Brizi’s Anna Hu tells startups how to get timing on their side at #TechTO


TechTO is all about founders sharing candid stories about their growth — and the latest event was no exception.

Brizi co-founder and CEO Anna Hu stopped by to talk about how startups can figure out the best timing to enter the market based on her own experience. Hu’s talk was inspired by Bill Gross, who said that the top reason why startups succeed is timing.

Hu gave the example of 3D TVs, which seem to come around every decade but never really take off, and quantum computers, which are still early to market. “It makes you question — is this just a bad idea, or are we just too early to market for consumers to exhibit this kind of behaviour?”

Hu said this makes entrepreneurs ask whether they’ve overcommitting to a bad idea, or undercommitting to a good idea. In 2014, when Brizi — which currently develops fan controlled cameras that bring the Jumbotron experience to smartphones — launched, drones were extremely popular. At the time Brizi launched, fans could control a flying camera from their smartphone and the company got some early traction.

“We ran into the barriers that not everyone is comfortable with things flying on top of them. We ran into regulations being introduced by the FAA and Transport Canada, and it was hard to scale the business,” said Hu. “It got to the point where we thought we should integrate with existing manufacturers or make our own drones. The market was crowded. So we pivoted.”

Brizi switched to stationary cameras that captured memories from a “unique” angle in memorable places like theme parks and cruises.

“Now we work with some of the biggest sports properties around the world, brands from Mercedes brands and Toyota,” said Hu.

“What worked for us in our analogy is — will customers pay you money? It’s a basic question, but really, we found it to be at the core of whether what we were building was the right timing for the market,” said Hu. “But the real question is: how much?”

See Hu’s full list of tips and tricks in the video below:

The next TechToronto takes place on October 10. Get your tickets now!

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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