First Beta Goes Well at Geekdom after Startup Stress

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“Hey, partner! I’m still in Austin at Hertz rental trying to get down to you, but all they got left is a truck,” exclaimed Gurkaran Gulati, Co-founder and technologist at Prompt Video, as we discussed details over the phone for our upcoming presentation at Geekdom on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. We had a couple of hours before our expected start time.

“So, drive down in a truck,” I said nervously as I peered at the time on my Mickey Mouse faced Apple watch while finishing up changing out the broken innards of the Toto toilet in my master bathroom. My wife Jenny had expressed to me for weeks how our toilet was dying, but the damn thing decided to die at such an inconvenient moment. I guess when you gotta go, you gotta go.

I knew Gurk’s Tesla was in the shop and it had been a hot minute since he last drove a gas vehicle, but surely he could drive a truck down Interstate 35 in traffic. This event at Geekdom, a collaborative coworking space and startup community located in the heart of the Tech District in Downtown San Antonio, Texas, was sponsored by us. We were also engaging our first beta testers. This means “real” users get to try out and provide feedback on our video app before a commercial release. This means I needed Gurk in SA! And, we needed the app to work!

Gurk Gulati’s Hertz Box Truck.

“No, not a regular truck, a box truck!” said Gulati. Visions of Gurk pushing cars into the median or off the road rushed my brain. “And, the app is crashing, but I only need like 20 minutes to figure out why, so I can fix it,” continued Gurk with reluctant confidence. 

And, so goes the life of a tech startup living in historic times of stress fueled by the pandemic, recession, war, loneliness, box trucks, and broken toilets. 

The co-founders of Prompt Video, Gurkaran Gulati, 29, and I, Angel Zuniga Martinez, 50, met as strangers with a shared purpose on Friday, December 10, 2021, at a Techstars Startup Weekend hosted by Geekdom, after we both lived separate journeys following a ten-year hiatus from our past entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Gulati, a successful AWS data architect, manager, coder, and DJ from Austin, Texas, once placed first at a startup weekend in San Diego, California, which resulted in Yapster, an audio app with initial traction and a lot of tech startup lessons. I’m a new creative agency owner at PR Story Studios LLC with ten years of nonprofit marketing and senior leadership experience who once ran a real estate company after enjoying a diversified career in private banking, commercial acting, and as a Brit pop-rock artist.

Prompt Video is focused on storytelling and sales growth for the 27%, approximately 2 million, of the 7.6 million businesses in the U.S. with over $200,000 in annual revenue and typically under 20 employees who NEED video content. In between expensive custom videos and stupid videos, there’s storytelling with a story structure that Prompt Video can get out of people through a prompt.

What’s a Prompt you ask? A prompt, within the Prompt Video iOS app, is a structured way to tell a story through directed video clips within a limited span of time. We can create prompt templates but businesses and brands can also create prompts based off our templates for various purposes. We can imagine this can be used for anything:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Job interview or college admissions to share candidates’ authentic self
  • Social media posts for brand or product awareness
  • Profile all students at school
  • Elevator pitches to build trust for businesses or professionals
  • Tell the story of my startup
  • Restaurant or retail to engage positive customer feedback
  • Events to provide shoutouts to attendees recording shared experiences 

Here are some key video stats you should also know:

54% of consumers want more videos from brands they support.

64% of marketers see video as the most difficult content to make.

70% of B2B customers watch videos on the path to purchase.

(SOURCE: www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/video-marketing-statistics)

In the end, Gurk arrived safely in San Antonio, we made it on time to Geekdom for a successful presentation, and all the beta testers of the Prompt Video app had fun, said it was simple, found value, and would pay for it when it hits the Apple store.

Gurk and I want to express a BIG THANK YOU to the Geekdom community and all the beta testers that provided us truthful positive and critical feedback! 

Yes, we’ll make the buttons bigger, and add some color. Yes, serving prompts and the audio needs support. And, Yes, we’ll offer a freemium level for ease of entry.

Everyone in attendance was awesome. Below are some of the Prompt Videos created by our beta testers, and a ‘behind-the-scenes’ video may be coming soon:   

https://youtu.be/kyAyFYvbwTc
https://youtu.be/qsvznSG9Nt0
https://youtu.be/wx7v3eH3Txc
https://youtu.be/5PphWJ_jVqs
https://youtu.be/DIkskmOy6vg
https://youtu.be/CaBAVpNEyws
https://youtu.be/Cmnh68R1zx8
https://youtu.be/o2Va00Gh4UU
https://youtu.be/o6llPJ0ijj8
https://youtu.be/I-kGbmMdREQ
https://youtu.be/5L3AStHiR5o
https://youtu.be/L3HDLuOdauI
https://youtu.be/8vxzekMx5Ak