How we came to create the best presentation software on the planet…(The secret origin)
It all started when I was patching together another one of my somewhat mediocre Power Point presentations. I am not a designer but I know when something looks good. So I was attempting to spice my presentation up with some clever effects and transitions, only to find that the sheer complexity of the sequences and visual awkwardness combined to give it a really unprofessional look. (I am not saying that all Power Point presentations look unprofessional, I am just saying that mine do.) As much as I PowerPoint, I was so frustrated that I started searching the web for something – ANYTHING – to replace it.
My Search for a PowerPoint replacement
In my search, I came up with about a dozen PowerPoint Web-A-Likes, Prezi and Sliderocket. Kudos to Prezi and Sliderocket for trying something a little different, but when I tried them, they just didn’t hit the spot for me. I felt initially that Prezi was a little difficult to get my head around with all the paths etc…and I abandoned it after the first few tries, while Sliderocket did not depart far enough from Power Point to warrant a change over. (I apologize to both Prezi and Sliderocket for this simplistic summary of their shortcomings).
Epipheostudios do the most awesome presentations
While I was researching the presentation space Epipheostudio clips were popping up all over the place; 90 second product demo clips that just blow you away with their visual engagement. That’s the type of presentation I wanted to create…. but when I inquired about the price…. I nearly had kittens. A 90 second clip created by their animation studio was going to set me back $15,000-$25,000 and would take up to 10 weeks to make. No more needed to be said.
How can I create presentations that pack Epipheo’s punch without spending $15,000?
My next move was to search the web for a tool that would allow me to create an animated presentation a’la Epipheo. There was just nothing out there except:
1.) super professional tools like Adobe’s Flash for which I would need another university degree before I could use it (also not exactly the smallest price tag at $699) , and
2.) gimmicky tools like extranormal or animoto which did not cater for my awesome-presentation-needs.
My conclusion was that I would have to return to my underwhelming PowerPoint slides with their awkward transitions and poor visuals (after all PowerPoint does what it does! And it does it pretty well! )
Nothing out there satisfied my awesome-presentation-needs
Once I was convinced that there is nothing out there that satisfies my “awesome presentation software need”, I filed this dream software in the someone-will-surely-launch-
In my disappointment: I filed this dream presentation tool in the someone-will-surely-launch-
I didn’t give this another thought until I was sitting in a Caffee with my friend Daniel a few months later. He was asking my advise on a new project he had just launched with one of Israel’s top animators: They had entered into a partnership to set up an animation studio a’la epipheostudios for a somewhat lower price tag…. Daniel would provide the business expertise while Oren would provide the production and animation talent.
I strongly advised against the animation studio model on account of it’s difficulty to scale and heavy time overheads: animating every scene is extremely time intensive labor and does not really scale easily. However, I saw an opportunity to put together the core of a team that could create my someone-will-surely-launch-
The minute the words left my mouth Danny’s eyes lit up… from that moment we have moved at a breakneck pace.
My only condition to my co-founder was: Our software must address all the frustrations that people have with Power Point and Keynote, even if that means limiting much of the functionality in exchange for usability and design.
The PowToon Mission: Address all the frustrations that people have with Power Point and Keynote and add animation and killer design
We defined our mission as: PowToon will create the world’s most minimalist, user friendly and intuitive presentation software that allows someone with no technical or design skills to create engaging professional “look and feel” animated presentations.
Our aim is to establish a new presentation category called “PowToon” – a combination of presentation and animated cartoon – as the industry standard for evolved (animated) presentations.
Our greater vision is to effect the way people communicate in a profound way: “If a picture speaks a thousand words, an animation conveys an idea.”
In the next series of post we will outline how the hard work of turning an idea into reality began… please stay tuned and LIKE.
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