Jason Hsiao: Animoto Co-founder & Chief Video Officer

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My Native Admission Statement: I am the Co-founder and Chief Video Officer of Animoto, an award-winning online video maker that makes it easy for anyone to create professional marketing videos. I’ve always loved video, even as a kid… making cool home movies with my school buddies.  Later in life, the opportunity to find a career as a TV producer for MTV and Comedy Central in NYC was in many ways a dream.  But what was even more exciting was witnessing the change all around us and the emergence of so many game changers… everything from mobile devices to social media to cloud computing.  It seemed inevitable that the role of video in our everyday lives was about to undergo some dramatic change. Instead of watching it all happen I felt the urge to be a part of it all. According to my coworkers, I’m really good at PowerPoint slide transitions.  I also think I make pretty delicious breakfast sandwiches. One of my role models is Jiro Ono (from the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi) and his tireless quest to improve and hone his craft. “Even at my age [of 85], after decades of work, I don’t think I have achieved perfection. But I feel ecstatic all day––I love making sushi.”

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

A core inspiration for our product & technology is believing that what happened with things like websites, emails, and graphic design will happen with video. For example, ten years ago it was not easy creating a website unless you knew HTML editors or wanted to spend $15K to hire someone who did. Today, anyone can create beautiful, professional websites with drag-and-drop builder tools like Squarespace and Wix. We strive to offer this same builder tool paradigm for video.  Though simple building blocks, a WYSIWYG interface and a collection of starter templates, Animoto makes it drag-n-drop easy for anyone to create beautiful, professional looking video on both web and mobile.

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