Hello everybody. And welcome to this episode of the creator come up podcast today. My guest is none other than Kaia of slide bean. Maybe you've seen some of their videos online talking about some entrepreneurial startup tech world forensic files type videos. And more importantly, you probably have seen Kaia himself being both the CEO, as well as one of the founders. He has a background in starting a handful of businesses that have led him to where he is today with slide bean. Like I said before, not only is he the CEO as well as one of the founders, he also plays a huge role in being the face of their very successful YouTube channel. He and his team are a bunch of wizards when it comes to marketing. So this whole chat was a very nice, deep dive into the medium that they've created of both marketing and traffic. This conversation was very insightful for me and I hope for you as well, and even taught me that I really need to up my marketing game a little bit, but all in all, it's all good because, at the end of it, I came away with a, a lot of great ideas to help push my own marketing side and, and career path. And again, hopefully, you do too. So without further ado, Kaia from slide being
Reminding second during my second, uh, person ever interviewed ever. So this is maybe they put like the kids that's, um, a little bit more talkative and the American on. So that's a, got to love it. You moved to the states like 10 years ago, right?
I don't live in the states, uh, contrary to popular belief, but this is, yeah, this has been intentional. So we, um, you know, we, we understand how important it is for us to, to be US company. When we started slack being, we figured like this needs to be a US company. Um, but I'm Costa Rican. My co-founders are as well. Uh, and I still live in Costa Rica. So, um, we, we have part of the team in New York. We have, uh, we now have a company apartment in New York. So part of the team just flies there and lives in New York, like different cycles. I'm there all the time, but no, I don't officially live in New York.
Yo, I did not know that, you could have just, so is your whole studio and everything in Costa Rica too.
Yeah, that's right. Wow.
Wow. I would've never guessed the guys. Uh, I don't know. So the other guys that, um, that, that I work for, they're like, they're like big fans and whatnot. They watch all your videos. We were going through all that stuff, uh, earlier today going through a bunch of the questions. And, uh, he started scrolling through the side of the slide being, um, YouTube channel. And I was like, dude, do you watch every single one of these? He's like, yeah. So, um, but I, I wonder, I wonder if they probably know that I'm just there just, I'm just talking out loud, but, um, the one thing I do want to talk about the YouTube channel though, is like, where you did, did you intend to be the face of this company? Did you intend to make that a thing?
No, man. Like that, that, that happened a little bit by coincidence. We, um, so we started the YouTube channel. The reason why we started was, um, we, our first hugely successful marketing channel was SEO. So we, we, we figured our way through SEO. We manage our website to rank our website and to get, you know, to get the first results in the keywords that we really cared about. Um, but then we, there's only so many searches about the topics that we talk about. So there are only so many people that need a pitch deck and are actively looking for that, uh, or that are raising money. So we figured, well, how can we get to these guys in some other places? So we thought of YouTube versus a search engine, uh, where we could answer these questions
That the same people were asking on Google.
Well, maybe they'll ask them from YouTube as well. Um, and then, yeah, man, it was a bit by coincidence that I started kind of hosting these videos. I guess I'm not too bad in front of the camera. Um, I have a background in video production, so that's why the little team that we assembled from the S the existing slide bean team at the time like we took a couple of people had that had a background on production, and we brought them in say like, Hey, let's let this little side task and help us make a few videos. So that's how it all started. Um, did not expect to become the face of the company this way, uh, which has been a thing now that the YouTube channel has gotten so big now much content. And our traffic comes from that YouTube. Now that you guys have built it up and it's, it's become relatively big. Like, I don't know, like you have the hundred thousand subscriber plaque and everything like that. You're pushing over 300, but that's, that's in your, in each video is getting quite a bit of view on that. How much of the traction to slide bean do you actually pull from that?
It's very hard to measure. And that's one thing that we have to understand. So YouTube gets around seven, 800,000 organic views per month. Um, that's not counting the ads that we do cause, you know, to retarget people and so on. Um, and it, I would say that it is very likely our largest channel for demand generation and for exposing our brand by, by all means, it's the largest, our website gets around 300 K visits per month. Um, so YouTube just in itself is getting more than that. It's hard to measure how many of those views come from people who are watching multiple videos or just new people. But what we do know is that when we ask people, Hey, how did you discover slight being the answer we get most commonly is YouTube.
Sure. Now my, uh, so a lot of your content has almost kind of not, it's not directly influenced by slide being itself. Uh, so how, how, how did you make that decision to like, and this is coming from a personal question from what we're trying to do right now is we are trying to come in, um, from being a text-based video editor and what not to, um, just creating some sort of just all-around content that people, anybody can come by. And it's not something that's very, uh, specific, uh, keyword-focused. Like, I mean, everything is keyword-focused, but I feel like, you know what I mean?
