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

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its manufacturing and retailer customers a monthly service fee to host the videos. The company also can help its customers create videos; ShowUhow operates a studio in San Diego where it can record and produce videos. “Our patent-pending platform technology can be deployed on both the Web and smartphones,” says Folsom, who estimates ShowUhow will generate $1 million in revenue this year and $5.8 million in 2011. Instead of focusing their online service on ad-click conversion, Folsom says, “we’re focused on sale, satisfaction, and [customer] retention.”

Folsom says she raised a small amount of angel funding at the outset from investors she knew from previous companies. In August, ShowUhow raised $3 million in Series A funding from Syncom Venture Partners, a Silver Springs, MD, firm that specializes in media, mobile technologies, and Web-based service companies. The startup also announced in August that Giles Bateman, former co-founder of Price Club/Costco and former chairman of CompUSA, had joined its board of directors.

Folsom acknowledges that ShowUhow faces a range of competitors, from in-home service reps to internal call centers and companies such as Chino, CA-based Alorica, which provides a range of “customer contact services” for its business customers. Folsom says amateur users also create a tremendous amount of “how-to” video content that can be found online for free. But the free online content is problematic, and Folsom says most manufacturers wouldn’t seriously consider using them.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at 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.