Awesome Ideas · Business Development

I have a post-revenue startup which is not scalable, what shall i do?

Yegor Isaev Co-founder at GodMode, CFO at StudyFree, ex-Deloitte, ex-RDIF

Last updated on April 5th, 2020

Hi everyone, happly to e-meet you all!


Some time ago I and my partner launched a startup called GodMode (link below).


The idea was to build a special video-rendering platform that would provide users with videos of highlights of their games in 1-2 minutes after the game. To give you a sense what I am talking about please see the links below:


https://storage.googleapis.com/dotaprophoto/highlight_video/05.04.2020.1334_5e89bf2c02f44cbc4d038da5_out.mp4


https://storage.googleapis.com/dotaprophoto/highlight_video/05.04.2020.1344_5e89bea602f44c2f2a038d98_out.mp4


So we developed an MVP and started to sell it as a B2B solution to e-sports statistical and learning platforms (i.e. GameLeap, Gosu.ai etc.), e-sports related news agencies/websites, famous Youtube streamers, and professional teams.


The answers we received:

  • Professional teams: videos are not their main brand component, they produce content themself and are not ready to pay for such a solution. Contacted approx. 20-25 teams, no contracts.
  • News agencies: some of those who we contacted replied that there is a lot of free content on the web like this, also news with videos does not generate a lot of views. Contacted 7 agencies, no contracts.
  • Statistical and learning platforms: got 1 client here (the only one we have now), most platforms do not believe in the value-added by video solutions, prefer to develop their statistical/learning tools without video.
  • Youtube steamers: need unique content.

So it looks like we have built something that works and can make money, but is not scalable. We are trying to test some new hypotheses but cannot find the right one.


Any advice on what to do in this situation?

What would you do?

Should we make a turnaround?

Any ideas on how to change the situation?


Our website: http://god-mode.pro/


Thank you!

Curt Sahakian Attorney

April 5th, 2020

You need to take a step back and think about how you can redeploy your technology for an entirely different industry and use.


At the same time there seem to be others here that think you can stick to the same industry but alter your business model or customer targeting.


These are not mutually exclusive.


If you can find an entirely different industry, you don't have to do it yourself, just partner with someone who understands that industry.


I have to wonder if what you have can be used to make fair use protected automated 5-7 minute reviews of movies. That would be an interesting application. You might even be able to build an entire advertising supported site around it. In fact if you think you can do something like that, but need some financing for it, please let me know.




Andy Freeman Product Management and ... - Looking for new opportunities

April 5th, 2020

This looks like a feature, not a product, at least with respect to e-sports. I have no idea whether the e-sports platforms buy tech.


There might be a market for a "best kills" channel/podcast/twitch stream. You run the channel and accept submissions via your site and tool.


There might be a market for generating highlight reels for real-world kids sports such as football, but I suspect that you'd also need some way to highlight specific kids, even if they didn't do that much. The audience here is parents who are making videos and send them to other family members.

Jonathan Lu Operator and Turnaround Investor

April 6th, 2020

If the scale that you can realistically reach generates enough revenue for you to be profitable and live a fulfilling life, I think there's a deeper question of what your objectives are for your business.


From the single customer you have, it doesn't sound like you have found product-market fit yet. Before you worry about building a business that is scaleable to 1M customers, focus first on building a business that is needed by 1 customer. Then 2, then 5 then 10, etc...


You've done the right thing by launching an MVP in order to gather customer feedback instead of spending a lot of resources to build a product that no one wants. The feedback you've received is exactly the test you intended to run. I suggest to focus now on either:

1) finding where there is a need for your product (other markets or use cases)

2) finding what is the need for your target customer (e-sports)


It sounds like you've already explored #1, and not found much interest. Getting 20-25 conversations with e-sports teams is gold - what did you discover from those interactions? Where do they have a need that your product or a different one that you can build can fulfill? Focus on the customer need more than the tech you've built.

Lance Cottrell Board Member, Advisor, Mentor, Angel Investor, Security Strategist, & Public Speaker

April 6th, 2020

It is a time for a pivot, if you can identify a good new direction. I would start with your core unique capabilities. What are they and how unique? Then you can start looking at possible customers with problems you could address. Before doing any more development take the time to properly validate that market. Do they really need it? Would it be a priority? What are the impediments to implementation?

Doug Jaeger Partner at JaegerSloan Inc

April 5th, 2020

I would reach out to the team at Vindex, https://vindex.gg/ they are building an Esports infrastructure company. The CoFounders, built a company and sold it Activision Blizzard. They might be the right people to help.

Yegor Isaev Co-founder at GodMode, CFO at StudyFree, ex-Deloitte, ex-RDIF

April 5th, 2020

In case you have any ideas on how to resolve this or partner who we can talk to we would appreciate to discuss. Thanks!

Alf Poor CEO at Ideanomics (Nasdaq:IDEX)

April 5th, 2020

Yegor, Have you tried Asia markets for traction? They are ahead in terms of spend on eSports. The other thing worth pointing out is that it needs re-branding. You have the intention to put off a lot of your corporate audience due to the word God. I think I get the intention, i.e. get the video of masterful, god-like, play achieved when gaming, but even in a world where everything is awesome, and there's seemingly never-ending superlatives thrown around offline and online as part of modern rhetoric, in my opinion it opens up a level of focus on the business that could be largely a negative perspective as you're introducing emotion and opinion into the name put on contracts and agreements. You've gotten past some important barriers, which is the first customer. You haven't mentioned how active customers use it, or why they saw potential or a need it fulfilled. I'm speaking in a very broad sense now, but looks like there is a pivot ahead of you, in terms of name and offering, to monetize the tech at scale.

Manil Uppal

April 5th, 2020

Can this be pivoted to record kid and teen games and then share highlights with all the parents? There are tons of 1st grade - 12th grade games that happen every week across the country. Parents could put a phone or multiple phones in places that captures the action. Once the game is over , your software stiches the highlights and shares.

Monetize on downloads. Showing the highlights is free.

Can align to other platforms that help schedule school games etc as a co-marketing add on.


Good luck!

Crystal E Educational Solutions Consultant - E-Learning & LMS for ALL industries - Marketing brainstormer - Nutrition Fitness guru

April 5th, 2020

The title of your website is off-putting for what you are presenting. It has nothing to do with God, and may even be blasphemous. Change your name, or make religious videos. If there’s no interest in what you have for this audience, find another audience.

Shahab Riazi Sr. Manager, Enterprise Services, SAP

April 6th, 2020

You are focused on the tech you built. The time to focus on that was when you were building it. Now, you should focus on the customers and their needs and in fact, change your product and positioning according to the customer needs. -- --Shahab Riazi ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------