The digital innovator, Gal Klein, today’s co-CEO at AI-based Voice Search platform Audioburst, and his recommendations to everybody who wants to find their digital product or who doesn’t even suspect of various opportunities such tools can give.
Gal Klein started his career with mechanics serving for six years in the army as a mechanical engineer. In addition, he had some tech background. Then, he worked for a company computerizing it, creating technical manuals and catalogues for aircraft in the IAF. In 2000 Gal established his own company, which started providing solutions in the media world, e.g. personalized CDs, and there was also worked as CTO in mBox for international companies on creating technology to cut songs, video clips into short pieces of audio.
After that Gal founded another company PLYmedia. It allowed users to create layers on top of videos, like a speech or thought bubble, live captioning for such companies as Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, and big events like Oprah Winfrey.
We had a very strong understanding of the spoken word.
“We found out that it was an amazing world we should invest in. We founded Audioburst, creating a way to make audio accessible. The first thing you need to do is to transcribe the audio. Manual transcription was very expensive and took many hours. We saw the breakthrough, and started working on the high-quality speech-to-text search engine”.
Challenges of the product development process
“Transcription alone is not enough. The most difficult task was not just transcribing, but extracting audio data from what is not spoken. And with AI, with the ability to understand human speech, you can break it down into segments, we call them audio bursts, that have context”.
“However, more than half of our clients are not tech-savvy - they are marketers, managers, but not the developers. Then, you should encompass two things: first, the platform, focus on what differentiates you from anybody else.
Don't mess with developing things that already exist in the cloud.
Second, the team finds people who are eager to learn. If you find people who already know how to do what you want to do, then, you will have a nice product, but you won't have the technology. Targets we give and ways of reaching them require them to learn new technologies, and not be afraid of them.”
Sometimes too much experience is too much.
“First, we just decided to build a search engine for audio that covers all the audio, and then people will come and search. But you should figure out more issues before launching your engine: where do people search for audio? Why do people search for audio? Where can they get it at the moment?
Our success comes from our failures.
We started focusing on where users engage with audio. You need to understand who your content creators are, you need to give them a solution. As they own the content, you need to provide them with understanding that they can make money out of that”.
Gal suggests some practical advice on how to effectively measure product-market fit for those who are starting to develop their own digital product:
1. Try to find a design partner who helps with audience’s feedback;
2. Don’t be afraid to pivot;
3. Integration of customer and creator needs.
If you have customers, then you have a product market fit.
How the audio content can help other businesses
“Sponsoring audio shows a lot more profitability than just banners, or even sometimes TV commercials. So if you don't sponsor any podcast or radio, go and do that. And it's usually being done by professionals, people who know how to speak, and they know how to promote an idea.”
If you have a product, or an idea, or some kind of data that you want to transfer to users, audio is an awesome tool to do that.
How to get investments for your digital product
“Big companies are looking for innovation. If you want to reach out to them, find their next step or the next accelerator and join. Try to find companies where you bring value because that's the way to check not only your product but also your team.
When you demonstrate belief in what you do and willingness to devote your time and soul into the product, that’s helpful.
Gal’s real secret to success is his family. “Having a strong back supports you when things are not as easy as they are.”
Relating Gal’s plans, Audioburst is getting more and more customers, content creators start to test it out and engage with that. It opens a two-way street for content creators to understand and get feedback from the users.
The next feature that is going to come up is the ability to sell your content. So, that's our next big launch. And we already have many very enthusiastic radio hosts and podcasters who will directly connect with their users. And users will show appreciation by buying, supporting and sharing their content.
Audio has a wonderful way to enter our hearts and our minds.
If you want to hear the full story of Gal Klein, where he tells how he started his already long digital journey, how he came to be a real game-changer in the world of audio content platforms, and which pieces of advice he would give to all the startups, listen to our new podcast. Also, you may visit Gal’s project that connects audio content and users, Audioburst, here.