Contacts: Yogesh Sharma, CEO and co-founder of Pictureal, San Francisco, Calif.
Yogesh Sharma knows what’s in your drawers. In fact, he’s building a national digital imaging operation, Pictureal.com, based on market research about what most of us are hiding away there and in the backs of our closets. “In our studies, there’s an average of 10 hours of video in some format in most consumers’ shoeboxes. If you try to edit all that on your own computer, your hard drive will get full, your software will be incompatible and so on and so forth. By the time you get into all that, you’ll be like, ‘Forget it!’”
Imaging retailers have known for years that Americans are hoarding digital images (stills and video) because transferring, printing, editing and burning copies of some final product can be time consuming, expensive and complicated. Sharma thinks his new company has an easy online solution with a market-tipping pricepoint. For $99, Pictureal will convert three hours of video (from original tapes in any format) to digital, create a polished DVD of the highlights (“mostly happy, smiling, talking faces,” he says), and store all the material (raw and edited) on a user-friendly website allowing customers to make changes and/or order copy DVD’s for just $15 each. (The entire package price progresses at $179 for 6 hours of original video, $299 for 12.)
“We’re getting great response,” Sharma says of the few hundred customers who’ve used Pictureal so far. The response has engendered big support from Bay-area venture capitalists and talks with a national CE retail chain about a partnership. “What we feel is a value add to the retailer is we give them a personal face. Electronic gadgets are everywhere, there’s no loyalty factor at those chain stores. What happens with us is mass customization. It’s a worthy try [in the category of digital/video imaging] because nothing else in the market has worked so far.”