If you’re launching a new app that’s trying to go up against YouTube, it helps to have “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban on your side.
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Ocho, which launched Tuesday, is a video app that lets users share 8-second videos with their friends.
“My co-founder Jonathan [Swerdlin] and I got together two years ago … and asked ourselves, ‘What would YouTube look like if it was built today, rather than ten years ago?’” co-founder Jourdan Urbach said. “The first thing is that it would be inherently social, and the second is that it would be bite-sized, and mobile-first.”
But competing with YouTube – let alone apps like Instagram and Vine, which also let users share short videos – is no small task. Here’s how Urbach said he and Swerdlin were able to get the attention of Cuban, who is the principal investor in Ocho’s $1.65 million seed round:
No. 1: Know your value proposition.
“If you’re building something and you’re not quite sure why it’s necessary, you need to think real hard about it, because you need to clearly articulate your value prop,” Urbach explained.
“You need to be solving a problem – whether they know they have the problem or they don’t yet, you have to educate them and have to be crystal clear on your mandate to exist,” he added.
No. 2: Don’t stress too much about your deck.
Urbach said it’s foolish to spend too much time or money building out your startup’s pitch deck.
“Pull out your phone … and play with [the app] together. That will do more to convince anyone you’re serious, versus having a polished deck with metrics,” Urbach said. “The numbers should be in the background, but it shouldn’t be your entire marketing.”
No. 3: Don’t be too intimidated.
“Treat investors like they’re humans,” Urbach advised. “They want to see what you’re building, and why you’re devoting your entire life to that.”