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Flowtility: high-quality motion graphics for videos, presentations

This startup seeks to make available extremely high quality graphics and animation for your Powerpoint presentations, videos, and other demonstrations that will blow your competitors away.

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flowtility simplifilm

Drag and drop motion graphics: genius

There has long been an underserved market between presentations and videos made by non-marketing business professionals that feature old clip art and ugly animation, versus the high end market of fully custom videos that are television advertising quality. Not only has this middle ground between the two been underserved, options are typically not affordable, have a high learning curve, and to be frank, still look unprofessional.

Simplifilm (motion graphics and videos for software demos) has answered this need with Flowtility which is a drag-and-drop motion graphics library not only for any videos you can dream up to make, but for presentations and demonstrations as well. The company launched over the Thanksgiving holiday and today already boasts 750 paying users, which is no small feat given all of the freebie (albeit low quality) options on the market. What caught our eye about the pricing is that for the rest of the year, their $47 membership is unlimited and requires no renewal, annual costs, or surprise expense. For life. For ever. Download Flowtility files to your own hard drive or login to their servers.

flowtility features

Flowtility features and compatibility

Currently, Flowtility says they have 200 objects in their library – transitions, bullets, objects, backgrounds, hand gestures, and more, and they’re all available for the membership fee, whereas these types of files are typically $15 to $20 per item to cover royalties (which Flowtility users don’t have to worry about). Flowtility offers full 1080p Hi-Res asset files rendered over transparency so presentations look sexy, even on a big screen, which is extremely rare.

All objects can be used in one or multiple projects with no limits, and the company offers tutorials and demos so you’re never in the dark with a learning curve. Additionally, every video editor that supports transparency and layered files works with Flowtility files. Flowtility is compatible with Keynote, iMovie, Screenflow, After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and more.

flowtility presentation assets

Why give away the farm?

Flowtility Co-Founder, Chris Johnson told AGBeat, “for a lot of small companies, demos are too expensive, so we put together a library of all our best assets so people can make them themselves in Screenflow. It’s really, really, really easy.”

To us, it appeared the company was giving away the farm for such a low price since they are so well known for their high quality, professional video demonstrations and presentations. Johnson said, “what we wanted to do was keep startups from spending stupid money on lame stuff. Let them test ideas on their own. And then be able to come back to us down the road. With better insight.”

Modernizing marketing to improve conversion

Because Simplifilm’s custom work is not priced at an entry level, Johnson acknowledges that “it’s a big move, and you have to do it right.” So why offer high quality assets rather than the tradition of offering ugly clip art? Johnson says it’s all about conversion. “Cheaper companies are essentially anti-marketing – they have cartoons that simply do not convert.” Johnson points to the Verizon Guy, Progressive’s Flo character, and Progressive’s Mayhem Guy of today contrasted with Mrs. Butterworth and the Dig ‘Em frog pitch people of yesteryear, presented in cartoon form. Conversion doesn’t happen when marketing is outdated.

Now, small business decision makers can use Flowtility with their current presentation and video editor to create demonstrations, pitches, reports and the like, and embed them right on their blog or website at a low cost without having to sacrifice quality.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. bobwilson

    November 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Very cool!

  2. 3rdWAVElands

    November 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    @ProfessionalOne @laniar This is bold 🙂

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4 ways startups prove their investment in upcoming technology trends

(TECH NEWS) Want to see into the future? Just take a look at what technology the tech field is exploring and investing in today — that’s the stuff that will make up the world of tomorrow.

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Woman testing VR technology

Big companies scout like for small ones that have proven ideas and prototypes, rather than take the initial risk on themselves. So startups have to stay ahead of technology by their very nature, in order to be stand-out candidates when selling their ideas to investors.

Innovation Leader, in partnership with KPMG LLP, recently conducted a study that sheds light onto the bleeding edge of tech: The technologies that the biggest companies are most interested in building right now.

The study asked its respondents to group 16 technologies into four categorical buckets, which Innovation Leader CEO Scott Kirsner refers to as “commitment level.”

The highest commitment level, “in-market or accelerating investment,” basically means that technology is already mainstream. For optimum tech-clairvoyance, keep your eyes on the technologies which land in the middle of the ranking.

“Investing or piloting” represents the second-highest commitment level – that means they have offerings that are approaching market-readiness.

The standout in this category is Advanced Analytics. That’s a pretty vague title, but it generally refers to the automated interpretation and prediction on data sets, and has overlap with Machine learning.

Wearables, on the other hand, are self explanatory. From smart watches to location trackers for children, these devices often pick up on input from the body, such heart rate.

The “Internet of Things” is finding new and improved ways to embed sensor and network capabilities into objects within the home, the workplace, and the world at large. (Hopefully that doesn’t mean anyone’s out there trying to reinvent Juicero, though.)

Collaboration tools and cloud computing also land on this list. That’s no shock, given the continuous pandemic.

The next tier is “learning and exploring”— that represents lower commitment, but a high level of curiosity. These technologies will take a longer time to become common, but only because they have an abundance of unexplored potential.

