Startup Founder Insights - Uncensored
This interview is a part of an interview series called “Startup Founder Insights - Uncensored”, which is focused on educating inexperienced entrepreneurs. Since the best way to learn is through experience, we have set out to interview seasoned founders who will share their journeys and provide exclusive insights into the world of entrepreneurship to help you skyrocket your company.
In this installment of the series, Tomer Yona interviewed Amit Golan CEO and Co-Founder of Minute.ly.
Tomer: Can you share with us a bit about your company and product you have developed?
Amit: Video is a highly valuable type of content but often incurs high investment costs, through both creation or acquisition. Minute.ly helps publishers, broadcasters and content owners increase their returns by amplifying the impact of their content. We increase engagement, distribution & monetization opportunities.
Our AI technology automatically identifies the most captivating moments of a video, and compiles them into short and dynamic teasers or highlights - “Minute Magnets”. These are used to capture viewer attention and navigate users towards video content. Minute Magnets can be utilized on any medium, content platform, or technological framework that exists.
Some examples of what we do:
- Replace static image thumbnails with Minute Magnets (dynmamic video previews) across websites & Google Search and social platforms.
- Combine Minute Magnets together into an interactive showreel component that boosts website activity and generates new monetization opportunities.
- Create mobile-first “stories” automatically from traditional horizontal content.
Tomer: What is your company’s greatest success - team wise?
Amit: As a company, we’ve been able to create a fully automated technology that summarizes video into short highlights, based on what part of the content is the most engaging and captivating. Our customers are global leaders in their fields - from sports, to entertainment & OTT, to news.
When it comes to our team, every person is wholly responsible for their own role, with no crossovers. There are clear definitions for what each member does and what their responsibilities are.
Tomer: How do you motivate your team?
Amit: There are three elements that keep our team motivated. The first is transparency; everyone has a shared vision, and shared successes. The second is partnership; everyone and anyone is invited to take initiative and lead or assume new responsibilities in domains they are passionate about. The third is that we make sure that each employee feels meaningful and that they are valued by the team.
Tomer: What are your top tips for founders?
Amit: Get rid of your ego! Hire people who are better than you, and find people to counterbalance the skills that you lack.
Tomer: What is your company’s greatest success - investment-wise?
Amit: We are fortunate to have a good board of directors, who can help us and support us in pushing different strategic steps.
Tomer: What are your insights from your rounds of investments?
Amit: Every investment round is tough. It’s important never to give up, keep pushing, and make sure you choose the right investment partners.
Tomer: What is the thing that got investors hooked on you most?
Tomer: What are the most important goals of investment (evaluation, control of company, general terms, relationship with investors, etc...) ?
Amit: We choose our investors based on the way we think they will act in response to extremes - both great successes and also great challenges. Running a startup is like constantly riding a wave - at times you are faced with many opportunities, and at others lots of obstacles. Our investors are our partners throughout the whole process.
Tomer: As a B2B company how do you build an effective sales team?
Amit: Validate your best go to market strategy, and keep going back to it and reviewing it and improving it over time - there could be multiple strategies that work for you.
Communication is key. Make sure you have solid training, and give each other feedback immediately after calls & pitches.
Tomer: As a founder who did the sales yourself , what are your top two insights for founders to increase sales?
Amit: Understand the skills and capabilities of each sales person on your team with respect to the sales cycle. Some may be better at approaching prospects, some at pitching, and so on. Make sure you have the right people doing what they are best at.
Stay close to your top clients - don’t detach from them. Keep on getting feedback and insights from them, and learn what they are looking for.
Tomer: Where do you see minute.ly in 5 years from now?
Amit: 5 years from now, Minute.ly will be the largest library for premium content, making any video experience engaging, profitable and universally accessible. We will be in a position to assist any digital publisher in maximizing both their viewers’ engagement and the return on their video investments.
Amit Golan is CEO and Co-Founder of Minute.ly, a leading AI-driven video optimization platform for publishers. He founded Minute.ly in 2014 with the aim of driving video engagement and transforming online video into a more financially rewarding and compelling content source. Amit is a mentor for Google Campus, specializing in Product Development. He is a graduate of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program.
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