The following is the transcript of a podcast I did with Nick Smith of Seven Hills Technology. Nick’s podcast, The Innopreneur Podcast, aims to help business leaders gain exposure to thoughts, ideas, and processes used by innovators, entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs.
Nick Smith: (00:07):
Hey everybody. And welcome back to the Innopreneur podcast. This is the podcast for innovators and entrepreneurs, where we distill information from some of the leaders in the industry and equip them with ideas and processes to help them advance their future. Today, I’ve got an amazing guest, the Co-founder and CEO of glimpsevideo.com, Greg Cross. Greg is also in addition to being a CEO, a coffee lover, a dad to five kids, and also a granddad to four kids with another one on the way, Greg, welcome to the show.
Greg Cross: (00:53):
Nick it is glad to be here.
Nick Smith: (00:57):
It is glad to be here?
Greg Cross: (00:59):
Hey, I’m showing off my Ball State University journalism degree right there. It is glad to be here. I’m glad to be here.
Nick Smith: (01:07):
Well, I’m very glad to have you Greg, at, you know, for the audience. I think you and I have known each other for a little bit of time through some networking and I’m a user of the product that you have. And thank you so much though. I’m excited to have you here cause you’re, you’re a really good marketing expert and you know, a lot of stuff and well, Hey Greg quickly for our audience, maybe as a way of getting started out could you just kind of introduce yourself and tell us why we should listen to you?
Greg Cross: (01:44):
Yeah, well I I’ve, I’ve, I probably would label myself as a, as a lifelong entrepreneur / techie in the sense of just I’ve always, always appreciated the whole concept of processes. You know, I, I even remember when I went to Ball State University, which is located Muncie, Indiana, and I remember taking a class one time on, and one of the, it was, it was actually oddly enough, it was an anthropology class, but the the professor in school, Nick made us you know, one of our curriculum was to read the making of McDonalds and of those, you know, the official book written by Ray Kroc, you know, and I was like, you know, everybody knew McDonald’s right. Everybody had a McDonald’s hamburger eating one or something, but, but, you know, I just kinda got hooked by that because you know, how he monetized that and processed that and do all that.
Greg Cross: (02:43):
And I just thought that’s really stinking cool. You know, how he took that. And so, you know, I think, I think everybody at some level has kind of a visionary aspect to them. I mean, some people are better visionaries at it, but you know, I mean, you take the stay at home moms. I mean, they’re a small business owner. I mean they’re a manager they’re, you know, they got little, you know, workers called kids and little minions and, you know, and task oriented stuff, you know, but I’ve always enjoyed that process. I mean, you know, you mentioned, I mean, you know, my wife and I have five kids, four grandkids, I mean, you know, like that’s an enterprise, Nick just staying in touch with all that. And you know, and so I just, I, I just love I think if I ever had to have a t-shirt that I could just wear proudly, you know, I’d say I love to reinvent the wheel. That would kind of be my little mantra and I’ve tried, you know, try to figure out possibly how to do that.
Nick Smith: (03:49):
I love that that’s a great introduction and reinventing the wheel, I think, excuse me, I think reinventing the wheel is is something that a lot of us do. And, you know, I don’t know. I, it sounds like maybe you’ve got a contrarian point of view on this because I hear a lot of people say that we shouldn’t reinvent the wheel, but I don’t know, in my case, I, I think sometimes it’s, it can be beneficial to reinvent the wheel and sometimes, you know, maybe you want to avoid it. What’s, what’s kind of your position on that?
Greg Cross: (04:23):
Well, so I love that word contrarian it sounds kind of not positive when you first hear that. But so I, it was probably back in like the, well, this had to be like the early nineties. I went to Chicago and I’m sitting in a conference with literally like about 10,000 people and I was kind of tired and I, I, you know how, you know when you go to back, when we used to go to conferences, you know, you’d pick the workshops you want to do, you know, the breakouts you want to go to. Well, this is one that included everybody. And the featured speaker was actually a pastor, but, but a very entrepreneurial-minded pastor called Bill Hybels. And I remember him speaking and it was in the afternoon, Nick and I was kind of tired and everything, but he made a statement in that session that just made me literally sit up in my seat and basically, and I’m paraphrasing here, but he basically said, you know, Hey, you’re all here today, you know, because your leaders and your, you know, your chosen paths of pursuits and blah, blah, blah.
