewed online. It's also the second largest search engine. A brand should be focusing everything on YouTube. It's not about SEO anymore. It's about YTO (YouTube Tag Optimization). It's not about Branded Players anymore. It's about Branded Channels. Many social media marketers are forced to choose from a consumer tool (YouTube) and/or video platforms that are focused on an entirely separate CMS that consider YouTube a "syndication." It's about time that video was done right and vid.io is hoping to accomplish this.

Social Nerdia: vid.io is your second startup. What does it mean to you at a personal and professional level?

RS: My first startup began out of my dorm room at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Not your ideal startup location but was able to grow to a multi-million dollar/year profitable business. A difficult endeavor that took 6 years but something I am very proud of and proof you can start a company almost anywhere nowadays. Today vid.io (second startup) is located out of San Francisco. Have been here for 2 months and it's an awesome feeling. Best way to describe it is it's felt like for the last 6 years on the east coast I have been climbing a steep snow covered mountain with wind in my face. Being in San Francisco feels like skiing down that mountain with the wind at my back. That being said San Francisco has it's own challenges. Finding talent being the biggest. Fortunately having built a company with a network of developers that worked with in the past and credibility from that has made working with awesome talent a non-issue so far.

Social Nerdia: Mobile apps continue to get a lot of attention, especially after Facebook's $1B acquisition of Instagram. What are your thoughts on Viddy and Socialcam?

RS: Video recording mobile apps have existed for a while. I think of SocialCam and Viddy as companies that are more well known for doing a great job of leveraging the Facebook Opengraph.

Social Nerdia: What do you think Facebook's IPO means for the rest of the tech industry?

RS: It clearly hasn't gone as planned. Wish it was doing well as if Facebook was at 40 right now, we might be seeing more angel investors.

Social Nerdia: Getting back to online video, what do you think about original series getting created by Hulu, Netflix and YouTube?

RS: Sounds like the future of television.

Social Nerdia: With Viddler, what did you learn about being a tech entrepreneur outside of Silicon Valley?

RS: I hope it's generated a skeptical eye for hype.

Social Nerdia: After 6 years of leading Viddler as CEO and President, you had to step down involuntarily. What was that like and what have you learned from the experience?

RS: Not the greatest thing at the time but a huge blessing in disguise.

Social Nerdia: How did you get started in online video and where did all that passion for it come from?

RS: I was graduating from Lehigh with a Computer Science and Business degree and most of the software development was in C or C++. Not a very inspirational coding language and something I had a hard time connecting with. Then came a course in e-learning and was told to "

build something that teaches someone something in Flash.

" At the time Macromedia MX had just come out and made it really easy to have flash animations interact with video. So I put my head down for a few months and built a

blue's clues episode

that was designed to have students lean forward and engage with content. That landed me a 6-month stint at Macromedia (worked for a summer and while at school) on the Flash Video team, which allowed me to see the video ecosystem from a nice vantage point. I still remember the scaling issues/inquiries we got from Youtube in 2006. Looking back, it was a big coincidence but I registered interactivetube.com two months before youtube.com was registered.

Social Nerdia: What advice can you give to aspiring tech entrepreneurs?

RS: Big picture advice: Time is your most valuable asset. Hustle. Fail fast. Do what you love. Tips & Tricks advice: Read Hackernews daily (the iPhone app is golden). Dribbble is the best place to find designers and/or design inspiration.

Copyright © Esteban Contreras. All rights reserved.