Well what a last day for meetings! Today we met with our last two meetings and despite having heard from a large amount of tech companies over the past month, the things that we heard today were still very informative and helpful. The first company that we talked to was called Capsule who did photo collection and sharing for weddings and we talked with their co-founder and CEO Cyrus. One thing that Cyrus talked to us about that we had heard a lot about was being able to pivot the focus of a company when needed. He told us that company leaders (and especially founders who are probably more emotionally attached to the company) need to be aware of the fact that they may need to pivot the companies direction away from what it was originally intended for and towards a possibly more profitable market or product. In the case of Capsule, we learned that the service was originally intended for use for a wide range of occasions such as trips and parties. However, when the company learned that their product was almost exclusively being used for weddings, Cyrus pivoted the company towards marketing and developing the product mainly for the use in weddings. Although being able to pivot when necessary is something that any good startup or established business should be able to do, we have also learned that founders and leaders of companies should also be able to stick with their dream in the face adversity. When a product or company is being funded by a handful of different investors, there is naturally going to be multiple different directions that investors and other people think that the product/company should go. We have heard from a handful of founders that it is important to keep true to your vision if you know it is the right one for your company or product. This is in contradiction to the equal number of times when we have heard the importance of pivoting when necessary. So the question in my mind (that I haven’t heard the answer to and haven’t come up with one myself) is how does a CEO or founder of a company know when to pivot the direction of a company? My guess it would probably come down to intuition.
Our next meeting was with a company called FullScreen who does content management and monetization for content creators on Youtube among many other services. One service that FullScreen provided that I found particularly interesting from a marketing stand point was called “Gorilla Campaigns” in which essentially advertisers gave their product to Youtubers who would make videos about the product and include a quick plug for the product at the end of their video. This use of Youtubers to directly market products to potential customer is brilliant in a couple ways. Firstly, it’s a highly targeted message in that the content creators knows their audience extremely well and thus is able to deliver a message that is guaranteed to reach and speak to the audience. The second advantage is that the audience trusts the content creator that they’re watching, so when they receive this message they know that it’s not coming from some business that doesn’t know who they are but rather a person that they trust. These two aspects of the Gorilla Campaigns gives this sort of advertising a huge edge over traditional methods, something that FullScreen confirmed with the statistical success of this service.