Greg Cross: (05:26):
He said, and I see a lot of leaders, you know, get pushed out of circles and stuff because, you know, and then he went on to say, you know, that it’s okay to reinvent the wheel. And I kinda, I kinda did one of those, you know, dogs sideways, what, you know, cause I’ve been told my whole life, you know, like don’t reinvent the wheel, you know, the wheel is a circle, you know, and in business, you know, I think when it comes to creativity, you know, I think a lot of technology platforms what people are looking at that, that is basically the summation of reinventing the wheel, where people look at problems and go, okay, there’s a better way to do this. And I think we’re kind of, we’re living in that age. I mean, I know we talk about COVID, but COVID is a great framework to put all that because COVID has forced entrepreneurs in a happy way to say, okay, we, we need to look at this and reinvent and create something that will solve that problem.
Nick Smith: (06:33):
So Greg helped me help me understand, like how can we define what you mean by reinventing the wheel? Because on the one hand, I think I hear you saying is if you, if you can notice a problem, if you can recognize a problem where maybe there isn’t a good solution out there, we can invent that solution. But it also sounds like what you’re saying is maybe if there is a solution out there it’s not just it’s, not just accepting the status quo solution and working to improve that existing solution, or how do you define reinventing the wheel?
Greg Cross: (07:10):
I think that’s a good question. So maybe in the purest sense of the term reinventing that it’s not a true re-invention, but maybe it’s a perfecting repurposing. I mean, I think there can be a lot of phrases, synonyms, you know verbs, I mean, things that would do that, but you know, if you let’s take, you know, let’s take the video conferencing space, you know, we’re using Zoom today. Zoom is Zoom a re-inventing? I kind of think so because it’s interesting, you know, if people, you don’t have to be around the business block forever to know that, you know, WebEx has been around forever. Right? But you don’t hear anybody talking about WebEx. I mean, you do maybe in some high enterprise circles. I mean, I’m, I remember being introduced to WebEx 20 plus years ago, you know, it’s still around, it’s a great product, you know, and then, you know Microsoft teams, you know, and so I think these companies, you know, and it’s, it’s kinda, you know, get the market and do this that and better, but, you know, Zoom is kind of a you know, I think looking at that situation kind of, you know, re-inventing it and say, okay, how can we do that?
Greg Cross: (08:33):
You know, one that I’ve kind of put out on LinkedIn and stuff as a new kid on the block called Toucan. So, you know, those listening to this today, Toucan, yes, like, like the bird, you know, you can go on there to me, they’re reinventing, you know, conferencing software. So that, I mean, I don’t know if that helps or
Nick Smith: (08:55):
Yeah, no, I, I think it does help. And I think what might even help a little bit more though, is maybe, can you give us a couple examples of how you have reinvented the wheel in your career?
Greg Cross: (09:10):
Yeah. So so now you’re making me go crank and crank and down on my brain on a Friday, you know what I mean? Just well, I mean, Glimpse Video I think is definitely a looking at the, the niche, the market, you know, that we call business and you know, it, it wasn’t until about 500 years ago. I can’t give you the exact day, but in that timeframe 500 years ago, where communication is, we know it in a mass broadcasting way, whether it be through newspaper or, you know, writing or something came into existence. And so even, you know I, wasn’t prepared to give a bunch of stats, Nick, but, you know, but you know, even when you think about email, so what we do is that we communicate, you know, every single day through what we call traditional email is that we pull up Gmail, Outlook, whatever our preferred, you know, tool is.
Greg Cross: (10:11):
And we type out on text black text on a white screen. And, you know, if we use it for prospecting or we use it for customer service, we are communicating a message and hoping, okay. So I’m, I’m couching that with quotes, we’re hoping, especially in a sales prospecting way that the other person on the other end will catch all of the emotion that I’m expressing right now to you in a video, they will, they will get all the complexities and the details and the tone of my voice in, in written text, we’re hoping, you know, and now with the onset of emojis, we might put a little smiley face in that deck text. We might put a little, you know, thumbs up, you know, just to try to do that. And so with video email, which is one of the tools in Glimpse Video, it’s like, you know, I can look at you right now and say, you know, Nick, you’re an awesome individual.
