We talked to Ehab James of Watchou, a video and stream sharing platform for content creators and businesses alike and he had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ehab James: I am doing well! Thankful my family and I are in good health and remain in good spirits.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Watchou.
Ehab James: I am a 17-year-old Toronto-area student, entrepreneur and being active in creator communities, was a recurring conversation that became apparent. Wherever creators were posting, many had grievances with the platforms they used. It was clear that there is a gap in the market between what creators need and what is available. This realization is when it ‘clicked’ for me that there is a serious opportunity here.
This being my first venture, I entered relatively unaware of what I was getting myself into or how to run a startup. Assembling a team, we soon pitched & were accepted to an incubator, got to work researching our market, and building our product.
How does Watchou innovate?
Ehab James: We are making use of newer & better-performing tech, such as serverless, to host our systems and dynamically meet demand, as well as keep costs low. This helps in our mission to put more in the pockets of creators for their work. Beyond that, our platform policies & mission serve our creators’ best interests, a sentiment that is not often shared between creators and other platforms.
We believe artists should be able to make a sustainable living, profiting from their work on a creator-friendly platform with policies and a mission that serves them rather than provides obstacles. Allowing creators a more feature-rich and high control experience to ease their lives, so they can focus on creating.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Ehab James: With roughly half of our team operating remotely pre-pandemic, and the rest operating in-person, we’ve had to adjust our schedules and rethink what meetings were going to look like. As a team, we ended up benefiting from the pandemic’s disruption to our usual flow. We managed to continue working toward our goal, taking the initiative, and being more productive without being held back by meetings we realized were unnecessary.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ehab James: Nothing extraordinary. We initially sought backing with just an idea and no concept, and with the pandemic’s arrival, we realized funding would be difficult to attain. In hindsight, this was a good thing for us. As a team, we worked on our product and building our MVP (Minimum Viable Product). We came to understand that we are better off building our product before seeking investment.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Ehab James: Stressful situations often present themselves in a startup environment. Things change daily, and this uncertainty would keep any founder on edge. When I am stressed, I consult with my team. This includes advisors and trusted friends to think about and find solutions to problems. Talking to others is my go-to. I can worry less after having these conversations, knowing I can find solutions to the problems that worry me.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ehab James: Given that we are operating in the video & stream hosting space, we will be competing with other social media platforms for user’s attention, though we do not worry much about this. Our focus is on building a platform that creators want to use. We plan on staying in the game by staying true to that mission. We are not seeking to be the ‘viable alternative’; we seek to be the go-to for creators everywhere. Being in the early phases of testing and still building our product, our objective is to continue to build in consultation with creators.
Your final thoughts?
Ehab James: This is a challenging time for people everywhere, though the world will move on and keep spinning. This is also a unique opportunity, as many can and should take this time to seek to innovate or make positive change.
Thank you for the opportunity for this interview! Watchou is a video and stream sharing platform for content creators and businesses alike. We are building for creators and tomorrow. At present, we are in the process of building & testing our site. I invite readers to reach out on Twitter if interested in participating in our beta testing!
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