No, I got you. I got you. So we like the first video that we made on YouTube. We're all about search terms that really had something direct to do with what we do. Right. So if somebody is looking for a pitch deck, or how do, how does a convertible note work, or how does startup equity work at the early stage? So those are all very direct customers from that video to become our customers. There is a very, very short path because if you're looking for those topics, you're likely I don't an entrepreneur who is trying to raise money. So, you know, our product kind of fits perfectly in there, but there's only so many people that will watch that content, which is the problem we come across all the time, right. We, we, we sort of fill that answer. Like we, we fill the answers for pitch decks and we fill the answers for convertible notes, and start fundraising.
And we were ranked first or second in the YouTube search for those keywords. So we're like, well, there's only, there's no more traffic that we can generate from that. Um, and we have this idea, like I was excited about YouTube, about what it could become. Uh, like I guess I was a bit of a frustrated Youtuber before that, like, meaning like I, I wanted, I wanted my own channel, so I sort of mixed that up into the, into the whole decision-making and figured, well, what if we make other content that a startup, um, the founder would watch? And, and that's when, when we came up with this company forensics series, so the first episode of forensics was on WeWork, which was just this right in the middle, right. It's, it's the story about this company that a lot of people know about that's going through this whole, uh, uh, press mess, um, Adam, uh, leaving the company and so on, but also who, who is, who works out of a WeWork.
It started, right? So that was just in the middle of a company that would be interesting to founders, but also to a broader audience. Um, and since we saw the success of these forensics tear-downs on, I think there's a little sharing for you that when people want to like, see how this company that's, that they used to make fun of fail, like Juicero. Um, so we just started generating content on that, and now that's become like our top of the funnel on YouTube. So if you think of, you know, if you think of a funnel-like people might, we'll probably discover us through a company forensics video on a topic, uh, and then the YouTube algorithm will do the rest and push them to other content that might be interesting to them. And some of that content might be very startup-specific content, like a pitch deck stuff, which is really this step before moving, into our actual sign-up funnel.
Absolutely. I mean, I found myself really just bingeing your content. I was trying to do a little bit of research prior to us chatting, just to kind of get an idea of everything that's going on. The guys really, as I said, the guys really know who you are and what you guys are all about. Uh, so, but I, I genuinely found myself just like watching and watching and watching. So your, your method, and I wanted to ask you about that. Cause like coming from a video creation standpoint, uh, your, your videos are in, I mean, no offense by this, but they'd seem to be relatively simply made. Um, but so much high production value to them. Um, so, from what I've seen is, it's, it's a lot of you in front of a camera sitting in a studio and then a lot of B roll on top. And am I correct?
Yeah. Yeah. So that was our first, well, you know, we, we go with it, we've iterated over that method and it depends on which videos you've seen, but, you know, the early videos were like me in front of a studio, usually green screen with some animation in the background. So people would appreciate the animation as a, as an explainer, as an aid to explaining a complex topic. Um, so that's that first iteration got people like, Hey, like these guys are doing some animation stuff. Like, it's not your average talking head video. There's, there's something extra to it. Um, exactly. We've, you know, we've evolved, we've evolved a little bit into, into the bureau. Obviously, the bureau is cheaper, faster than animation. Um, so the moment when we wanted to produce more, we had to sort of sacrifice animation too and replace that for B roll. Um, and that's fine. That works. Like it's, it's a, it's a simple approach. It, you know, I think video people on YouTube care first and foremost about the story. Um, and second about the production value. It helps production helps retention and production help. Uh, share-ability like, while this is a really cool video, I'm willing to share it versus just a random talking-head video, even though this story is great. So both go hand in hand, but the story definitely first.
Sure. I mean, you're also a relatively busy person. So how, how often, how, how much, um, uh, time, how time-consuming are these, these videos as you guys may cause you're putting them out. Great, great frequent frequently. So, um, how much of that do you have a hand in and, um, and how much do you have like a full team pushing, pushing these things to get these out weekly?
