When a high school friend asked Alex Kuklinski how to do something technical, he created a video to help her out. In the process he helped out a couple thousand more people and a business idea was hatched.
“Tutorials I’ve created have more than 23 million views, seen in every country,” said Kuklinski, Founder and CEO of fyiio, a training video platform startup that is part of the 2017 NMotion Accelerator cohort. “Our content has been featured on NPR, OWN and Gadget.”
After being featured on NPR, Kuklinski got some interesting feedback.
“People were asking for written tutorials,” he said. “So I started marrying YouTube videos with written tutorials.”
It didn’t go well.
“It failed for two reasons,” Kuklinski said. “First, creating content myself is not scalable. Second, it was very hard to convert traffic from YouTube.”
The company was accepted into the Aksarben Lean Launch Pad program in 2014, which provided Kuklinski with new tools to refine his approach.
“It was my first exposure to lean methodologies,” Kuklinski said. “I was trying to take my process of creating tutorials and make it something scalable.”
The discovery process included interviews with content creators, users and companies that create training videos.
“I was trying to find out what do people like, what do they hate, what are the pain points of creators, what platforms are they using,” Kuklinski said. “Up until NMotion we knew the problem existed, but who are we going to sell to? We want to finalize and pursue a single target customer segment.”
How is NMotion helping?
“The thing I really appreciate about NMotion is the structured approach,” Kuklinski said. “Before you’d just get random advice. With NMotion they really prioritize understanding all the companies at a deep level.”
Kuklinski is also being helped by the addition of Chief Technology Officer Dan Casson to the fyiio team.
“Dan joined last week, and that’s been exciting since I’m not a technical person,” he said. “Up until now the idea has been conceptualizing but I haven’t had a way to put it in front of people.”
Following an initial validation and feedback from the NMotion team, each company agrees to a set of structured action steps designed to help them focus.
“Sometimes I think it’s easy to get lost in something, especially for teams that come in with a wide range of ideas,” Kuklinski said. “NMotion is forcing us to focus on a very specific group of people. For me at least, that guidance has been really valuable.”
The concept fyiio is testing with specific market segments is a platform and framework for companies to create and publish tutorials relevant to customers and employees.
“High growth companies that have adopted agile development practices (typically SasS companies), as well as small independent teams that need to provide support to their customer base,” Casson said.
Kuklinski said they are starting with the WordPress developer market with designs to move on to SAAS companies.
“What we’re finding is there are a ton of WordPress developers,” he said. “They’re much easier to get ahold of because they’re smaller teams, more likely to respond.”
The action steps involve validating the concept with this focused segment, mockup development and testing through free trials.
“We reach out to at least 10 people in the market segment,” Kuklinski said. “If 60% can articulate our value proposition, we move to mockup development. If enough people who see the mockup commit to a free trial, we build it with off-the-shelf parts.”
So what does success look like?
“The grand vision is that this becomes a universal training solution,” Kuklinsi said. “We’re looking for the lowest-hanging fruit.”
Rod Armstrong is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for AIM in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a regular contributor to Silicon Prairie News.