AwesomeGCP Phase II: 2-Pass Solutioning and Raising Funds

sathish vj
Mar 4 · 5 min read

To cover more certifications quicker and to make this sustainable.

tldr;

  1. I have to raise funds to sustain these videos or make it paid. Please connect me to the CxO/brand-head in your org who makes the decision to sponsor/advertise.
  2. I’m taking a 2-pass approach to upcoming solutioning videos — quicker first-pass solutions with a little detail. Greater detail in second-pass.

I just wrapped up the first 20 scenario based solutioning videos for the Associate Cloud Engineer on the AwesomeGCP channel. That has been a very successful experiment. The feedback and responses have been positive, supportive, and, most importantly, encouraging to do more of these. So far, so great.

Now, I’ve to consider what next and how best to approach it.

If you’d like to watch a video, instead.

Most Requested — Other Certification Questions

First, let’s consider what is seemingly most important to you. After I’ve spoken at events, the most common request I receive is: whether and when I am going to do similar videos for the other exams. My response is always “Yes, but I do not know when.” Why? Because an inordinate amount of time goes into making one video.

The time spent on one video would be something like this:

  • most of the time goes into the research and slide preparation. At a very minimum, this is a full day. But for that, I get a considerable amount of detail.
  • I often create my own diagrams that not only explain the concept but is better impresses the idea in your mind allowing improved recall.
  • I go through a hands-on of the options myself using the Console or gcloud to ensure that it works as expected.
  • Recording usually takes a few attempts and while recording I realize that there are gaps in the explanation which takes me back to research and redoing some of the slides.
  • I can’t afford to hire a quiet studio and since I live in a city, I usually have to record the videos at home in a hack-job setup when it is somewhat quieter — between midnight and about 5am. (That’s not particularly helping my schedule, my energy, or my health and fitness.)
  • Usually the editing takes lots of time but I’ve streamlined it quite a bit. Even so, editing and rendering and uploading takes more than an hour or two.
  • I’ve automated some part of the subtitling with some tools that I wrote for spelling correction and capitalization. Beyond that I pay somebody to fix the subtitles generated by YouTube, which I’ve noticed works quite badly with technical terms. I still have to do one more round after I receive it back. Just subtitling is an hour plus for me above and beyond what another person does for me.
  • There is also more work on YouTube to fix metadata on the videos and end cards.
  • Once the video is uploaded, I’ve to then work on the social media content to bring it to your notice.
  • After it’s available to you, there is some further time spent responding to questions and comments, which of course, I’m very glad to do.

After initial trials, I’d originally estimated that I’d eventually take about a day per video, which was a sever underestimate. I now take upwards of two days per video — and that is full time, doing no other work tasks. The only reason I was able to stick to a video per weekday was that I already had a bank of them ready before I started.

With that amount of effort, getting videos out with this amount of comprehensiveness is not possible. But I can see that these videos are super useful for you and I’d like to continue helping you all.

2-Pass Approach

Since people want more of these videos covering more topics, I can’t reasonably create them with this comprehensiveness regularly. Therefore, in the next set, I am taking a 2-Pass approach.

In the first pass, I will go through the solutioning quicker and be focused on evaluating the options without going into too much detail about the underlying concepts. We’ll be able to cover more, quicker. I’ll be able to get something to everybody who’s attempting any of the exams.

In the second-pass, which will come later, I’ll build on the first pass and go deeper into the options, more like what I did so far.

Sustainability and Funds

In all these endeavours, whether business and open source, the sustainability of the projects comes down to funds. Personally, I cannot afford to do this while foregoing my income. Now, I absolutely want to do make these videos for all of you; so, not doing it is not an option.

Nope. If you think YouTube will pay with advertisements, I can assure you that it doesn’t pay out anything close to a reasonable amount.

Even to start monetizing, the threshold set is universal irrespective of the kind of content. What I am creating is niche content useful for fewer people. Yes, it is enormously useful content, those who need it are back on regularly, and it is even helping Google’s other products be adopted, but that doesn’t matter. YouTube makes no distinction between them. To even get to a threshold where I can switch on monetizing, based on the rate I’m going at right now, I expect it to be more than a year. All that is lost income and lost time. I definitely cannot afford that.

Content like this also doesn’t go viral! Looking at others who have crossed that threshold for similar content, the revenues are meagre. YouTube will pay a little after a long time but it will be nowhere close to what I could earn right now. Just putting current earnings into the bank will earn me more on interest in the same time. So, YouTube revenues is a dead-end.

Given that, now I’ve to consider how to make this sustainable. Here are the options, I see:

  • make the videos free, but raise funds from a few places.
  • make the videos paid for by anybody who wants to use it.

My preference is for the former. Raise the money from companies who benefit from this via sponsorships or advertisements. Then keep the content free for the community. (If that doesn’t work out, then it is the latter by default.)

To that end, I would really appreciate your help in connecting me to CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, hiring managers, brand managers, etc. in your company who would be willing to sponsor this content.

I will do a call out for their support. These videos are perpetually free and the brand visibility will be for a long time and for a very niche, relevant audience. Those seeking to showcase their cloud/Google Cloud capabilities, those seeking to hire from the community, and those seeking to sell related content like courses, books, training, etc. could benefit directly.

Additionally, instead of paying many hundreds of dollars for each individual employee’s education, route some of that here and you’ll have these videos for free for ever. I would assume you’d save money on this. And you’ll have perpetual brand visibility and hiring opportunities.

To support and sponsor these videos, please mail me at sathishvj@yahoo.com or reach me on LinkedIn.


Thank you for all your support and encouragement!

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