Greg Cross: (11:12):
I really appreciate all that you do for the online community in LinkedIn. And I’m expressing emotively how much I appreciate you as a person. Now, if I were to try to take that and do that in written texts, it’s going to fall flat in many areas. I’m not going to be able to express that. And so when we look at it reinventing, we, we say, as entrepreneurs, we say, as, you know, as technology futurist, and we say, okay, is there a better way to do that? Is there a better way to communicate? Oh, dang, we got these cameras, we got these microphones, we got this technology and I can send somebody a video email and say the exact same thing, then move them to action.
Nick Smith: (11:57):
That makes a lot of sense. And I think what you’re speaking to is the fact that, you know, I can’t remember the stats on this, so maybe you can help me on this, Greg, but you know, some percentage of communication is just the body language. It’s just the way that we move. It’s the way it’s the inflection in our voice and all of that is lost in the written word. And so it sounds like that’s something that you have figured out how to work around and solve that problem for people.
Greg Cross: (12:33):
Yeah. So with, so with, with Glimpse Video, then, so imagine if I’m, if I meet somebody, we’ll use LinkedIn as the, as the, kind of the you know, the framework here. If I, if there’s somebody on LinkedIn. Yeah. It’s easy for me to bang out, you know, and say, you know, hi Nick, my name is Greg cross. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’d love to connect with you. Are you interested? I can do that all day long and I can copy and paste that and bang it, you know, and I can do it 27 times, but if, if I use video and to send a video email and to say, and now, and that same way, hi, Nick, my name is Greg cross. I was looking at your profile and dude, you know, we should connect. I mean, if I create that emotion, it’s, it’s going to have a huge difference.
Greg Cross: (13:26):
Now. I’m not saying that it’s a, it’s a shoe in, but it just, it has a wow factor. It has, an inspiration behind it. It makes the other person curious. It’s kind of like, you know, we, when we network in, in, in person, you know, we go up, we make those first impressions, you know, we, we make those first impressions and we go, yeah, I like this guy. And that’s what video does. I mean, it kind of humanizes us, but it puts it in a framework that allows the other recipient to say, okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna buy, I’m going to take your bait or, you know, however you want to say it, I’m going to try to minimize that, but I want to take the next step in the relationship with you.
Nick Smith: (14:12):
So Greg, maybe for the audience it might help to briefly describe, you know, you as the co-founder and CEO of Glimpse Video, what Glimpse Video actually is from a concept and how, how it actually works. Just to give them a little context of what we’ve been talking about here.
Greg Cross: (14:33):
Yeah. So what Glimpse Video is, I appreciate you asking is that so a year ago, May 2020, my son and I so that’s the co-founder part. His name is Ben. We were actually on an H7 Network meeting and a week later did a one-on-one with a gentleman and he was, you know, asking us what we do. We were asking him what he does. And he said, you need to meet my friend, Doug. And I’m like, well, okay. You know, so I met Doug and then Doug Doug owned a, you know a very, very, very, successful video production agency, you know, to put it in that category. You know, when he goes out on location, shoots a video. So, you know, charges a client, thousands of dollars to do a half-day or a full-day production.
Greg Cross: (15:29):
But what he saw, what Doug saw kind of the writing on the wall, he’s like, okay, you know, there’s, you know, one of the, you know, we talk about just challenges in business. One of the challenges that video production has, you know, for your, a lot of small is that they don’t have the flexibility. If you live in Columbus, Ohio, and somebody refers you in Boise, Idaho, well, how easy is it for you to pick up all your video camera and then to travel to Boise for a four-hour video shoot. No, it’s just, yeah, it’s not going to happen, but you know, you typically, and so Doug got the idea, tapped some investors on the shoulder and then boom off the technology and, and you know, a lot about technology and software and stuff. And so started created the platform started off Glimpse Video started off as a testimonial, trying to solve that problem.
Greg Cross: (16:28):
Like what would it be like for me to send one of my customers that might be five states away to capture a video testimonial of them? You know, I can’t send a crew out, you know, and we’re talking six, seven years ago, smartphones were there, but there were no where the technology on the video side, the camera side, but then to give people a framework where they can just push a button record a video testimonial, has a countdown timer for them, punch it, punches it back into software silo, and then lets you add audio and branding to it. And then boom, within three or four minutes. Yeah. We have it fully produced Mp4 video. I mean, how stinking cool is that? And then on top of that, you can do it for an incredibly affordable monthly cost. So that’s, that’s kind of how, you know, we’ve seen as a, we’ve been, we’ve been seeing me and Ben, we’ve been seeing a lot of people get it. I mean it’s any, any software Nick and you get this too is education. Cause I, you know, I’ve shown some people what we do and they’re like, oh, I don’t get it.