Blockchain was the highest ranked under this category. Not surprising, considering it’s the OG of making people go “wait, what?”

Augmented & virtual reality has been hyped up particularly hard recently and is in high demand (again, due to the pandemic forcing us to seek new ways to interact without human contact.)

And notably, AI & machine learning appears on rankings for both second and third commitment levels, indicating it’s possibly in transition between these categories.

The lowest level is “not exploring or investing,” which represents little to no interest.

Quantum computing is the standout selection for this category of technology. But there’s reason to believe that it, too, is just waiting for the right breakthroughs to happen.

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Will AI take over copywriting roles? This tool hopes to make that a reality

(TECH NEWS) CopyAI hopes to give copywriters a run for their… well, WPM. But how much can AI fully replace copywriting skills?

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Hands typing on a laptop, working on copywriting piece.

Copywriting is an important trade. Writers are often able to breathe life into otherwise formulaic websites peddling products which, sans the copy from those writers, might very well suffer a fate of relative obscurity. However, copywriters are also expensive, and their duties—indispensable as they may be—can be replicated fairly easily by little more than basic machine learning.

The question is this: Can AI replace copywriters? That’s a question that CopyAI hopes to answer with a resounding “yes”.

CopyAI is an “AI powered [sic] assistant for writing and brainstorming marketing copy.” This makes it a powerful tool to complement human writing, at the very least; is it enough to put people like me out of a job?

From my experience with the tool, no—at least, not yet. CopyAI can’t create an engagement strategy, respond to customers, spin testimonials to evoke heart-felt reactions, or analyze its own trends.

But that doesn’t detract from how freaking cool it is in practice.

CopyAI asks for very little from its user. Upon selecting a style of copy—Facebook Market, website carousel, or even page header, for example–you are prompted to enter the title of your product and a couple of short sentences describing it in the context of your ad. CopyAI does the rest, and while the results can be hilariously out of touch, you’re able to pick the ones that sound the most like your desired copy and then generate more options that sound similar.

The service has a huge number of different options for advertisement types, and you can use multiple different copy projects in one specific campaign.

Naturally, CopyAI has a few flaws, most of which replicate the problems we’ve seen with machine learning-based writing in the past: It doesn’t sound quite human enough to be comfortable. However, that’s a problem for a skilled copywriter to solve—and quickly, thus making something like CopyAI a potentially preferable choice for mass copywriting.

So, again, we ask: Is there a way for CopyAI to replace copywriters entirely in the future? Probably not. The copy it produces is intriguing, and often close enough that underfunded campaigns might find some value in using it short-term, but it doesn’t have the punch that a real person can pack into an advertisement.

That said, combining CopyAI with a small team of copywriters to reduce burnout—and repetition—could make for some very efficient work on the back end.

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Tech News

UX design: If you don’t have it, get yourself an audit made easy

(TECH NEWS) UX design is important. By conducting a simple audit to make sure your site is accessible, you can minimize the number of people that quickly go away.

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Two UX design people standing in front of a whiteboard with a UX map.

A good UX design is essential in attracting and retaining customers. A seamless and positive experience will keep customers happy and bring your business many benefits, like increasing audience engagement and sales.

But, how do you know if your user experience is in need of help, so people don’t bounce away quickly? Well, if UX is not your forte, the best thing to do is to hire a good UX designer. Unfortunately, sometimes hiring one isn’t always within the budget.

So, what do you do then? The next best thing is to conduct a UX audit of your website or app. Not sure where to begin? Fulcrum’s Do It Yourself UX Audit kit is one place to start.

According to the website, this DIY UX audit “can help you gain valuable insights about the usability of your product.” The tool detects problems in your UX, prioritizes them for you, and finds out how you can fix any existing issues.

The tool is made out of free easy-to-use Notion templates. These UX audit checklists are all customizable, and you can print them or save them on your Notion dashboard to use later.

Inside each template, there are cards with descriptions and examples. Depending on if you meet certain criteria or not, you drag and drop the card into the “Yes” or “No” column. When you’re finished, you will easily see what issues you have, and you can work on fixing them.

The templates are divided into Junior and Middle-level templates.

The Junior level has templates for things such as field and forms, login, mobile UX, and architecture. Most of these templates help make sure you cover your basic UX bases. For instance, it looks at whether your website is desktop and mobile-friendly, and if each element makes sense and is easily identifiable.

The Middle Level dives in a little deeper. The “Visibility of system status” audit checks if you are keeping your audience informed on what’s going on. Things like battery life, loading, or Wi-Fi connection indicators can make a huge difference. No one wants to stare at a screen with no clue if what they clicked on is working or not.

If you can afford it and want a UX virtuoso to do the work for you, you can get a UX audit from Fulcrum. The experts will conduct a full-fledged UX audit and create wireframes with solutions for your UX issues.

However, no matter how you go about it, a good UX design is important. Higher rate conversions and user retention won’t happen if your product is just pushing people away.

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