I spent last year building a social video annotation app called Aech that never really caught on, but captured interest from a couple people that wanted the core annotation technology for business.
Mindstamp is the result of those conversations and six months of development work. It lets you enrich your videos with interactive notes (text, audio, video), questions, and personalization in just a few seconds before sharing them with your customers, clients, or teams.
Video is growing rapidly but is still largely a one-way, static asset. Mindstamp aims to change that by providing an interaction level on top for both creator and viewer to exchange ideas and gather feedback. We're just getting started but think there's a lot of room to innovate here.
Built 100% by me with Rails, VueJS, Vuetify, and Heroku ️
I'd love to hear your constructive feedback (please be nice, first real product shipped) and am happy to answer any questions you might have. And yes, I'm going to make a better demo video - it's just a placeholder for now.
Thanks for reading!
As a snobby stickler for aesthetics, I think the instant darkness and silence at each pause feels like being unplugged too abruptly.
I'd take a cue from dialogue options in games , and not let the UI cover the whole screen, and maybe play a prerecorded "pause" video(s) so the flow isn't broken.
I actually really like the demo video too -- it's personal and the outdoor location is a refreshing change from the typical sterile "recorded in an office" videos.
Great work and good luck with it!
Thanks so much, Davedx!
I'm also doing video startup in startup school, but mine is for making original animated cartoons/meme-mashups:
Good luck with your startup.
SuperAnimo looks sweet. Care to share more about what you're doing technically to create the videos?
I didn't use a framework for the editor. It's just a lot of jQuery and CAAT.js (a scene-graph animation library).
The pricing options seem burdensome to me. The whole per month pricing is a deal breaker to me. The pricing language is confusing as well. What is up with all these stipulations? Videos expiring....is that really necessary? It needs to be simplified.
When I see this service what I think is okay...I get it that interactive video is good and I need it so I want this service. So I want to add one, two, three or more of these interactive videos to my website. The type of pricing I would want to expect is some sort of flat rate one-time payment that is not monthly. You really need to rethink the pricing.I get it that you want the monthly income but you need to bring people in first with some sort of "wow, this is an amazing deal" type of offer. The 30 day trial does not cut it for me personally.
Just me 2 cents.
Charging $20 per video for unlimited annotation could be more sensible. Akin to Podscripter's $10 per episode podcast transcription service.
Best of luck!
Looks to me like you're pricing based on value and to deter support zombies, so stick with it! Don't worry about anonymous commenters on HN telling you your pricing is too high.
One thing I felt was a little jarring while working through the stamps in the demo video was the audio completely cutting out when a question is posed. Perhaps having some 'standby' music would help in that way, or even just fading the audio in and out when the pause happens.
Spotify do this on play / pause.
Great stuff, and good luck with the project!
Small nitpick: IDK if intentional, but it seems that you're not quite sanitizing input. I Added an annotation with <script>console.log("Hello")</script> and it printed to the console as I viewed the video.
Thank you for that and the kind words!
The context I am thinking of specifically is guided help systems in which you want a response from a customer before showing some more video or maybe even switching to another video.
If you think you would be willing to add that kind of functionality in to your product I can tell them when I pass it on to them and set you up to talk.
I'd love to learn more about what you envision this looking like. Would you send me an email? email@example.com
The pricing is over the top for what is just timestamps + (any interaction you can think of) on a video. And it's a subscription model, which is an extremely optimistic pricing model.
While I believe there is untapped potential for clever video time-stamping (I've worked a bit on this stuff myself), most of the time viewers don't want their video interrupted. Nor do video producers want their videos interrupted due to the fact timing, editing and pace is usually important to a video presentation.
Asking "what is your name" or inviting other input at key points could be very useful, but not when it depends on being a member of something called mindstamp. That's more than friction, that's a brick wall.
Tutorial videos, or complex "paths" for say an interactive story involving choice, could be a use case, but we're now starting to get excited about the scraps on offer after most people have said no thanks. In saying that, there could be plenty of money in the scraps if it's a niche, specific application. Such as tutorial videos, e-learning, evaluative videos, induction day training, and so on. But again... the subscription model... ouch.
- It costs me $ each month to store multiple versions of the video for different devices and connections. Charging a flat rate per video would be nice but eventually I'd start to lose money and have to ditch customers.
- Viewers don't have to be members of Mindstamp. The name / email captured from the video is sent only to the video owner, not for account creation. That fact should be clearer if you thought it was the case, though.
- Not all videos need to be made interactive, and being able to 'opt out' of the interactions as a viewer is on the road map.
- The pricing might be over the top for a single individual trying to take notes on a Youtube video, but for a business customer that is uploading and streaming multiple videos per month in a professional setting, $39 / month is a drop in the bucket, especially if it's resulting in a couple fresh leads or a few hours of email timestamp-ing saved. For now, I'm channeling Patrick Mckenzie  and keeping the prices high.
Thanks again for your thoughts, I truly appreciate you taking the time.
I personally find very little value in this type of video application for collaboration. A good video presenter should know exactly what questions an audience has, before the questions asked. When you have a webinar or video, inside of tools like skype, that's what those chat tools are for. It allows for asynchronous communication on a predictable level, unobscured and easy for anyone to grasp immediately. Twitch / youtube-live are also options too.
If you want to make something I would really want -> build a app that allows you to take timestamps on youtube videos similar to udemy, but unobtrusive. Youtube has a predictable time duration on each video and time stamps, so this should be possible via a userscript and or chrome extension, with data input going to another server / called from the extension. You can opt to do localstorage but longterm that data should be stored elsewhere.
> I don't have this problem so nobody else should
> You should build X unrelated technical thing if you want my approval
I don't mean to be rude but this is a quintessential non-helping HN comment. You should consider re-reading your comments before posting.
Definitely considering the Enterprise angle, just trying to feel things out right now before committing to anything on a larger scale.
I would love to hear what you're thinking about though - could you send me an email? firstname.lastname@example.org
Each answer will have a couple action options: continue playing, move to a different time in the video, open an external link, or ask for more info.