Ten years ago, I worked with TechCrunch co-founder Keith Teare on a real-time video conferencing startup called Santa Cruz Networks. Like all the other real-time video startups back then, Santa Cruz Networks failed because the market wasn’t ready for live online video communications. But ten years is equivalent to several centuries in web history, and today, real-time video communications is not only becoming increasingly ubiquitous, but might also be offering startup entrepreneurs tremendous new business opportunities.
One entrepreneur that Keith and I worked with back in 2001 was the longtime Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur Bernard Moon. And the impressively persistent Moon is back now with another stab at the lucrative real-time video market. His new company, Vidquik – a self-funded ($500,000), six-person startup that plans to go live sometime in Q2 – offers a web conferencing and sales solution platform for online businesses. It’s a way for people to better engage with their clients, Moon explained to me when he came into our San Francisco studio, before adding that 80% of people now prefer video to textual online interaction.
So is Moon right – are video solutions like Vidquik about to become the new norm for online customer service?