Creating a Roadmap Video

We’re looking for the next startup thought leaders to feature on Forbes. We’re profiling early-stage startup founders who can tell us a compelling macro thesis that articulates how their industry will inevitably change. This is your chance to show the world that you’re visionary.

How to make a Roadmap Video

We don’t publish every video that’s submitted, but if you follow these steps, we can give you a pretty quick answer as to whether or not it’s likely that we will publish your video on Forbes and our site (and hopefully this will save you a lot of work!).

  • STEP 1: Read our guidelines and submit your macro thesis in no more than a paragraph.
  • STEP 2: If we approve your macro thesis, we will contact you. Then we’ll ask you to write a script for your Roadmap Video. Once you send us your script, we’ll work with you so that it fits our publishing standards.
  • STEP 3: Once we approve your script, you’ll shoot your Roadmap Video using a smartphone, laptop, or any camera you have available. When you’re done, upload your video to YouTube as an “unlisted” video and send us a link.
  • STEP 4: If we approve your video, you’ll send us a link to download the video file and then we’ll upload it to our YouTube channel. Once we make your video live on Forbes, we’ll send you a link and help promote the post on our social networks.

Watch these videos to learn more about what Andrew is looking for in a video and to see an example of a Roadmap Video featuring Andrew’s first company, sixdegrees.

What is a macro thesis?

A macro thesis is a theory you have about the future of a given space and how it may change. For example, if you were Steve Jobs in the early 2000’s, your macro thesis might have been that one day, people would eventually have all the power and capabilities of their desktop computers right on their phones. Or if you were Elon Musk of Tesla, you might have predicted that one day, electric vehicles would become ubiquitous (something we’re still waiting for!).

A well-articulated macro thesis shouldn’t be dependent on the existence of your product or service — a macro thesis creates the context for your product or service to exist. Both Steve Jobs and Elon Musk could have described their predictions for the future without mentioning the products that they intended to introduce. Even without Steve Jobs, it’s likely that we would still all have smartphones (although that might have been delayed by several years). Even without Elon Musk, it’s likely electric cars will still become pervasive.

Founders who aren’t focused on building a massively disruptive technology or a significant change in social behavior may still build great businesses. There is probably an opportunity to build an amazing mobile ad platform that gains market share at the expense of the existing dominant ad platforms. In that case, your macro thesis might be: “Ad platforms will deliver more relevant advertisements in the future based on the incorporation of online and offline behavior being gathered from many data sources.”

Your macro thesis might be true and your company may turn out to be great. But while this type of company might be right for our startup boot camp, it isn’t the type of company that we’re focusing on. For the Roadmap Video series, we’re looking for founders who have macro theses that predict some type of massive disruption — not predicting incremental improvements in how business is currently conducted.

Roadmap Video Guidelines

We feature videos that follow our format made by founders who make interesting predictions about the future. Founders should be able to articulate what they’re building in a way that anyone can understand. For the chance to be profiled on Forbes and our Founder Library, your video must follow these guidelines:

REQUIRED: You must have a working website in order to be considered.
We’ll be directing viewers to your website so that they can learn more about your product or service.

REQUIRED: Answer the following 6 questions in this order:

  1. What is your mission?
    • Your mission should be in the form of a statement and should be no longer than 1 sentence.
    • E.g. “To build the world’s largest social network.”
  2. What is your macro thesis?
    • Tell us your prediction about an inevitable change that will take place in your vertical.
    • Don’t mention you or your company anywhere in this section.
  3. What is the market sizing?
    • You should speak directly to the market that you’re targeting here. We want to know why it’s a huge opportunity.
    • Tell us a specific dollar amount for this year or a year in the future that reflects the total market size of your space, defined as the total dollar amount of goods and services sold in the space where you’re competing.
    • Please include a link to any article that you cite.
  4. What is the product or service?
    • You should be able to explain to a 5-year-old what it is that you’re building. Be literal.
  5. What is real and what is vaporware?
    • We need to know what you’ve already built and what is part of your vision for the future.
    • If you’ve already launched an MVP, tell us about your traction here.
    • Tell us your product or service roadmap for the foreseeable future.
  6. Why you?
    • This is where you tell us why you and your team are qualified to be thought leaders and tackle the particular problem that you’ve introduced.

REQUIRED: Your video must be 4 minutes or less.
We’ll be profiling startup videos that are captivating and concise.

REQUIRED: Include titles for each question that you’re answering.
Use a pen & paper, white board, screenshots, or any other medium that lets your personality shine. For example, we used index card titles for our sixdegrees Roadmap Video.

REQUIRED: Don’t be promotional.
This video is your chance to position yourself as a startup thought leader. Please don’t include a promotional introduction to your video, a slogan, a pitch to visit your website, background music, or anything else that comes off as selling yourself.

OPTIONAL: Shoot your video in a space where you’re actively working on your startup.
We want to see your headquarters, whether it’s a co-working space, private office, park bench, or your bedroom.

Filming Tips

  • Use what you’ve got.
    You can shoot with anything from a smartphone to a webcam to a professional camera. We shot our videos using an iPhone 6, a smartphone wide lens and tripod, a smartphone microphone, index cards, and a desk lamp.
  • Shoot your video in a well-lit room.
    The light should be facing you, not coming from behind you. Your face and environment must be easily visible.
  • Record your video in a quiet place.
    We need to be able to hear you clearly. Test your finished video’s sound using your computer’s internal speakers before submitting it.

Ready, Set, Action

All set to create your own Roadmap Video? Before you shoot, we recommend watching Roadmap Videos that we’ve featured in the past. To get started, submit your macro thesis and we’ll notify you if we’re interested to feature your startup.

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