SlideJar’s Pivot

As I muck my way through getting SlideJar off the ground, I am learning so much from a handful of seasoned, smart and savvy entrepreneurs that I can honestly say my entire world view has drastically shifted. I can see things that other people don’t in how businesses market themselves and how ‘value’ is created for consumers, things I would never have seen before. In a room the other day at a P2P (peer to peer) meeting of digital media company owners, the leader of the group and a trusted advisor to my own business said that in the world of Digital Businesses idea is 0% of the business and execution is 100%. Why? Because you put a bunch of smart people in a room, give them an hour and they will generate many great ideas of which the gross majority of them will never surface. A business is execution through and through.

And so, as SlideJar continues to grow (our library grew by about 40% in the last three months) and as we take on more network partners we are getting a better understanding of the value we stand to offer. This has led to a really great ‘pivot’ for our business. This pivot came in the wake of raising venture capital which requires a very clear path to monetization. Our technology will essentially remain the same, but the value we will provide will be directed to content marketing. Let me take you through our pitch:

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It’s a big problem

SEO experts and web content marketing are all pointing to ‘the long tail’ of content strategies as probably the most effective part of contemporary content marketing strategies. As Google continues to push its technology towards prioritizing content that answers questions, and as other search engines follow suit, getting your content in front of your target market is challenging, let alone finding content to feed your strategy. A website with ‘tagged’ content will no longer suffice. Web content marketers are pining after content that will drive their brand and struggling with the costs for running online campaigns. Finding content and feeding the ‘long tail’ of a content marketing strategy will become a priority for most brands.

If finding inexpensive ways of feeding a content marketing strategy wasn’t difficult already, understanding the content people are looking for and the content people find ‘valuable’ is even more difficult. Knowing that someone has visited your site, or looked at a page doesn’t tell you if they found it valuable. The rise of data collection on the web is now one of the primary sources of information used to make critical business decisions.

The long tail of content

Every business captures and communicates corporate information to its internal stakeholders and its clients through PowerPoint. Subject matter experts, consultants, speakers, students all use PowerPoint as a primary vehicle for delivering information. The amount of presentation slides created every day was estimated at about 300 million slides almost 10 years ago. And where PowerPoint is great at delivering content (when used correctly) it has never been a way to manage the distribution of content.

With all that knowledge captured in PowerPoint already created how can companies and individuals repurpose their content to better market themselves?

What’s the opportunity?

Conferences play an important role in helping companies and individuals market the content already found in PowerPoint to a very targeted market. Conferences bring groups of individuals who are part of the same community into one place and then connect the audience with cutting edge knowledge from vendors and experts in the field.  There are 1.8 Million conferences held annually in the US alone with 250 million unique attendees to those conferences. Most of the knowledge within a conference is captured in PowerPoint

The ability to centralize these presentations into a single searchable database is an important first step for finding and sharing this cutting edge knowledge throughout the Internet. In fact SlideShare (sold to LinkedIn for 119Mil) boasts 60 million unique visitors to its site every month.

However, content strategies must begin to account for both users wanting a more efficient way to find EXACTLY what they are looking , account for web search engines moving away from ‘tags’ as a primary vehicle for indexing information and account for better analytics on ‘value’. A single presentation contains many slides and merely bundling a presentation with tags leaves the user to search and scan for relevant content manually and distorts the data on what users are finding valuable.

Our solution is to allow a vast database of centralized slides to be searched within a slide and using key words that deliver results on a slide level not just the presentation level.

SlideJar.com provides access to anyone with an internet enabled device to upload their Presentation files to our database. Our technology automatically parses and indexes the uploaded files on a slide level. The entire database of files can be searched using the search engine on the Web Site.

Our search engine returns links to individual slides that match the search terms within seconds. Individual slides can be viewed, stored in a private collection, mashed together, shared via social media (or email) or downloaded back to any internet enabled device. As part of this process our system generates unique indexable URLs that all feed and generate a brand’s presence on the internet. Where SlideShare has created a single indexable URL for a presentation of 30 slides, our system potentially generates 30 unique URL’s.

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This excerpt is what our potential funders see (in draft form). What excites me is our ability to really hone in on the parts of your pitch, your slides and tell you what people are finding valuable because we dig in like no other service. My value to you, is going to be helping you find out whats valuable to others. Its kind of like being able to tell you on a page full of text what draws people’s attention.

Building this business and learning about the difference between an idea and the model to drive value from the idea has been an incredible journey. It has taught me that ideas alone offer very little. Every idea needs application. Innovation isn’t a great idea. Innovation is taking an idea to market.

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