Direction

Our company direction (dream, use cases, and next steps) is something we'll iterate on constantly, but always keep a north star.

You may wonder why our direction is public. In line with our transparency value, being open and receiving constant feedback is the best way for us to ensure we’re on the right track. If you see something here that you love, or something where you think we’re missing the mark please let us know.

Please read first

Note that this entire handbook, but particularly these pages, are constantly updated and refined as we learn from our users. They can contain draft information, become out of date, and change significantly over time. They are intended to inform our users and team about current strategy and priorities, and should not be used for making investment decisions or be viewed as a committed roadmap.

Our dream

The potential impact of video for brands and creators is huge, but there is still so much to be done to make it painless to create great content. Our dream is to make it so anyone, regardless of experience or training, has the resources, guidance, and support they need to produce amazing content. In short, we want to make it easy for anyone to tell their stories with video.

Value propositions

Having a big dream is important, but perhaps even more important is knowing exactly how you can deliver it in reality. We use value propositions to organize the themes.

Make video planning and production painless

Producing video content is a complex task. From script writing to storyboarding, reviews, captions, post-processing, publishing, and everything in between, there’s a lot to learn and many traps for the inexperienced. At the same time, it’s common for creators to not have videography experience, just a passion for the topic.

What is the cost of the issue?

This lack of a single place to coordinate videos results in a lot of back and forth, and also results in lower quality content. Using a production agency may solve some problems, but also raises costs and may bring its own problems. Hiring a coach is helpful, but that is just another person you need to coordinate with.

How is this currently solved? Why don’t current solutions work?

People are using a variety of tools to make this work today (Google Drive, DropBox, JIRA), and bridging the gaps between them through human coordination effort. These tools are mostly not video-native, so don’t support the production process. The ones that are video-native tend to assume a high level of technical proficiency.

What has changed?

Consumption of on-demand and streaming video has become a primary way that people engage with content, and the quality bar on content to stand out is always rising. The world needs a tool that supports their effort and helps them tell their stories.

How does our solution work?

Imagine if your documents, asset storage, project templates, notifications, and task management all talked to each other and understood your goal was to produce a video, and you’ll have a good sense of how Synura works. It brings everything and everyone into one place and supports your creation flow.

How do we know it is better?

Planning and collaborating on videos is consistently reported by users as the least fun part of the creation process. Tools don’t connect with each other and there are gaps between them. By bringing the entire planning and production flow into one app, we can provide a much better experience than anything on the market today.

Bring AI-powered, automatic editing to everyone

What is the problem? Who has it?

Video editing is hard. It’s an art, and the talented people who do it for a living are much closer to artists than technicians. Unfortunately, to produce quality content, you need to be able to do some edits, and learning to do this requires not only learning the technical skills, but acquiring the artistic sense to do the right thing.

What is the cost of the issue?

Not doing anything will leave your videos looking and sounding unprofessional, with sagging engagement numbers and unachieved goals. Spending time or money to learn editing skills or hiring an editor is a distraction from the content you’re trying to produce.

How is this currently solved? Why don’t current solutions work?

Creators are doing their best and publishing at the level of their capability. Really the only option here apart from hiring someone to do it for you (which is often not an option) is spending time to learn editing yourself, but this can be a major time sink.

What has changed?

AI has brought new possibilities to handle routine editing tasks; from “umm” removal, to lighting and sound correction, transcription, thumbnails, reframing, and more. Through smart defaults, no special expertise is required to use them. In the future, it may even be possible to apply more advanced edits by providing natural language instruction.

How does our solution work?

Once you upload a video to Synura, we can automatically run post-processing on it for you. Imagine having every video you upload automatically get the above suite of improvements on it, without you having to do anything. That’s our vision for you’ll be able to focus on your content instead of your edits.

How do we know it is better?

We’re confident that if you process your videos using our automated systems, they will look and sound better. You won’t need to hire your team of editors, you won’t need to build out a video pipeline using an expensive engineering team. You will be able to focus on your content and leave the rest to us.

Guiding principles

Get single-player right first

There’s plenty of content out there that’s being worked on by a single person. By focusing on them first, we will add value quickly and naturally reach a moment where they ask to invite others. This will help us stay on track, not try to do too much too early, and it helps us avoid making too many collaboration-only features before we know what our users need.

Bring developer tools innovation to video production

Over the last ten years, developer tools have evolved rapidly. Video production has a lot of analogs with how software is planned, produced, reviewed, and published, and by drawing inspiration from developer tools (while recognizing the fundamental differences), we can provide something unique and valuable.

Customer profiles

At the moment our customer profiles are focused but contain a lot of different kinds of people making videos for a lot of different reasons. It will help us to continue to further refine these into niches we can focus on at launch where we can solve the use cases perfectly.

In general, in terms of finding first customers with budgets and problems we can solve, companies and brands and advisory agencies are the most likely initial targets. Likely relatively smaller, growing companies that have not already put a complicated process in place that they’d have to change from - even if what we offer is better, change is harder than providing a new solution.