Right now our team, our production team is six people, I think, uh, including production guys, uh, editing and, and one screenwriter. So I still write about, uh, 25% of our videos, which are especially the starter-related stuff or, or topics that are really complex. Like the blockchain video. I wrote that myself, um, especially when we have to sort of abstract this very complex idea into a simple explainer like we explained blockchain with some way cars. So that, that is a mess. You have to understand blockchain. You sort of have to like, do some design to figure out how to explain it with, with using something else. Um, but right now I'd say YouTube takes about one and a half full days out of my week. Uh, so today's my production day. So today we're shooting a couple of videos here in the studio. Um, I record the podcast on Tuesdays. Um, so I do Mo I try to squeeze all that into Tuesday, which is a day that everybody else in the company knows that they can't probably reach me on Tuesdays. Um, and then a couple more days for other stuff, follow-up meetings and planning topics and planning, uh, what we're going to talk about in the next few weeks and months.
Gotcha. Well, thank you for taking Tuesday to talk to some random kid, in Berlin, man. Like I appreciate that, uh, hardcore. Um, but, um, one other thing that actually one of the guys wanted to ask was, um, they saw that you guys, um, they saw that you, you tried to put somebody else as the face of side beam and like cycle out some other people that were on camera. And, uh, apparently that didn't turn the audience didn't take too well to that. They, they really liked you over there. So what, what, what happened with that? I kind of personally want to know what the deal was with that.
Yeah. I mean, that's a little weird, cause I guess, I mean, I understand that people get used to, um, you know, seeing my face and, you know, generation style and so on. I also understand that the channel can't be connected exclusively to me. Like I look up to companies like Vox is probably one of my favorites, uh, YouTube channels or content channels or media channels. And, and what they do is they have hosted for different topics. Right. You know, each one hosts something that they're really passionate about, something that they're an expert on. So they have these different series within the Vox channel that are hosted by different people. So I think long-term that, that's something that we would love to do to have a channel that sort of behaves like that. Um, and you know, we've started, we started experimenting and we've seen we've, we've had two good experiments with that.
And we had Steve, who was one of my, one of our investors, uh, part of DreamIt Ventures. He has a channel of his own. He's pretty good on camera. Um, we go a long way, like I've met Steve probably, maybe almost 10 years ago when I was starting my first company. So, uh, he had a channel, so he was motivated to be in our channel to get some subscribers or to his, um, and again, people, the audience loved him. I think we did a good job at introducing him. Uh, it was organic. Like he was an expert on something that it wasn't an expert in, which is, which is, uh, funding from the investor's side. So that, that made sense. L more recently, El Trang, uh, was a guest on a couple of our videos. Uh, we wanted to bring a woman into the channel as well, and you see how that played.
Uh, and also that experiment went well and the audience liked her. She, I think she studied my generation style for a while. So she was able to sort of come up with something that was similar. I speak pretty fast. People appreciate it. That, yeah, the experience that didn't work was Patrick who is our community manager instill is, and, you know, it was, it was pretty shitty for him cause he had to read through the comments, trashing him, cause he's the community manager. So that sucked a little bit. I think that I take the blame a little bit because, you know, we didn't properly introduce him to the channel. Um, you know, we were all about experimenting, so we experimented a little bit with a different voice and even a different pace because forage speaks slower than me. And I coached him a little bit, but you know, yeah. The audience didn't take and we, we sort of tried it for a few videos and have to scratch it. Sure. Yeah.
YouTube audience is always very fickle when it comes to anything change wise. Uh, I grew up watching a bunch of stuff and whenever a host of a TV of a certain, uh, sketch show or any of them would change, it would be a pain in the ass, so everybody would hate it. So I wouldn't put too much of blame on yourself, man. That's just the way you're dealing with a bunch of like, in a lot of times it's, uh, some younger people that just can't take it, but, you know, um, but with, with those channels and in experiments and whatnot, you guys have been, uh, experiment experimenting with different thumbnails recently. Have you not liked every, after you upload you, you change it up and see what works. Have you found anything that works better? Yeah.
Yeah. Apparently, that's what the pros do. We've been seeing. We've seen a couple of videos on very Tassian when and how they experiment with Domino's all the time, very scientifically the way they do it. Um, so we've been doing that as well. Like it is a pretty common practice to test thumbnails. It's not working as expected. Just change it. Uh, people get mean people to resend it sometimes cause they're like, oh, I thought I hadn't watched this video and I did. Um, but yeah, overall it's been a good experiment and we've, we've been able to sort of resuscitate a couple of videos that didn't perform as expected. And then after a thumbnail change, they did a lot better. Um, so much of the YouTube success comes from the thumbnail. It's insane. It's insane. Yeah.
