Some Assembly Required? San Diego’s ShowUhow Uses Web-Based Video to Displace Printed Instruction Guide

11/2/10Follow @bvbigelow

Kim Folsom tells me that she tried using video for education in the late 1990s at Seminar Source, a venture-backed, Web-based software company in San Diego that tried to take advantage of the fact that it’s easier for many people to learn visually. “You could do video over the Web, but it wasn’t the best,” she says.

Years later, Folsom went to work as a vice president and general manager at DriveCam, the San Diego company that uses a video camera “event recorder” mounted on the windshields of delivery trucks and other fleet vehicles. The device helps fleet managers promote safety by identifying risky driving behaviors it records while staffers are behind the wheel.

These days Folsom is taking another swing at online video. She’s now the founding CEO of ShowUhow, a San Diego-based startup she founded in mid-2007 to create and host online video instruction guides that already are replacing printed instruction manuals. The video guides demonstrate how to assemble everything from Little Tikes’ riding toys and toddler furniture to consumer electronics from Radio Shack.

Kim T. Folsom

Kim T. Folsom

ShowUhow’s Web-based video instruction guides are far easier to follow and understand, she says, than printed assembly instructions that are written by too many people who don’t use the products, or whose directions leave too much open to interpretation.

“Newer smart phones and YouTube have helped make video adoption much more ubiquitous than it used to be,” Folsom says. With the iPhone, Folsom says users can find … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • Jason

    Interesting that Folsom says that the video wasn’t the best 10 years ago. She was the biggest whiner about the quality when Seminar Source was a client (and a non-paying one at that) of Intervu/Akamai.