Greg Cross: (17:45):
I do what? You know. And I, and I, and that’s okay. I’m okay with that. I think at first I wasn’t, I’m like what you’re calling
Greg Cross: (17:53):
My baby ugly. What are you talking about? You don’t know what you’re talking
Greg Cross: (17:56):
About, you know, but they just, you know, but the people who get it, I mean they’re off and running. I mean like you got it pretty quickly, you know, and there’s other people that they just get it and they understand. But I think those people tend to be people-people they understand the power of just, you know, reaching out to people, you know, through the camera lens. So when I, if I’m in person, my camera lens is my eye. I’m talking to you eye to eye, well, now this camera right here. That’s my, that’s my lens. That’s my, my entrance into that other person’s heart, you know, their world,
Nick Smith: (18:35):
Greg sticking with our theme of reinventing the wheel here, you know, I’ve seen other video platforms. So would you consider Glimpse to be a re-invention or is it there’s a lot of unique features to Glimpse that your competitors don’t have.
Greg Cross: (18:58):
Right. So we have competition anybody that’s in business, you know, I don’t care if you’re selling a piece of pizza and you have competitors. And so yes, we have competitors, but where we are different. And and I, I will make this differentiation. Is that number one when I just mentioned, like in our video testimonials, I’m not aware of any platform that lets you add audio and bake it in from a production value right into that that final product or that final MP4. Nobody does that. We, we have some things that we’re playing catch-up and I’m not talking about ketchup and mustard, but catching up to the market. There are some great competitors that launched 6, 7, 8 years ago in the video email space. And we come alongside, when people mention our competition, we go great product, but here’s how we’re different.
Greg Cross: (19:57):
There’s a lot of video email. You can go out there and type in video email software or whatever, and you’ll find a lot of great solutions, but where they stop at video email, then we pick up with video testimonials. Where they stop at video email, we pick up with a tool we call Story Videos. Where they stop at video email, we pick up, you know, so we keep, we keep going in that now, you know, in, in good business sense, we’re looking at our competition and we’re going, we like what they do there, let’s R & D and R & D is Rob & Duplicate. Nothing wrong with that. We Rob & Duplicate all day long, but everybody’s been doing that right. I mean, so like we have some features coming out on our video email platform where you know, you’re going to be able to send a video email to somebody and then your recipient is going to be able to reply back using a video … That’s coming.
Greg Cross: (20:58):
We have we’re, we’re integrating and there’s some platforms that do that, but there are some of our competitions that don’t even do that. And if they’re going to keep up with the Joneses, they’re going to have to do that. You know, we’re getting ready to integrate Outlook and Gmail. We’ll be adding SMS texting, you know you know, where you can just create your video email, you can copy and paste the embed code and then put it right in a text or put it in a LinkedIn. And then that animated gift will show gosh, one of the, the one tool … And I’m almost part of me, doesn’t want to say because when I competition sees it, they’re gonna want to implicate it or duplicate it. And that’s called Fusion. We’ve named the feature of fusion and Nick, that’s going to be huge.
Greg Cross: (21:43):
And so imagine sending a video email and you go, hi, this is Greg Cross. I met you on LinkedIn. I’d love to connect with you. As soon as I get done with my video email message to you watch a, a really quick 60 second, you know, video on how we’re making the difference for our clients and then a video and a prerecorded video that you did outside is just going to be appended. It’s not jumping people out to YouTube. It’s not jumping. It’ll actually be a part of that video email experience. [Nick: That’s pretty cool. ] That is cool. And it’s already, it’s already done. It’s, I’ve seen the beta of it about a month ago. And so now we’re just perfecting it and you know, and you and I can talk geeky, you know, just adding it to the database and making sure that, you know, we can all put it in there. That’s I don’t know anybody that does that. I mean, you know, if they are, then I’d love to see what they’re doing and you see how we can perfect it
Nick Smith: (22:41):
For the audience. You’ve been listening to the Innorpreneur Podcast, please stay tuned. We’re going to have a lot more great content and great interviews coming up. So thanks again, Greg, have a great one. Bye.