What insight have you found so far? Just as a, you know, a notes man, like seriously,
There are two very good videos by very tasking on this, but essentially you have to come up with something that's a little clickbaity, but not offensive clickbaity. Like it needs to sort of leave a question. Like if you give people the answer to the question on the thumbnail, they have it. So they won't click. Uh, but at the same time, if you make the thumbnail to, uh, sensationalist, right? Like people will resent that. And we've seen that we've, we've gone too far. A couple of times, we, um, started this video. I mean, we, we produced this video the other day on, on how apple watch is killing or could be killing the Swiss watch industry. And we call that video, the assassination of Swiss watches by the coward, apple, the reference to the movie, the assassination of Jesse James by a coward, uh, Henry Ford, um, or, or the other way around, I don't know.
Um, but anyway, like if you get the reference, if you get the reference, then it's fun. But if you don't, it's like why you're calling an apple a coward and people will last us in the comments because of that. Um, we did another one. Exactly, exactly. We did another one on, um, a movie pass. So the story of movie pass was that, you know, it was really, really struggling, but so like the nail in the coffin was the release of, of, uh, mission impossible, because people wanted to watch the premiere and movie pass wasn't working and can redeem their tickets. So we, we, we use the title, how Tom cruise killed movie pass, and that's just going too far. Right. Cause it's, causes people didn't find the connection in the video. Maybe we've talked a little bit about a too late. Uh, so that's like when we kind of crossed that line into clickbait that people resented, but it's, it's a thin line and you have to get just close enough to that. People click it.
To create some issues with that. Yeah. No, that makes sense. That completely makes sense. Uh, all right. Uh, switching gears a little bit, honestly, I think this is more just from me to you, um, and kinda get an idea of what it's like to run a lot of these businesses. You've, you've been through, this is your third business, correct? At least third, uh, out there
You can say it. So my, my whole thing was, is, um, what did you do in between the two you were in quite a bit of debt between everything and, and I just, in my mind, I, I don't understand that the bounce back like that, just from my end to you, like a genuine question, what did you do in between the time to, to get yourself going on the next project?
So, I mean, my first company, I sometimes counted, I sometimes don't cause it was just like a really early, very badly executed idea, but I guess it does count, it was established as a corporation and then had to close down. Uh, probably the, I mean the more relatable story was between my previous company, which was this mobile gaming platform called potatoes, um, to slipping because that transition was very w was weirder in the sense that, I mean, if you're in a startup hub, if you're in, in New York or if you're in, in California and the states in general, like people expect entrepreneurs to start companies see them through, and if they fail, they ran out of money and they'll close them down and that's that it's done. Or, um, and there's nothing weird about that. There's nothing bad about that. And people don't think that you're a bad CEO because your company failed.
Maybe you ran out of money. Um, and that's, that's very expected, but with my first, uh, with potatoes, which is the second company technically, um, we got a lot of press attention. We, we funded a Kickstarter campaign. Uh, everybody was talking about us, especially in Costa Rica. Um, it was something that a lot of us, we managed to get in front of a lot of people. So it was really weird for this company to go bust only six, seven months after, after I launched the product, um, probably a year and a half into the company, uh, probably about six months after the product launched. Um, it was weird to say that it was dead. Also. I had no job and I was in debt. So I couldn't really, I had to use this. I had to just balance the wording carefully so that I could use the success of this thing to find either a job or to start another business or to recruit a new team. So I had to leverage that a little bit. So what we did is we sort of kept it as active and, you know, posted on social media from time to time. Just people think that this is active and alive, but, you know, and we did this probably like three months while I was already working with a new team on-site bean. And then when, once that transitioned, we sorta said like, Hey, no, this isn't, this has done, we were closing it down. Cause I'm working on this now.
Gotcha. Okay. So it was it, so it was still live for a while. Is it still live at all?
Like, No, no, no. It's not. It's not, uh, it was life for a while. Um, probably yeah, probably a year after we were really close to it. It was there. Cause it's just an app you can, yeah.
I was wondering, is it it's a cost to keep it up, or is it, are there upkeep costs for that other than just like updates, whatnot, and bug fixes?
Not really. Not really there, I mean, small costs are small server costs and whatnot, but nothing too crazy.
So what was your, what was your reasoning for just completely cutting it off instead of, uh, trying to gain a little bit of passive income here, there, and everywhere?
Uh, it wasn't generating that much revenue. Um, it wasn't like we were, we realized we were not going to raise money for it. It was not going to happen. I think my co-founder figured that out much faster than I did. Um, and that's, I guess a lesson learned from this, like you have to, as a founder, you have to know when to quit. Cause it's because in the end time is your most limited assets as, as an entrepreneur. Like the more you're working with this company that probably doesn't have a future, you're wasting time that you could be working on another company. And especially as you get more experienced, you know, that that experience is worth a lot. So if you, if you can reapply it to something else quicker, then you're better off it's, it's literally a count of how many companies can you afford to start before you are too old?
