How exactly does Scan Digital work?
So basically what we have created is a very easy and user-friendly way to take all of the old analog material that you might have sitting in you closet or some garage or basement and convert those into digital format. We process a very wide spectrum of materials from photos, slides, negatives to reel-to-reel home movies and pretty much every format of VHS and camcorder tapes that have ever existed. All of the videos are put onto a DVD or onto a hard-drive. All of the photography work is put onto a DVD or a harddrive. And then also those materials put on an online gallery where our customers can share them with their friends and family, they can buy print products, they can purchase digital photo frames with their images preloaded on them. They can have us create a custom slideshow. Once we have the materials in the digital format, there’s a lot of things we’re able to do
How did the idea come about? What did it take to get the company off the ground?
Mike and I are good friends from college. We went to Dartmouth together. We have always been sort of very entrepreneurial people and talked about a number of different business opportunities, but the initial spark for ScanDigital was really from Mike. He was with his parents at Christmas, and his mom had just received a digital camera and was so excited to be able to put her new photos on the computer. So at dinner, she turned to Mike and said, “This digital camera is great, but what about all those albums that we have on the shelves? How do I get those on my computer?” That should be very simple so that kind of sparked something, and the light bulb went off with Mike and he started looking around to see if there was an easy idea. That was at Christmas and a few days later, we were at a New Year’s Eve party and he found me and said, “Hey, we got to talk about this.” It just snowballed and it became very apparent that this was a good idea and something that pretty much everybody could use. From there, we just sort of evolved a business plan. We launched the site in June of 2007.
Was it difficult to get investors involved initially? How did you go about doing it?
We ended actually funding it ourselves, and the nice thing is that once we had orders rolling in the door we had real revenue. So unlike a lot of startups we were trying to build massive users and continue to self-fund it. That was our approach and it has been great because it’s given us a lot of flexibility to grow and adapt and make decisions without having to go to a board of directors or investors and some capital type people for approvals on large business decisions. It’s been a very good situation.
How are materials typically sent? How do you ensure their protection?
When you place your order, you’re able to generate a UPS shipping label directly from our site. We’ve also created an internal tracking system called Central Tracker. What that does is it allows our customers to have pretty much entire transparency into our process from start to finish, and they can actually be logged into their account and see exactly what’s happening, every step of the process, with their materials. And that just provides our customers with a very great level of comfort and ease because most of the stuff that we process is one of a kind and irreplaceable. So we recognize that we have a very unique responsibility. We’ve never lost or
What is typically asked to be digitized?
Kids, babies being born and baby’s first photos, weddings, anniversaries, we get a ton of travel photos. The image that we’ve digitized the most, which is kind of interesting, is the Taj Mahal, which I guess makes it the most photographed landmark in the world. It is definitely a full spectrum, but it falls into the logical life categories of the events that people are documenting.
By Jillian Gordon