Explaining Things To Non-Technical Users Is A New Business - Video Interview With Joshua Gunn
Making sense of complex products, services, and ideas by using visuals and easy to understand story-lines is going to be a blooming business for many years to come.
Photo credit: tombaky
Explaining difficult ideas, or complex new technologies to non-technical people is going to be a professional activity by an increasing and unstoppable popular demand.
As technology keeps changing faster and faster and as the number of tech-based solutions that can have positive impacts on one's own daily life steadily increase, the need to understand and make sense of these technologies and their use keeps growing.
How many times did you try to explain some new cool web service or technology to a friend, only to discover it was harder than you thought? Not everyone is a geek, and, when it comes to technology, if you want people to understand what you say, you have to explain things (especially tech stuff) in a language that they can understand.
Nutintuit is a small company that specializes in creating animated video tutorials which are short, simple, and easy to understand and which help companies promote and explain new technologies to their potential customers via fun and enjoyable cartoons.
This is why I have decided to reach out and ask for a video interview with Joshua Gunn, one of the two guys behind Nutintuit, a small company devoted just to make explanatory videos for companies wanting to explain how their technology works.
How did Nutintuit get started? What made them realize this was a hot market to enter? What makes the ability to explain things effectively so much appealing for online marketers?
Explaining Things To Non-Technical Users Is A New Business
Full English Text Transcription
Robin Good: Hi everyone, here is Robin Good, live from Rome, Italy, and I'm together today with Joshua Gunn.
Hello Joshua, where are you connecting from?
Joshua Gunn: Hey Robin, I'm in Boston, Massachusetts. Fine to see you.
Robin Good: Fantastic, fine for me to see you, because what you and your great partner, Xavier Viñas, have started doing is something that strikes the same chords that here on MasterNewMedia we try to play everyday, that is: trying to make it easy for people who are not geeks to better understand technology.
But let me hear from your own words: What are you up to these days with your project, and what is it called?
Joshua Gunn: We started a studio called Nutintuit Studio. We make short, animated videos called "nutshells", and we're in the business of explaining things. It's really as simple as that.
We just want to make things easier for people to understand, and... that's our project!
Robin Good: Good. Repeat please the name slowly, and tell us where is the URL where we can see some of your stuff first.
Joshua Gunn: It's Nutintuit Studio, the web address is www.nutintuit.com
Explaining Things as a Business: Nutintuit
Robin Good: Good, and how did you get this idea of going this specific direction?
Joshua Gunn: I became friend with the Common Craft folks out in Seattle. I used to live in Seattle about a year ago. We met, I was inspired by what they were doing, and I realized there was a lot of space for this work to be done.
Common Craft is a great idea. I love their work, and I thought I could use something a little bit different, but in the same spirit. That's how I got started.
Robin Good: The natural question for somebody wanting to emulate what Common Craft and you have done... would be to be hesitant, because there is already someone there doing that thing very well.
What I want to know from you is: What did you and Xavier thought more specifically that gave you the enthusiasm and motivation to go in a road where there was already somebody clearly successful at it?
Joshua Gunn: That's a great question. I think the answer is that there's so much need for quality explanation.
There's so much confusion out there, and there are so many companies that are interested in educating their customers and really appealing to them on a more authentic level.
I think there's plenty of room in this space for more than just CommonCraft, and more than just Nutintuit.
I think the question is: How are you going to execute it? And... are you good at what you do? We've done a lot of work and we've answered that question for ourselves, then we're moving forward.
We're really happy with what Common Craft does and we're really happy with what we do, and we support each other. It's a community of people who are making explanatory videos. No one is an island in this small industry.
How Nutintuit Was Born
Robin Good: Let me ask you then: How did you start doing this? You started, I imagine, with a few tutorials, but how did you make this become something you could think of living on? How did you spread the word and converted it into something that brought in money?
Joshua Gunn: That's a great question, too. For many years I was a product writer at Amazon.com. I wrote about products, explained them to customers. Thousands of products. To own the company was some partners that provided content at Amazon and all we did was write about the Amazon products and review them.
I had a lot of experience as a product writer. I knew how to write well about products and ideas, but I didn't know anything about motion graphics, so I left my former company, it took about three months to teach myself how to do motion graphics.
Then I realized I could really use some help with the artwork and some of the visual design, and visual ideas, and that's where Xavier came in. He's really brought a lot to Nutintuit in terms of illustration and the visual concept of the videos we do.
The first video we did, I did, was on what is a smartphone. It was just a spec project, I wanted to see if I could do it, and things grew after that. I attracted clients thanks to some other spec videos that I did for Amazon, and things just grew from there.
I really think you can make it if you really focus on what you're good at, and get help in the areas where you need help. That's where Xavier came in.
Key Marketing Advice in Explanatory Videos
Robin Good: If you were to advise somebody else trying to follow your tracks, what would be the two or three key marketing steps you would advise somebody wanting to do video explanatory work to do to get their work out, and to start getting somebody pay for it?
Joshua Gunn: I think there are a number of things:
- I think, obviously, the way the work is marketed now is drastically different than the way it was just a few years ago.
I found other people who were doing what I was doing and got them interested in my work, and they liked my work, and they referred me to the clients. That was a key way that I got started.
- I went to old context that I had from other work experiences, and I said: "Hey, look, this is what I'm doing now! What do you think? I think this applications for you guys, let's talk about it!"
That's how I got some work with Brooks running shoes, and working on a series for videos of them, as well.
Which Business Model for the Future?
Robin Good: My last question would be about the future: How are you going to scale and what kind of business model you have in mind?
Are you going to hope that you just get more and more request, and you do more custom videos for different clients, and each one of them pays for them, or are you thinking in some way to scale this up as the Internet would suggest to do so that you produce x, but you sell 10x.
Joshua Gunn: Right now we're in a phase where we're trying to perfect what we do and to show a wider audience that we do great work.
We really are in a building phase with clients right now, but I agree with you. I think the future is in scaling videos so that.... a guy who's going to a conference, for instance, and he wants to teach people about what is a blog, or what is the best way to collaborate with people online using free tools... the guy who's going to a conference wants to teach people about that, maybe he might want to buy a video from us and take that to the conference with him.
That's a model that we believe in. Obviously it's a path that we're probably going to go down soon, but we're not quite there yet.
Robin Good: Fantastic. Thank you for sharing all of these insider information and insight from your experience.
Bring my very best from the passionate readers of MasterNewMedia to Xavier as well, and thank you Josh for spending the time with us. All the best to your new company!
Guys please go check out their work, and how they're communicating and explaining in simple words how complex technological things are, and how they function.
Please, I leave you with the opportunity to repeat one more time your URL and web site for everyone else, and ciao from Robin Good in Roma and thank you for your great work!
Joshua Gunn: Thank you so much Robin, it's been a pleasure. It's www.nutintuit.com.
Robin Good: Ciao!
Joshua Gunn: Thanks Robin, bye-bye!
Robin Good -
Originally shot and recorded by Robin Good for MasterNewMedia and first published on January 11, 2009 as "Explaining Things To Non-Technical Users Is A New Business - Video Interview With Joshua Gunn".
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