Well, you're not too old as it is also. Oh, wait, happy birthday by the way. Happy birthday, the man saw that. That's a that's pretty good. Do you do anything? Do anything fun other than working? Probably.
Yeah. So my last birthday was in the middle of COVID, uh, October last year. Um, so that, that sucks. I had to celebrate two birthdays this time. So this is, uh, yeah, it was fun.
So definitely a big hangover today.
A little bit, a little bit. Well, and you deserve it, man. Like from, from what I've seen is, uh, I mean, as being a founder, you're probably, it's a nonstop, a hundred percent grind. Isn't not, It's a nonstop 100% grind. That's just the founder life. I mean, uh, you also have your own personal YouTube channel that I saw that you have yet to post in the last six months, man.
Yeah, man. Like I like, I like, I really like YouTube, um, as a medium, I really like, like one of my first, uh, sort of direct encounters with what YouTube or what's producing content could be was, um, an old friend of mines NAS daily. So I met NAS from NASA daily. He has this, this pretty cool channel. He started making these 62nd a day videos like one minute, day videos in blue blew up on Facebook. This was back in front of the 15 or so. Um, so I, I, I knew no Syrah Nass, uh, from long before he started this. Um, and kind of seeing him become this really cool influencers influencer, um, sort of like was probably one of the last, uh, pieces of straw that then got him into the listening. Hey, I think I can do this. I think I can produce some cool content.
I have some ideas in one explore. So yeah, my personal channel is, um, you know, it's through sports stuff that's not necessarily covered on, on slipping. It's been more experimental like I do sometimes travel videos or tech review videos. I'm just trying to find what, what stuff I'm interested enough in right now. Like when you asked that question before, like on how much time I dedicate to the slipping videos right now, like I think that all of my creative only my video creativity is focused on the slide being videos mostly because we now have a budget to do some really cool stuff. Um, and, and a team. So, you know, we get to produce some really cool videos and I direct, I still direct probably one or two videos a month. Um, so like directing those videos and coming up with a concept, you know, writing some of those scripts like that's that is really taking all of my free time.
Um, I don't have time to make other videos for my child, but yes, sometimes I made this video on how the whole pandemic coronavirus, uh, was similar to this movie contagion, which is this just this random thing I came up with. I was, I was in lockdown first, the first few weeks in the pandemic. That'd be just coming from like 4 million views, which is just insane. It's suddenly it spikes, for example, random Fila. It spiked last month, uh, you know, God-like 2 million views because the algorithm figured out that people wanted to watch it generated like two or $3,000 worth of ads. We just get transferred shit, which is going to be transferred to me what, like this week. So that's like an extra birthday present from old work. Um, so that it's useful for you because of that.
Wow. Yo, how was it when you, when that thing first I've never had a video go viral of mine? Uh, I've had to go and get a couple like tens of thousands of views, but I've never had it. What is the, what is the feeling of like that, that whole, like you, wake up the next morning, you're like millions of views. What do I do now?
It's pretty crazy. Like I'm, I'm, I'm sad and torn that it's a video where my face doesn't even show up. It's not the usual type of video I make. There's not a conspiracy. Like if you're, if your reaches 4 million people, you're going to have to see some conspiracy stuff going on in the comments. Yeah. Well, so that sucks. It's not my favorite video to go viral, but I guess it never is. You can never pick that. Um, but it, it's fun, I guess it, it, it, it speaks a little bit of the thumbnail of how effective thumbnails are. I think that's a good thumbnail that we use there. Um, and I guess it motivates me to say like, well, yeah, I can't, I can't let my personal channel die. I want my own YouTube plaque at home. Uh, so I, I need to, I need to get to a hundred K
Yeah, man, you're getting there.
You're at 22 right now. That's not, I mean, honestly, for, for just like something that you post to occasionally that's, that's incredible, man. Like for real, I've been following a bunch of YouTubers since like day one and it's, it's really cool to watch people like making something of it. Um, so kudos to you, dude, seriously. Um, but I guess, I guess enough about the YouTube stuff I kind of, I mean, unless of everything that you do pertaining to slide beam or your own personal stuff, is where, where is it that you like to put your time most and like, cause I, I, the only thing that I see on my end is, is the YouTube channel and those, those videos. And from a video standpoint, I know that that takes a lot of time. So I'm wondering, um, is that just kind of something that is a part of your every day, or is this something that you're actually really into, or if there is something that you're really passionate about within the, uh, being the founder of a company or where would that lie?
