"Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening." - Dorothy Sarnoff
During our last hackathon we were confused over how to best present our project to our audience. We wondered how top product companies launch their products that appeal to people of versatile backgrounds. To support hackers who built great stuff but present poorly and to mark a year anniversary of Summer League Hacking we built an all-in-one website for making product videos - Elixir.
What it does
Elixir is a one-stop destination for hackers, makers and founders to get inspired and channel that inspiration for building their product videos. Elixir offers the following:
Curated List of Product Videos
Watch product launch videos by startups changed the world. A handpicked list of product videos of the 15+ coolest tech products will inspire you towards building your own product video that captivates audiences.
Background Music Recommendations
Wondering what background music to add that matches your product vibe? Look no more. A surveyed list of tunes to add to a product makes it easy for anyone wanting to make their product launch video classy and upbeat. Thanks to Spotify, all handpicked music can even be played right on the website!
"Introducing the new IPhone12". Want a convincing voice to announce in your product vidoe. Google Cloud's APIs power Elixir to provide downloadable MP3 for adding to videos. What's more Elixir even support multi-lingual texts!
Add your product
Want to include your product video on Elixir. It is possible! Elixir is made for hackers and by hackers. Users can add new product videos directly onto Elixir to be featured on the website.
We want Elixir to be accessible to all irrespective of their disabilities. Dark mode reduces eye strain and increases focus. The best thing? Hackers love it! Need we say more?
Challenges we ran into
One of the challenges we faced was building the voice over feature. Allowing users to enter text in any language and providing a downloadable MP3 was difficult. We used Google Cloud's APIs to convert the text entered by any user into speech.
Another challenging feature was to allow users to enter their products directly on Elixir. This would require creating a special backend just for storing user entries. One of found out a way through Formium which provides Node packages that allow directly taking in user input without worrying about the backed. The details entered by the user are sent to Formium through a POST request where they are stored.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're extremely proud of having completed our product within the duration of the hackathon. Prior to Hack-At-Home-2 we had majorly used Gatsby for building client side rendered website. We're proud to announce that Elixir is completely server-side-rendered and is our first project that does so. Moreover, despite challenges in setting up Google Cloud and intense brainstormings over whether to build a backend for form responses, we persevered and brought Elixir to life!
What we learned
Before Hack-At-Home-2, both of us had only minimal experience using Google Cloud. Building Elixir taught us about the multitude of features available for use through Google Cloud. Having only used reCaptcha before as a user, we learned how to have it on our own website and prevent bots from submitting form data.
We had majorly built client-side rendered webpage before this hack. Elixir being completely server-side rendered taught us a lot about building SSR Gatsby pages and why they're more preferred.
What's next for Elixir
We wish to release Elixir as a crowd-sourced freemium product (similar to Wikipedia). Elixir would become the one-stop destination for all things needed for a product launch - all powered by the community.