Brave New Tech, Brave New Startup - Tim Holladay of Crowd Mics

Crowd Mics is an app that turns the audience’s smart phones into wireless microphones.” Tim Holladay, co-founder and CEO of Crowd Mics.

The professional mic runner industry was on borrowed time anyway. There’s also live texting and polling, because if folks are going to have their phones out anyway… .

Crowd Mics was the first downloadable microphone for a live event, according to Tim, because his team was the first to overcome the intrinsic technical hurdles. Their solution works great, and ongoing seed funding is ensuring it will only get better.

In other words, the easy part is over. “Ideas are cheap, building stuff is relatively inexpensive nowadays. …It’s really about getting yourself out there.” Of course, the do-or-die test is marketing. Tim knows he’s being watched in that regard. “People are kind of waiting to see what happens with us,” he says. “We can feel… people watching us.” He calls this particular abyss the “interest gap.” “They’re interested, [but] would they actually pull out a credit card and pay for Crowd Mics?”

They would, and are. Early adopters have told Tim that audience interaction goes up three- or four-fold when they use Crowd Mics. Tim believes it’s because people’s own mobile devices are easy to access. They don’t have to wait for a microphone, or navigate to the front of the room, or try to yell to be heard, all of which discourages participation. Current customers are happy with the increase in participation that Crowd Mics fosters. Tim aims to keep them happy with attentive, personal customer service. (In fact, if you linger on the Crowd Mics website too long, a little chat window opens up, and there’s Tim, waiting to answer your questions.)

Tim seems an unlikely candidate for taking such a risk with a new technology in an untested market… he’s got a wife, five kids, and a new house. “This is nuts,” he admits. “Why in the world would I do this?” But the reason it’s “nuts” is the reason he’s doing it. “I’ve got these five awesome little kids, 10 years old and younger, who are watching what daddy is doing. And I want to show that you can make something out of nothing, build value, and make a difference. …When I have to grind out an extra few hours, that’s what gives me the drive.”

Check out our full interview with Tim at SXSW V2V.

You can find Crowd Mics on Facbeook here; on LinkedIn here; and on Twitter @crowdmics.

Credits
Underwriter: Crowdfund.Life
Interviewer: Thubten Comerford
Article: Eric Inman
Producer: Daniel Lucy
Video Editor: Jacob Curtis

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