GoAnimate’s mission is to enable businesses, schools and individuals to make videos – quickly and easily.
Videos could and should be everywhere. Businesses use them to explain complex topics, train employees or just share a sense of humanity. Teachers and students use them to exercise higher-order learning skills, such as creativity and critical thinking, in the classroom. Individuals use them to make their friends laugh, better visualize their favorite song, or just say, “I miss you” to someone special.
What’s the problem? Making a video is hard. People perceive it as one of those black-box processes they can’t even wrap their head around. If they think it through (most mentally run screaming before even getting this far), they think it’s going to take a long time, cost a lot and be really, really hard.
That’s how the company got started. Back around the end of ’07, Alvin (the founder) wanted to make a video. He looked at the plethora of unsuitable options available and thought, “this is going to be tough.” I’m going to need to buy a camera, lights, etc. and learn how to use them. Or learn to draw. Or learn some super-complex Pixar-type animation interface. Luckily, when the going gets tough, the tough get coding! With his entrepreneurial bent, he built out a team to develop the platform. About a year and a half later, they plugged it in. And it worked. Point, click, drag, drop. Voila! Animated videos for everyone.
It’s 360° Here in the Spotlight
In the beginning, we were primarily focused on individuals, since that’s the use case we knew. Users flocked to the site and then we were invited to be a founding partner of YouTube/Create. Things were really taking off. We had our little world in the crosshairs and were crushing it!
And then our world got bigger. Our Google alerts were filled with teachers mentioning us in their blogs. Businesses were calling us asking about certain rights packages. Companies we never heard of (but should have) wanted to be partners. We had nothing for them. The larger world had us in their sights and we felt invisible.
So we went back to our roots and started banging out product adaptations to serve a much wider range of users. In 2011, GoAnimate for Schools was publicly launched for “back to school,” featuring dedicated privacy, security, content moderation and group management features. Since then, thousands of schools on four continents have subscribed.
Dedicated business features, including multiple new creative themes, 1080p download and watermark replacement, went live from April 2012. That was like dropping a match at a gas station. Things really started to blow up.
We’re proud of our accomplishments to date. We serve several million users all around the world. We’re growing rapidly. The videos look great. But there’s still so much to be done – more video styles, more creative assets, more features, more partnerships. It’s a roadmap without end. And this is all just about animated video. Someday, we’ll have to take the big, bold step and enable other forms of video. Our mission demands it.
Every time a video doesn’t get made … a kitten dies.
At least, that’s what we tell ourselves so we work harder. We truly believe enabling video makes the world a better place. Yes, there’s the business, educational and personal benefits we mentioned earlier. There’s also the part where better communication reduces barriers between people, enables cooperation, and fosters the realization that we’re all in this together. All for one, and one for the kittens! That’s a hugely motivating idea, and we sincerely hope it shows in the way we go about our business.