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The Animoto Revolution How this band of hipsters is taking photo sharing into the 21st century

By Sara Wilson

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The Animoto Revolution

I stand in front of a sterile door so cold and lifeless that I wonder if I'm at the right place. The miniscule name to the right assures me this is, indeed, the headquarters of Animoto Productions. I soon discover the exterior's simplicity belies a comfortably casual space buzzing with entrepreneurial energy--the kind you imagine at a wildly ambitious tech startup. That's because within these four walls, a video revolution is taking place, one that promises to usher in a whole new age of video-making where anyone, regardless of talent or wealth, can create a professional-looking video. Using Animoto's video creation platform, users upload photos, select a song and click "Create Video." Minutes later and not a penny poorer, out pops a 30-second video with serious wow factor.

The web application is super cool, and so are the guys behind it: Brad Jefferson, 33; Jason Hsiao, 33; and brothers Stevie Clifton, 30, and Tom Clifton, 28. Though a few of them are self-described tech geeks--which is probably true in view of what they've created--they look anything but. They're laid-back, approachable and devoid of ego--despite the fact that they're the creators of a groundbreaking, innovative technology.

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