Have been thinking long and hard how I share this.

For the last 6 years I have been sacrificing to grow Viddler to point it is at today: profitable, 25+ employees and growing.

It’s been a journey that has included: sleepless nights, building brand awareness, promoting other brands, organizing server growthpitching, organizing capture of viral videos, attracting customers, thuggie promotion, mockups galore, product management.. you name it.. all with 3 months of capital invested at a time out of Bethlehem, PA .

Two weeks ago, the board notified that my services were no longer required. Will still be a highly invested board member (update: resigned week or two after for personal reasons) but my role operationally as CEO/President is no longer. It put’s me in an interesting position as this wasn’t exactly voluntary. And a slew of questions have been keeping me up…

How much should I share on my removal?
It’s clear to me, I should probably keep my mouth shut. Am still a very large shareholder and it doesn’t do anyone any good to share my perceptions publicly with how/why this happened. This is hard for me as I am generally a very transparent person. I want to share the lessons I have learned from this. After the fate of Viddler is decided, I will probably be more public on lessons learned/etc.

What do I focus on next?
It’s very clear my primary passion still is in online video. All paths are pulling me in this direction, and will maintain an open mind with new opportunities here.

Where?
As much as I can try to justify it being in Bethlehem, PA doesn’t continue to make much sense. Am being pulled strongly a in direction of Silicon Valley. Will also be exploring opportunities out of NYC, Seattle, Philly, Chicago, Boston, Austin, and Denver. UPDATE: And as Jim reminded me can’t forget Reno!

Viddler was a long journey. Am excited for something new.

As Billy Disney (ex-viddler videographer) recently shared with me, “Time to get back to what you do best”

 

76 Responses to No Longer Operational At Viddler

  1. Interesting development. Never met you but followed you for a long time now it seems. Hope all the best for you to come.

  2. Don't forget – Steve Jobs was removed from Apple back in 1985. http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Maci

  3. justjason says:

    What the…? I honestly can’t believe this! You were a driving force to get me to use Viddler exclusively. I can’t imagine Viddler will be quite the same without you. Regardless, I’m sure you’ll bring your passion, creativity and innovative spirit to everything you do. In the end, that’s what really counts.

  4. Josh says:

    Hopefully you will not forget this post:
    http://robertsandie.com/2007/07/15/blog-philadelp

  5. @kyork20 says:

    Best of luck to you, Rob! Move to Manchester, NH and start something new up here! 🙂

  6. Rob,

    What I've learned over time, is that some people are innovators, entrepreneurs who are great at building things. Which is what you are. Others are day to day people. Be proud of what you've built mate. We need to catchup soon for a beer.

    Cheers

    Benjamin

  7. Tracy Evans says:

    A door closing always equals a window opening. Wherever this turn takes you will be a continuation of an exciting adventure.

  8. Chris Tingom says:

    Hey Rob – best of luck with whatever you do next! Viddler is an amazing product.

  9. polk says:

    Rob, thats wild man. Company wouldnt exist without you. Drinks next time you are in bay area.

  10. Charlie says:

    Yikes! I am in the midst of considering a move from Ooyala to Viddler. As pricey and unresponsive as their customer service may be, Ooyala has provided rock-solid performance the past three years. I am concerned about the future of Viddler in light of your departure. We may have to put the change on hold to see how things shake out.

  11. steve says:

    Rob,
    I'm very troubled by this turn of events. As Director of the KIZ I am extremely interested in speaking with you. LVEDC is currently developin g a valley wide entrepreneurship program so before you make any moves, please contact me.

  12. Hey Rob, Viddler surely wouldn't be where/what it is today without you. I still remember sitting down with you when it was just your ideas and you were able to execute on all of them, make things happen and turned Viddler into something real, tangible and successful. That is something to be quite proud of – congratulations. As others have noted, hopefully you will see this as new doors opening up to new opportunities and ideas, and that your time creating and nurturing Viddler to where it is, has given you that much more experience, wisdom and knowledge that you take with you to your next venture. Having this, along with your youth and determination really gives you an edge over others, not many people can claim to have done what you have. Whatever happens, don't let Viddler define you – you defined it, it was an experience and you take all that with you as wisdom and lessons learned. Onwards and upwards! Congratulations on the engagement as well!

    All the best to you!
    Rob

  13. alexbare says:

    I've been using Viddler for almost 4 years now and when I think of Viddler, I think of Rob Sandie. I just don't understand. It won't be the same without you, Rob. Best of luck with whatever you do in the future.

