Hey Y Combinator!
This demonstrates Creek in like... 5 minutes!
There are 5 basic components.
Creek Stories: Studio-quality videos for anyone. (This is the big idea, and why I'm applying to YC.)
Creek Recording System: A simple "cardboard studio" that improves recordings for Creek Stories.
Creek Studio: Our SaaS that automates studios – and will allow people to book recording sessions for Creek Stories. (Live demo here)
Creek Broadcaster: A device that reduces the friction to install Creek at nonprofit radio stations – the initial set of friendly studios that will record people.
Creek.org: The public-facing organization that drives Creek forward.
COVID-19 and Creek — Two ways that Creek could assist:
Helping people record nice-looking videos of themselves in their own home, rather than in a studio.
Allowing radio stations to control their studios remotely.
See the red text below.
View mock-up here: https://stories.creek.org – or click this photo:
Creek Stories is a way to answer these questions:
- What if anyone could get their own short documentary?
- How would they use it?
- How could it help them?
Creek Stories is the opposite of Facebook Stories: It's a way for anyone to get their own long-form, studio-quality videos for marketing or personal use – and they are preserved for decades, rather than for 24 hours.
It is especially for "non-technical" or "non-artistic" people. Creek can reach the millions of people who wouldn't otherwise create recordings of themselves.
Some possible uses:
- Small business owners creating advertising videos.
- Senior citizens preserving their stories.
- Nonprofits describing their mission.
Creek for Enterprise: Stories Wanted
This is how Creek Stories can be an enterprise product.
(View the mock-up above, and scroll down to Stories Wanted.)
Creek can give brands a way to create authentic marketing material, while simultaneously doing something good – helping people tell their stories.
- Imagine a brand like Nike sponsoring 100 stories – authentic, personal stories of people talking about sports, or their childhood pair of Nike shoes.
- Creek would provide the marketplace (an index of Stories Wanted) and the infrastructure of studios to create these videos at scale – recording people wherever they are.
- People who are interested in telling their Nike-related stories will visit a local studio and get recorded.
- Creek filters down to the best stories, leaving out low-quality ones.
- We edit the videos so that each one looks consistent.
- Nike gets a gallery of these stories, which they can post on Twitter, etc.
- Creek gets promoted, too – through "Creek.org" logos on the gallery.
Creek Recording System
(The "Cardboard Studio")
It's like Google Cardboard – but for building an instant video-recording studio for Creek Stories.
It can be used by studios, or shipped directly to some users – allowing people to record themselves at home or work.
Below – that's my goofy face in the "interviewer" position, acting as "story coach" to help a hypothetical Creek user tell their story.
Eventually, this system will allow us to add machine learning to catch video/audio issues in real time – since the main camera will be a smartphone.
COVID-19 and Creek — By shipping this to users at home, we can remotely help them record nice-looking videos of themselves. This could help small business owners create videos to sell their products from home.
This is what gives us a path to getting the first 1000+ of those nonprofit/indie radio stations to use Creek.
The underlying music automation code is already playing music inside 200+ US restaurants right now. It will soon automate radio stations as part of the Creek Studio – freeing them up to record people in their local areas.
It's a standalone SaaS platform that we sell for $50-$100/mo, and so it provides monthly recurring revenue for Creek.
Right now, it supports audio, and we'll be adding support for video – i.e. managing the recorded videos of people from Creek Stories.
Lastly, studios can make certain 1-or-2-hour schedule blocks into available session times for Creek Stories.
COVID-19 and Creek — Creek Studio will allow radio stations to run their studios remotely, or allow each DJ to publish their audio from home (nonprofit stations often have 30+ DJs who need to come to the studio each week). Hundreds of small stations are struggling with this right now.
The Creek Broadcaster is a small hardware device that provides a complete software and hardware stack for nonprofit/indie radio stations – and there's about 3000 of these stations in the US and Canada.
Its bigger purpose is get Creek installed quicker at radio stations – giving us a strong foothold on an initial set of studios. (Then, we'll expand into the broader field of non-radio studios.)
That's me in the photo – after digging around under a table, and plugging in the cables – for the very first Creek Broadcaster!
I installed it at an FM radio station inside a youth center in Oroville, CA. It's streaming their audio live, and it will soon automate their entire radio station.
Shhh, just between us – it's actually a mini-PC that I bought on Amazon, and I added a vinyl logo sticker that I created on StickerMule.
Similar to Mozilla.org – Creek.org will move Creek forward as a company.
Creek.org will benefit Creek in these areas:
- Marketing: Creek.org will get shared organically on social media simply by doing something important – recording people's stories. It will attract broad consumer interest, rather than just niche "studio" and "radio" industry people.
- Donations: It will get free resources, like CDN usage (e.g. CloudFlare). This will help cover bandwidth costs when certain stories become viral.
- Enterprise: It will augment our enterprise version of Creek (as explained above). Since corporations sponsor Creek to record specific types of stories, a "dot-org" will help garner the trust needed to record people's personal stories in the service of these corporations.
- Long-term Archiving: Similar to Archive.org – Creek.org could be the enduring entity tasked with maintaining archives for decades.
Lastly, I may also follow Mozilla's corporate structure – if it doesn't break too many things. That would mean incorporating the Creek Foundation as a 501(c)(3) and Creek Inc. as a regular C-corp.