As Laura Hornsby and Brian Duerring sat waiting for their usually-prompt pastor, the soon-to-be-married couple didn’t know they were about to solve a problem they had no idea existed.
Their pastor was full of apologies when he finally arrived to the meeting at St. Andrew Church in Milford, Ohio. He explained that he had been at a nursing home, playing back his sermons on a tape recorder for the residents who weren’t able to attend church. Laura and Brian immediately wanted to help. With their strong backgrounds in broadcast, technology, and production, they knew they could provide a streaming solution for this church—and for any house of worship—so that no community members had to miss out on being connected, and no one had to be inconvenienced.
That was 2008. There were corporate jobs to be quit, business plans to write, and technology solutions to be ironed out (not to mention a wedding to have). In 2010, the Duerrings made good on their promise to their pastor. They launched StreamSpot, with St. Andrew Church serving as their first customer.
They estimated they would need 30 streaming customers to be able to make ends meet. That seemed unfathomable. However, within just a few years, StreamSpot had hundreds of customers, serving millions of streaming viewers. The company had not only become the streaming provider of choice for countless houses of worship, but also for many secular organizations. By 2015, StreamSpot had completed a round of venture capital funding and was actively leading the category of faith streaming providers.
While promptness is certainly a virtue to celebrate, one man being 10 minutes late turned out pretty well, too.
The Duerrings certainly weren’t new to using technology to reach people and solve problems. Having worked as an IT manager for WCPO (Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate television station) and a senior manager leading a division at Cincinnati Bell, Brian had a strong background in technology systems management and business leadership. Laura brought her equally strong background in broadcast production, having worked her way up from intern to executive producer at WCPO.
In the early years of StreamSpot, the Duerrings bootstrapped the business, using their expansive skill set to offer many technology-based services other than streaming. They helped companies install surveillance systems, offered high-end video production, and did website development. But as the streaming side grew into a successful product line, they ultimately made the decision to focus the business solely on streaming.
The Duerrings have always been at the forefront of using technology, but they are also exceptional at understanding and responding to their customers’ problems and pains. Because houses of worship were such a strong part of their customer base from the beginning, the Duerrings were dealing with any number of clergy people, church and synagogue staff, and volunteers. They understood that this passionate and wonderful group of people was not necessarily the most tech-savvy. That’s why it became StreamSpot’s mission to make streaming simple by automating the process—including the recording, broadcasting, and content delivery to multiple platforms and all types of devices.
StreamSpot continues to listen closely to their customers, using every problem as an opportunity to innovate and make the customer experience even better. Laura and Brian never forget that they started the whole endeavor to return a kindness and help someone who had helped them so much. That is still the spirit of what StreamSpot is about.
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