One Second Epic becomes successful app


It’s a moment every entrepreneur dreams about.

For Joe Johnston, Eric Loehfelm and Christian Saylor, Oct. 25 will forever be the day that dream became a reality.

It was the day their new app, One Second Epic, became available as a $1.99 smartphone download with Apple’s app users.

The app, referred to by some as “Twitter for video,” allows users to shoot small video clips — “tiny slices of your life” — that are then compiled and edited by the app into one continuous video.

“One Second Epic allows you to take and capture one to five seconds of video, which we call epics,” Johnston said. “The app stitches those clips into one continuous video. If you’re at a Halloween party, you could take all your little clips of video and then, at the end of the night, you can watch a highlight of all the little shots, with all the editing done, and share it.”

The app works for recording small collections of moments from events like weddings, parties, real estate tours, sports games or even just hanging out with friends and family, Johnston said.

It could be especially profitable in West Michigan’s video community, he said, for film schools in particular.

“You can use it on education purchases,” he said. “If the schools wanted to, they could go out and purchase the app in bulk and get a discount. We hope the film community has fun with it and starts playing with it.”

The “epic” idea was born from humble beginnings in Start Garden’s very first round of funding. One Second Epic was one of the venture capital firm’s first ideas to be funded at the $5,000 level. In July, the project’s funding was increased to $20,000, which Johnston said has helped with legal assistance and gathering community feedback.

Currently, the One Second Epic team is continuing to make updates, including a geo-location feature that would allow all users at the same event to submit their video to a One Second Epic event link and string all the shots into one video.

The three partners are working on expanding to national markets, but right now, they have no predictions for profit. So far, they are just enjoying reaping the rewards of hard work.

“We’re still on cloud nine,” Johnston said.

It’s no wonder, considering the creators still were working full-time jobs at digital solutions agency Universal Mind in Grand Rapids when the app was created. Johnston is director of user experience and director of research and development, while Loehfelm is executive vice president of user experience and Saylor is creative director.

The trio celebrated with an official launch party Thursday at Start Garden headquarters at 50 Louis St. in downtown Grand Rapids. The party served as a sort of film festival where users showcased their One Second Epic videos. The winner received an iPod Touch.

One of Johnston’s favorite aspects of the app, he said, is watching people get excited about sharing their lives through the prism of a tool he dreamed up.

“We’re really encouraged to see people like it and give us feedback,” he said. “It was neat to see their life through an app we created.”

To submit videos to the One Second Epic team, e-mail them to

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