Sunday, March 20, 2016

PicSkip - A New Business Idea

It was right around Colson’s first birthday that Jason and I were looking at some of the photo books of Colson as a baby and Charlie when he turned one. We were flipping through the pages when Jason said, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could just scan one of these pictures and it would play a home video from that time?” Of course I agreed, but didn’t think much of it, assuming it was impossible. Jason thought for another minute and explained that it actually was possible if that image was a QR code. He was right! I kissed him for being a genius.

And so began our planning and obsession with PicSkip. I was thrilled because I quickly realized that this idea was a solution to one of the major problems I was having with all of the videos that we have taken. We have hours and hours of video, especially now since our smart phones take such great videos, but I didn’t know what to do with all of them. They pretty much just sit on the computer, hidden in the folders, and are watched only when I venture through the files searching for a particular video. I figured my video options were to make a ten hour DVD that I would never really watch, post it on YouTube where no one would watch them, take the time to put them on my blog where no one would watch them, or email random clips to my family that they would watch once and never again. What do I do with all of my videos that are worthwhile and meaningful to me? I hadn’t done anything with them as I didn’t see a solution that made sense to me and my needs. That is until Jason realized that we could use QR codes in our photo books that could be linked to our home videos that are stored online. We already use OneDrive, so we tested it out and it worked!

We were so excited about the idea and knew that others would be too! The possibilities don’t stop with photo books, there are cards, calendars, cook books, yearbooks, and the list goes on. There are already free QR code generators out there, but their focus is usually on helping commercial businesses advertise. Our focus would be helping the everyday person use QR codes to put home videos in their personal projects.

It has been a very interesting experience. A day has not gone by since Jason had the idea that we have not discussed some aspect of the project. We have talked about this idea forwards, backwards, and inside out. Do we go to photo book companies directly, do we host our own service, do we provide our own cloud storage, what should we call it? The questions never stop coming. I feel like Jason and I have only grown closer as we have worked on this idea. Morning, day, and night we are brainstorming, and every night we are working to progress and plan out the idea. Our free time is pretty much nonexistent and we may be a little more stressed, but it has been exciting. We are passionate about this idea.

We got to the point that we knew we needed to bring a developer into the mix. We were fortunate enough to have a smart web and app developer in our ward. We had a meeting with Austin the first part of December to get his thoughts and advice. He really helped point us in the right direction. He is so busy with work, two kids, and his own side projects that he wasn’t able to work on this project with us, but he was able to connect us with two other developers that were looking for a project to be a part of. We met with them a week or two later and we put our project into action. Now, we are only a couple of weeks away from a beta release of our website and app! Our vision for PicSkip goes beyond what our beta release will include, but it is a good place to start.

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