After much thought, I’ve decided to wind down the video celebration app I created, HipHip.app.
All servers will be going offline shortly.
Fun Project, Lots of Learning
I started HipHip as a “give back” project during COVID. I noticed that several people were lamenting online that they were going to miss big milestones in-person: celebrations, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, and memorials. I had been learning a bunch about user-video upload and creation, and I wanted to put those skills to use.
I built HipHip.app, a celebration video creator. I didn’t actually know at the time that there were such services — and it turns out, it’s a pretty crowded marketplace!
While HipHip delivered hundreds of great videos for people in its roughly two years on the market, it struggled to be anything more than a hobby/lifestyle project. It began under the unique circumstances of lockdown, helping people celebrate. That purpose was well served!
Now that the lockdown/remote phase of COVID is over, the economics of the business showed that it’s unlikely to turn into a self-sustaining business any time soon. There are some category leaders that have really strong search engine presence which is pretty expensive to dislodge.
I want to turn my energies to other projects, and free up time and budget for other things. COVID lockdown is over, and a lot of people want a respite from recording and Zoom-like interactions, including me.
It was a terrific, educational project. It kept me busy, learning, and productive. HipHip delivered hundreds of celebration videos for people around the world.
I’ve learned a ton about programmatic video creation, technology stacks like Next.js, Azure and React, and likely will apply these learnings to new projects, or perhaps share them with others via e-learning courses.
Among the videos people created were graduation videos, videos to celebrate new babies, engagement, birthdays, anniversaries and the attainment of US Citizenship.
In the end, the CPU processing and storage required for online video creation meant that it could not be done for free forever, and after testing a few price-points, there seems only so much willingness to pay in a crowded market.
Thanks everyone for your great feedback and ideas!
Steve’s a Seattle-based entrepreneur and software leader, husband and father of three. He’s American-Canadian, and east-coast born and raised. Steve has made the Pacific Northwest his home since 1991, when he moved here to work for Microsoft. He’s started and sold multiple Internet companies. Politically independent, he writes on occasion about city politics and national issues, and created voter-candidate matchmaker Alignvote in the 2019 election cycle. He holds a BS in Applied Math (Computer Science) and Business from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford University in Symbolic and Heuristic Computation, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he graduated a George F. Baker Scholar. Steve volunteers when time allows with Habitat for Humanity, University District Food Bank, Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and other organizations in Seattle.