Friday, July 14, 2006
Interview with Kevin Flynn, Founder, Eefoof.com
Eefoof.com (www.eefoof.com) is a brand new, San Diego-based user generated video web site that has received a flurry of interest from the media in the last week for its service, what one publication called "a YouTube killer". I caught up with Kevin Flynn, founder of Eefoof, as he was getting on a plane to visit a venture capitalist in Seattle, to get the background on the site and to talk about the sudden it's attention it's gotten--only ten days after launch.
Ben Kuo: Briefly, for my readers who aren't familiar with your site, what's Eefoof?
Kevin Flynn: Basically, the easiest way to explain this is it's YouTube with revenue sharing. What happens is you can upload your original movies, pictures, animation, and games, and depending on how many hits your work gets versus the site, at the end of the month we tally up what the site made, and we give you fifty percent of the profit. It's on a percentage basis. For example, if one person uploads an extremely popular movie that counts for fifty percent of the total site hits for the site, they will get 25 percent of the profit that the site made that month.
Ben Kuo: Tell me the story about your site--when did you launch?
Kevin Flynn: We launched last Sunday, and it's been crazy. We were picked up immediately by Slashdot, CNET did a big story calling us the YouTube killer, and I was on CNBC, and I've spoken to the Wall Street Journal, and a ton of foreign publications.
Ben Kuo: What's the background on the site -- how'd you get the idea?
Kevin Flynn: I had made a cartoon called Peanut Butter Jelly Time, which featured a little dancing banana. It was extremely popular--I had it hosted on my own web site--but then, I started to notice other sites ripping it off. That really upset me--that their business model was to take other people's work and make the money off of that. So, I thought the best way for both parties to be happy was obvious--the solution was to simply split the profits between the site and the authors. It's become economically feasible in the last few years, since bandwidth is getting cheaper and cheaper. It was feasible to not only make a lot of money for the site, but to give away a lot of money back to the people. It's also kind of nice because even though we split profits fifty percent, we are able to make more money that people could on their own, based on all the good advertising deals we get since we're such a big site.
Ben Kuo: What's your background, and how's the site funded?
Kevin Flynn: I'm 24 years old, and just graduated from San Diego State last year. I'm a financial analyst, and I talked to my buddies about putting it together, and they were both very enthusiastic. That's how it came about. We've been bootstrapping it ourselves and paying for things out of pocket. We've now been approached by five or six venture capital firms--in fact, I'm flying to Seattle tonight to talk to a firm about funding us.
Ben Kuo: Did you ever think you'd become so popular so quickly?
Kevin Flynn: Never in a thousand years. I planned to be where I am now in a year, not in a week. That just shows you how popular this phenomenon is--it's the wave of the future. Sites like YouTube or Google Video will have to change or they will be out of business.
Ben Kuo: How'd this whole media frenzy start?
Kevin Flynn: I think Slashdot was first, and then it just kind of exploded from there. In our first week we had about 1.5 million hits--which was very exciting for us. We currently have about 4000 accounts, and tens of thousands of pictures, movies, video, and audio.
Ben Kuo: Sounds like this has been a bit overwhelming!
Kevin Flynn: Yes, I'm working eighteen hour days. I have a real job, where I am right now, then I go home and work on the site for eight hours. Luckily, here at work they've been very considerate, they have let me talk to people for interviews. I also took a day off so I can fly up to Seattle to meet with a venture capitalist. It's stressful, but I think it's a good vision, and important for people to be compensated for the work they do. I firmly believe in that vision and I'm willing to work hard to make it successful.
Ben Kuo: Thanks, and good luck!