Yeah, so, I mean, I think that the way we've, we've arranged and we've understood, so task, distribution, and slipping. So we're, we're three founders. And I, I think that out of necessity, like one of us had to become an expert in marketing, right? When we started, none of us were like, I knew a little bit, I had done a little bit of kind of like social media marketing for my previous company and whatnot, but not a growth hacker, not an expert by any means. And somebody sort of had to become that. So my other two co-founders are our product people from, from UX and from, from just an engineering side. So it was, it sort of made sense for those two guys to deep dive and focus on, on the product. And for me to focus on marketing as, as a way to grow the company or sales, it could have been sales depending on who we chose to target.
Right. Yeah. So I sort of had to learn that over the first few months, since we started the company and I used to run, run the marketing campaigns. So now like that Mr. Region has sort of continued like that. Like I still run the, or I mostly spend my time in the marketing growth sales acquisition, uh, brand awareness and demand generation for the company. And I've assembled a couple of teams that I work with more directly we're, we're 33 people in the company now. So there's, it's, it's a ton of people. So the stuff that's related to growth, uh, for the most part, reports to me either directly or indirectly, and then the stuff that relates to product, uh, is connected to my other two co-founders. So I still, it's very exciting. Like we've been in, we've been at this company for way longer than we than the average company, right.
We're in year eight, I think now, uh, which, you know, for most startups that that's enough to grow and be acquired and be done. Um, but since we're at year eight, like we, I would, I would be bored. I would have been bored of this if we hadn't had the chance to come up with new products or come up with new challenges. Right. So YouTube is of course a new challenge. It's a very exciting one. And one that I oversee directly. And now from the products that we're building a couple of new products, um, which has been a challenge of its own, uh, and also motivation for them and the developers and the product people to kind of work in something different. Then, the thinking behind that is, well, now we have all these people that watch us, so we could potentially build more things that they would buy.
So you guys just, uh, you guys just launched another, another side company as well, correct?
So it's, it's not a, it's not a side company like it still lives within legally leaves within this slide Bain company does it, but okay. Uh, yeah, but, but we, we decided to, to choose a different name because, you know, the story behind recurring is we are ourselves, we're 33 people. We probably spent 30, $40,000 a month on different SAS tools that we use for our day-to-day, click up and Intercom, and all this stuff that we use for production. And it's hard to keep track sometimes, like at this point, some of my managers have their own cart and they pay for their own tools and services. And I only find that out at the end of the quarter when I'm reviewing the books. Right. So it's like, oh, we've been paying for this for three months. Um, so, and I like to think that we are pretty organized about it.
Um, but it still happens that we end up paying for tools that we pay and forgot about. Or two teams are paying for tools that have duplicated functionality and they didn't know about it. So that started happening on our stage. We try to find a tool that would solve this and to give us some visibility and we couldn't find one. So we figured, well, w w we, we could build it and there's a potential business there. So we built it as a separate brand because it doesn't make sense for this SAS expense tracking thing to be called slight being. It doesn't look, it doesn't fit very well. Um, so we called the recurring. We wanted to give it a shot and well, how good are we at sort of establishing a new brand from scratch, see how that works.
So are you at all, like putting any branding and whatnot, uh, promoting with, within the slide being, um, marketing at all with, with, uh, recurring, or are you just trying to work?
So, I mean, they're going to be very directly connected and there's definitely a lot of cross-marketing there. Um, but we, we, we think that maybe recurring could have a life of its own. Maybe recurring could be acquired, as a standalone product without the rest of the company. So it was important for that database and for that product to be a thing of its own separate. Um, but yeah, definitely the, our secret sauce, if you will, is we're good at marketing. So, and we have all these people who watch us every month, so it should be easy to sell to, to sell this to them. It's our thesis.
Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, no, even just mentioning its sides, like, cause you can even just say this video is brought to you by recurring and then there you go. It's like, okay, very, very simple and easy. Um, but it seems that your, the majority of your, your endeavors within the, uh, building a business is, is mainly focused on fixing your own problems. And what'd you say? So, because that's what sleeping was correct. It was just when you guys were going through a bunch of your, uh, your pitches and whatnot, you couldn't find a decent thing to create a nice little pitch deck for
Yeah. I think that a good, I think that good company ideas come from the founders sort of having that experience, that struggle themselves, understanding, you know, how the existing solutions are not great. They might be flawed. I was understanding something about the market themselves and then solving it, like in our case, um, you know, this was something that we experience that I experienced as a manager, like five years ago, I would not have come up with this idea. And if I, if I had it have been probably a shitty product, because we didn't really understand how a company would use this to make their life more efficient. So I think that, yeah, like I think the good company ideas are good problems that companies identify come from their own experience. For sure.