  14. Rob, Internet TV is the next frontier. We should talk before you head west. Many ways to incorporate online video. Currently low barriers to entry, wide opportunities. Strategic planning, vision, and market positioning will separate the field. Several years ago, sitting next to me on a plane out of ABE, you described Viddler as similar to YouTube, "but cooler and hipper". The emphasis seems to have shifted a bit toward extreme functionality. When BeachNetworkTV.com launches, we'll be shooting for cooler and hipper. Funness. Btw, congrats on your engagement (can't believe it took some Viddler trauma to get you to pop the question).
    I wish you both God's best.
    -Wayne

  15. […] down as CEO, though the decision was not voluntary. He was asked to leave the company by its board, he says, though he’ll remain an integral part of that board. We’re working on getting ahold of […]

  16. […] No Longer Operational At Viddler Ocean City ProposalOn July 23, 2011 · 884Leave a Commenthttp%3A%2F%2Frobertsandie.com%2F2011%2F07%2F23%2Focean-city-proposal%2FOcean+City+Proposal2011-07-23+17%3A31%3A35Robhttp%3A%2F%2Frobertsandie.com%2F%3Fp%3D884 Life has been a chaotic lately and what has helped me get through this and been a solid in my life, has been Dana.This July 8th I was lucky enough to get engaged at Ocean City Music Peer. A few weeks earlier she said this was her favorite place, and the plotting began.The story of making this happen started working with The Billboard Boat to convey, the question. It was interesting talking Mike the owner, another entrepreneur, who has been working on this for last 5 years. They mostly do advertising but do have a plan for proposals (very reasonable).Anycase, BillyD made a custom video with animoto (on photos I gave him) that he gave billboard people to play at 10:15 as they drove past Ocean City. It wasn’t easy getting it into SWF format but Billy pulled through.Billy recruited a cast of videographers, including Tom Conners and Josh Gold, who were acting like photographers on the pier. Billy and I were texting (I said it was work related) as Dana and I were walking to go “get breakfast”.  I suddenly “got sick” and had to goto the bathroom, where  Billy mic’ed me up. I then needed more air and asked Dana if we could sit at the edge of the pier. Tom was moving someone from the seat as we walked up (Dana didn’t have a clue)…. We sat down. And then the boat came… Just can’t give enough thanks to Billy and crew for helping make this happen. And more love and thanks to Dana for accepting   If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it! Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Name *Email *WebsiteCommentYou may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> […]

  17. […] Viddler founder Robert Sandie (TP Coverage) will admit right off the bat that his departure as CEO was not voluntary. He even blogged about it. […]

  18. @geoffd says:

    Sounds like you have your head about you on this, but let me know if you ever want to grab a drink and catch up on the topic.

  19. Zach Bloom says:

    Hey Rob,

    I'm sorry to hear this news. We all know how passionate you are about Viddler. I know of a at least one up and coming web-video startup, in education market currently, that may be looking for your particular skill sets and leadership experience. The company is called CitizenGroove. I'd be happy to talk about it more with you and facilitate an intro. Best of luck to you!

    Zach

  20. @kissmecait says:

    Rob-

    I've gotta say, this news broke my heart a little bit. Derek just brought me up to speed and I honestly had to sit and stare into space for a minute. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for everything that you did with Viddler. I know that I wasnt apart of the team, but in a way, I was there for the late nights and all nighters. For the emergencies and the servers crashing. I helped move servers from one building to another. I sat in the office and made snacks for the boys and ordered pizzas when they were up to their ears in code.

    But it was your love and passion for the company that's kept me coming back and watching videos, even if i dont post often anymore. I remember being at dinner during my trip there and watching your face light up when you talked about the things you wanted to do with Viddler. You just had this energy that made me want to be apart of it. And honestly, it was you that inspired me to go into the world and find something I could be that passionate about. You did that.

    So thank you for Viddler. From the bottom of my heart. And I know whatever you do, will be equally wonderful. And I hope I get the pleasure of being somehow involved with that as well.

    Always,
    Caitlyn

  21. Aaron Booth says:

    Hey Rob,
    You were my main contact at Viddler – I appreciated all the help you gave so I can have our church's videos at Viddler at a great deal. Found out that were not there when I had to make some account adjustments – fortunately they kept up the deal you gave. Keep in touch as to where you go with your video thoughts. We want to continue using the latest video sites in reaching people around the world. Hopefully, Viddler will keep being – or else I'm going to have a lot of video uploading work to do somewhere else.

    All the best.

    Aaron Booth
    Internet Manager
    United Church of God – http://www.ucg.org

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  25. Octa says:

    I'm sorry to hear this Rob,
    I also want to tell you that recently my videos (personal account) got deleted without notice, its just clear to me that viddler is not the same again

    They just become very commercial

  26. Interesting development. Never met you but followed you for a long time now it seems. Hope all the best for you to come.

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