Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in software development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Debarshi Chaudhuri and Eitan Winer, Founders of Maverick, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're the founders of Maverick, a startup that uses AI-generated deep fakes to help eCommerce brands create personalized videos at scale for their customers. Video is the most engaging form of content, and personalization is a multiplier on top. However, recording a personalized video for each customer used to be impossible to do when your brand scaled Maverick makes it possible.
In a time when buying something is as easy as clicking a button, online shopping has lost some of the personal touches that made going into a store delightful, and customers are craving a deeper connection with the people behind the brands they buy from. We think that if they're used in the right way, AI-generated personalized content is a powerful tool to bring back some of the personal touches that shopping has lost by moving online.
Tell us about yourself
We've been friends for over a decade; we met while working together at a mobile gaming company named Pocket Gems in San Francisco. Eitan had previously run his own Shopify store selling alpaca clothing from native Bolivia; he spent a lot of time personalizing the experience for his customers by doing things like writing handwritten notes.
Debarshi had launched a viral app that was an initial foray into the world of AI-generated content. Quoth would use computer vision to analyze the content of a picture and automatically pair it with a matching quote.
We both had a deep passion for helping other entrepreneurs- before landing on the idea that would become Maverick, we spent two years working together on various business ideas and understood how hard it was to get a company off the ground. We only succeed if the businesses we serve succeed, and we try to keep that in focus as we build Maverick.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Making our first sale was a big moment for us! We'd spent two years working on various startup ideas, none of which really took off. We built a bunch of products, launched a bunch of products, and generally got very little traction. However, with Maverick, we quickly made our first sale (actually, before we had the product fully built). Getting that first customer (and soon many more customers) was an awesome feeling and laid the foundation for what Maverick is today and will become.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Prioritization is really hard. You always have a million ideas for new things you want to try- new features, new products, and new distribution channels. However, in the early stages, you need to be hyper-focused on the experiments you run and where you spend your time, energy, and resources.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- All startup ideas have flaws. For any idea that you have, there are probably a dozen reasons why it might not work. And if you spend too much time thinking about the reasons your startup might fail, you'll never start a company. Better to pick an idea that you're excited by and start working in that direction- you'll discover the right path forward along the way.
- Strive to understand what your customers truly value. One really good way of understanding what people value is by getting them to pay you money for something. In the world of software startups, it can be really easy to run out and build a product. The building is exciting! But it's also very easy to build something that nobody wants and that nobody will pay you for. We'd suggest taking the opposite approach- get someone to pay you first and then go build the thing they paid you for.
- Don't give up. It may sound trite. "Oh, obviously, I won't do that." It's super easy to tell yourself you won't give up when you're just starting out
it's way harder not to give up after you've launched your 10th product that failed. But if you keep at it, you'll necessarily succeed.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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