Now, how much time did you spend putting into the idea of the slide being itself? Uh, was it one of those things that like you guys have, we're curating this idea while still building your other product? Or was it kind of something once the other product you could see that it was dying? It's like, this is, this is the time to start, you know, thinking on something new. Yeah.
Um, I think that the idea, so with that previous company, we did this start of the accelerator, uh, dream it in New York. And I, I remember how all the other founders in the office, we have this shared office space, all of them were struggling with their pitch decks, either on the design or the writing. And then the partners would spend a big amount of time coaching them on writing a better deck on the, Hey, you should put this and not put this. So even at this stage, these are companies that went through this filter or those on this accelerator. Like there, even these guys are struggling with this. Um, so this must be a wider problem. We, we, at first thought we, it was a more like a broader presentation problem. And I just think that still think that, you know, traditional presentation software is flawed, but in our case, um, you know, we, we sort of decided to double down and focus on this, on this pitch deck thing. Um, I, I wouldn't say I came up with the current slapping idea myself. I could never say that I found this problem. And I, I, I talked to Jose being where my co-founders today and I'm like, wait, I've found this problem. I have you, have you noticed, have you, have you experienced something similar? And we all agreed that it was a problem. We had sort of experienced it in different areas of our, um, of our professional careers. Um, so you know, that it made sense, to build something to solve that.
Gotcha. Okay. Um, so I guess, uh, something that came to mind with all of that is like the idea of something just happening overnight. It's not something that, that occurs. I feel like at least from my generation, a lot of the success stories seem to, you seem to think that things just happen overnight. Ideas come overnight and you build something. Um, what has been your experience with the, I mean, just even building any, any single product that you have in the last 10, 15 years of your, your professional career? Uh, how much of it is, is a lot of, um, those late nights and, and whatnot. And it's not just the happy-go-lucky you go viral one time. Um, like that's something that I, I'm very passionate about that idea of like, it's, it does take a lot and there's a lot that goes behind it. Uh, do you have any, like, you know, did slide beam like start from, um, like a, a million dollars revenue? Do you know what I mean? What, where did you, what, what do you, what do you say, I guess, what do you have to say on that topic?
Yeah, so like, we've liked, I've, I actually come up with a bunch of like product ideas as you know, today. Right. We have all those audiences, we have all these things that we can solve and we haven't, we haven't found a product that solves them. So we're like, Hey, what if we build a product for it? Probably in the, in the span of these eight years, we've we like me or my co-founders, uh, we've probably come up with five-ish different products. And I think that we're like, we're our own filter as to like, well, is this, is it worth building this or not? Um, because it, in the end, takes time and time is money and it's, it's money on salaries of people. Now we have this weird advent, like normal if you have an idea and you're on your own, your, your test to build that is you have to recruit somebody who believes in this idea.
But if you're a developer, you could literally build a, like, start building a tomorrow. And I talked to a lot of companies that do that. They hate, they came up with this problem. They figured like, Hey, I'm going to build something about it. It's fun. They enjoy building things, but, you know, they've been spending, they've been working on this for six months and they still haven't asked anybody if they will use it. And I, and I see that happens sometimes. So in our case, um, like we have the advantage of having the other co-founders to sort of check and see, like, do you think this makes sense? Like what, like, and in the end it sort of needs to be unanimous. Like all three of us need to agree that we're going to spend our own team's time, therefore our own money on building this thing that we came up with. So we, we, um, we've launched a few products and a few, uh, experimental things, uh, over the past few years. Um, and yeah, so far, uh, I feel them have been successful if you have not. But again, that, that sort of, that check of, Hey, like, do, would you spend six months building this recurring, for example, has been a public a year project for our development team. So, you know, it was something that we of course needed to be very much bullish on to spend that much time and therefore money. Sure.
Is it looking promising on your end from that? Has it, has it made back or is it an MRR is looking like it will be more
For the year, so we haven't launched it yet.
It's, it's due to launch in, in two to three weeks actually. So coming close to it, uh, took longer than expected too, to get to, uh, to what we call a good MVP. Um, but we're, yeah, we don't know what's gonna happen. It's still an experiment. Gotcha.