Companies and brands

Some companies are already working extensively with video: hosting webinars, publishing to YouTube channels (typically demo-style content), and creating advertisements and other pre-recorded sales and training materials. They understand the challenges and value of video and would benefit from better collaboration.

These kinds of users tend to have the most ad-hoc processes for creating videos and can benefit a lot from a collaboration tool. They would benefit from a little training and structure not just to plan and execute their videos and streams, but to help them wrangle their stakeholders. Because these kinds of people tend to have a budget, and we can also help them quickly, they are great first users for us.

Agencies

There are a few broad categories of agencies/consultancies that we could provide value for, but the advisory one is the most obvious and immediate. A couple of interesting examples of agency collaboration apps are the Lemonlight and Shootsta platforms, which handle intake and ongoing client collaboration for them. Something like this could be valuable for either advisory or production-for-hire shops, but these kinds of shops would benefit less from our automatic post-processing.

Advisory

There are a lot of businesses that provide advisory services to content creators. They have a variety of titles, but it includes examples like video marketing (or YouTube/TikTok/etc.) coach, advisor, expert, specialist, guru, strategist, consultant, and so on. They will typically have a stable of clients they work with whom they may charge on a per-hour basis, but a subscription-based is becoming more prevalent. Their customers are typically not experts in video production, so they provide both strategic and technical advice to their clients.

This is a particularly interesting niche for partnerships and providing solutions. We both target the same kinds of users, but with different priorities. Typically these advisors will provide strategic advice, helping them come up with integrated video strategies and find a brand identity for their videos. We provide some similar advice, but at scale rather than tailored to a specific person or company.

You could imagine a workflow for these kinds of advisors where they have all of their customers in Synura, with access to all of their accounts, and they can set up resources/templates, and leave comments and advice on videos in progress. This would be a much more effective and efficient workflow for them, helping them scale their businesses.

There may also be opportunities here for special pricing, an affiliate or referral program that pays the agency, or other kinds of group-based incentive pricing and partnerships.

Production for hire

Brand and advertising agencies that produce video content for their clients, who are typically companies that don’t want to grow video expertise in-house. Their workflow is similar to if it was the company itself doing it but has the additional requirement of client reviews (both in pre and post-production). This workflow, with a professional production team and client reviews, is the one least aligned with our model and most towards products like Frame.io.

Post-production/marketing focused

Creator/influencer-focused agencies (i.e., Jellysmack, Underscore Talent, and ScreenPlay) are a subset of these, and provide services for creators such as remarketing (and reworking content) for different social networks, operating channels, optimizing strategy, and more - even including things like financial management, booking, and so on. These agencies have more collaboration in pre-production, while post-production (modification and distribution of content to other networks) is primarily a hands-off factory-type model (at least from the point of view of the creators.) They tend to work with only the most viral content.

Independent creators

In situations where an independent creator produces content (good examples are educational channels that plan and produce a video monthly), they would likely benefit from the very same features as the brand and company users.

They are sort of a middle ground between the agency and company use cases, in that they have some unique social media requirements and have more professional production processes, but they also tend to run on smaller budgets than either agencies or companies. We should welcome this kind of user by having a pricing tier that supports them.

Where we are now

We have not yet launched the product publicly and are working with early adopters to determine their most important problems to solve and what their priorities are. This includes talking to support, sales, developer relations, and marketing teams, as well as independent creators. If you are interested in sharing your feedback, please sign up for our waiting list on our home page and we will reach out.

Our most important immediate task is to build an organization that learns and iterates, and then launch our product so we can start getting real feedback.

Roadmap

We want our first iterations to immediately add value, prove the product concept, and serve as a foundation from which we can build more advanced features. As with everything on this page this concept is likely to evolve, but for now, it is likely that we will build an MVP user flow as follows:

  1. Come to the Synura website and register an account.
  2. Create a project for your videos
  3. Upload your video files, storyboards, and other assets.
  4. Run pre-configured video processing on your videos.

This workflow is represented by the 1.0 milestone.

The second iteration will likely allow for inviting others and having comment threads on saved videos, bringing the initial collaboration workflows into the product.

You can see a full list of upcoming milestones in our GitLab group. Please upvote and comment on issues and epics you’d like to see and we’ll take that into account in our planning.

What we aren’t doing

  • There are other products out there that aim more at the professional video production market, with clients like Vice, Netflix, and others. We are not focusing on this use case for now because we believe there is an underserved segment in the enterprise and prosumer segments that we can better and uniquely address, and technology like C2C (connectivity on expensive filmmaking equipment) is not as relevant for our segment. By going after “regular Joes and Janes” we can carve out a niche for ourselves, and do it in a rewarding space where we can make a real difference.

Competitive landscape

An extensive competitive analysis can be found on our competitive landscape page.

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