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January 6, 2017

Meet the Vidyard Team, Video Style: Steve Johnson

Meet the Team is our monthly chance to introduce you to the fabulous, quirky, talented people who work at Vidyard, using our favorite medium — video! For this episode, we caught up with Steve Johnson, President and COO at Vidyard. Learn where to get the best vegan nachos in Maine, all his favorite travel destinations, and more! Watch the video:

What Didn’t Make The Cut

Steve had way more to say than just going back and forth between business and medical school, so here are a few more of his awesome answers:

What brought you to Vidyard?

I knew of Vidyard probably three or four years ago when they were a partner of ours at Hootsuite. I talked to Michael, really liked him, and it turned out one of our mutual investors at Hootsuite is also an investor in Vidyard, OMERS. They put two big thumbs up for Vidyard, but what really drew me to the company was the culture, the team, the founders, and especially the space.

What I saw was something very similar to the phenomena we saw with social media. Six years ago social media was the hottest content type. Now it’s video. And businesses of all types are struggling with how they manage that video content. If I’m going to leverage video, how do I do it? It’s not easy. And that’s where I see Vidyard playing an important role, and continuing to play an important role in the future.

You mentioned you had started a company in a past life, and it did not go as planned. Any advice for entrepreneurs starting out in today’s economy?

We were a technology in search of a problem, rather than solving a problem. The company was voice automation for applications. There wasn’t a wave, using the software analogy, for voice enabled apps. We just thought “This should be the way you do it!” and did the No Keyboard slogan, like Salesforce has its No Software slogan. We thought there should be no keyboard with software, and you should be able to navigate it with your voice.

The problem was, for that to actually work, you have to know the application really, really well to navigate it. And most people don’t know software applications well enough to navigate with their voice. And then the voice recognition technology at that time just wasn’t good. So we voice enabled Salesforce, Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Exchange, and a number of other platforms, and it just didn’t go. That was a big, big lesson: focus on problems that people are having, not just this great cool technology, and you will do way better in life — and way better in tech — is really what it comes down to.

Want to get your hands on those vegan nachos?

You can find the Frontier Cafe 15 Maine St in Brunswick, Maine. See their menu here. It looks amazing.

Jon Spenceley

Jon Spenceley

Jon is the former Content and Social Media Manager at Vidyard, and is passionate about helping companies get the most out of their video. In his spare time, Jon's an amateur longboarder, distiller-in-training, and is a sucker for breakfast foods.

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