Sep 20, 2019

‘Youtube with flavor’

Thanks to, Fresno State students can learn how to use chopsticks, how to build a cool sand castle and can now win a free Nintendo Wii.

The 1 year-old Fresno-based instructional video company is celebrating its anniversary by offering students a chance to take home a Nintendo Wii, posting the most original how-to video on its Web site.

“The video doesn’t have to be that complicated,” President and Fresno State alumnus Brendan Kane said. “Some of the best are the most simple.”

Simplicity is a common trait in more than 1,500 how-to videos viewed daily, with topics ranging from “how to buy a used car” to “how to make leg warmers from an old sweater.”

Kane hopes that through this combination of videos organized into 15 different categories, becomes the one place to find anything anyone might want to learn about.

“Depending on what you love or what your interest is, you can find it here,” Kane said. “We really try to find the best of the best.”

Kane, who graduated from Fresno State in 2007 with a degree in computer science, was recruited by Timothy Stearns, the director of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Lyles Center staff member Mike Summers to help run and launch their idea of spicing up similar e-learning Web sites.

“Most were PBS-style, factually accurate, well done, but kind of boring videos,” said Stearns, a Fresno State business professor. “So we sort of added a YouTube flavor to it.”

Stearns and the staff are also banking on the demand for how-to videos by college students. “A lot of the videos relate to the 20-year-old experience, such as the cooking videos. They can say, ‘that looks like my apartment kitchen,’” Stearns explained. “It’s like having a peer talk to me rather than having a professor talk to me, and I think that has an appeal.” staff is a student-run business, offering internships and employment opportunities to Fresno State students. The business acts as a working laboratory classroom, teaching the students about online marketing, blogging and, of course, how-to videos.

“Everyone thinks they’re an expert in something,” Stearns said. “And it’s always fun to have yourself on video.”

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