All up in the air. Okay. Honestly, I think that's, that's kinda where I'm sitting with this. I really appreciate you taking your time to do this dude. I, as I said, it's still very new to this whole interview stuff. So, um, and then being thrown in the, in the Wolf's, you know, had just gotten
Do it, you know, that's fine.
That's fine, man. All right. We're, we're, we're going to explore like, honestly, honestly, I don't listen to a lot of podcasts and, and the reason for that is I like, I can't, I'm shitty at multitasking. I can dedicate my full attention to one thing, not two, so I can work and listen to some music, but I can't work and listen to a podcast cause I'm either working or listening to the podcast. I can't, I really can't do both. Um, so to me, like listening to a podcast requires me to carve out 30, 45 minutes to listen to this whole thing, which is, which is hard to find 45 minutes in my, in my day that that could be doing like where I could be just catching up with the pile of work that I always have. Absolutely. Um, but that being said, like, we understood, like I've learned or started to appreciate the format, you know, the context in which you can listen to a podcast. So, um, yeah, we've been, we've been experimenting with it. We're launching or relaunching our podcast in the next few days.
Is there a specific, um, theme or topic you guys talk about, or is it kind of just interviewing other under entrepreneurs or
No. So we're, we're, we're, we're going to start the podcast on sort of telling or retelling some of the company forensic stories that we found. Okay. Um, I think smart, like, yeah, like we've experimented with interviews. Maybe I'm not that good at interviews. I've sort of started to come to that conclusion. Um, maybe I'm not that good at interviewing people because I always, I don't know why maybe a combination of reasons. Um, but at least our interviews, like the ones we've done on YouTube, even though we have this, the audience and the subscribers, they, they haven't performed very well. Um, so well, we'll see, we're testing the podcast with just stories, these companies' stories.
That sounds like a great idea, to be honest. I mean, all of the, uh, what are they, like the horror stories, genre and all like the, um, the crime stuff it's pretty big these days. So you can probably do it on into that one. Other than that, just a personal question, at least for me to you, uh, what, what's your day look like, man, on a typical day, like seriously, I've I am, I work for three different companies doing video production. Uh, and I am like trying my best, to schedule myself. Do you have any like words of wisdom or anything that I should be doing that I may not be doing? I mean, you got like 10 years on me, man. Like what, what did you learn in those 10 years?
Um, so I like my, so my calendar is, is the, is all mighty, right? Like every, everything has to be in the calendar and that's the only way I can organize it. A couple of people in the company have access to it and they can play around with my meetings and rearrange them if they can. But normally, normally a day looks like waking up at five 30 ish, uh, to get my daughter ready for school. And then I'll, um, I'll head out to do some tennis. I play tennis. That's my only exercise during the day. So I'll do that in the morning. Try to be in the office, sitting, working by seven 30 or eight. Um, sometimes, sometimes a little later, uh, you know, try to be as efficient and as focused work during that time. So I try to, for example, arrange meetings on certain days.
So Wednesdays, for example, are my most intense meeting days, but that makes the other days let with fewer meetings, which means I can get more stuff done. Um, I try to be, I try to be done by six. Uh, I mean, I'm never done, like, there's always stuff that I have to do, but I try to kind of wrap the day at six so I can spend some time with my family. Uh, and then if there's work pending, I will take that from say 10 to 12 or one. Uh, gotcha. And that that's it. Okay. And my, my weekends are sacred. Like, that's the one thing I've learned. The only way I can keep myself sane is weekends are absolutely sacred. No work on weekends.
Okay. I was going to actually ask that cause right now it's like, it's literally like six, seven days a week. Um, I'm finding myself in the office and, um, I guess, uh, yeah, like, during your twenties, you were doing a lot of this as well. And, and was it finding these methods of like, cause you obviously have a wife and kids and stuff, so you had relationships throughout. Um, so finding that work-life balance was, was that, was that a pain in the ass to some extent like was, uh, was, where was your
Probably if it didn't have a family, I would probably, I would most definitely spend more time at work.
Like, I mean, for me work is fun. Like look at them, look at my personal YouTube channel. Like I really enjoy making videos. Like I, I will take my free time to do that. Cause I really enjoyed, um, you know, it's family time sort of forces me to be away from work and that's a good thing. Um, you know, there there are always exceptions to this and you know when there's a lot of work I had, I had like a really big sprint of work through August and early September were, uh, yeah. Were, you know, I wouldn't go home. I wouldn't take this like six to nine slot every single day. Like some, you know, a couple of days a week and just like, Hey guys, I have to stay. I have to stay in the office. I live five blocks away from my office, which is cool. That means I can go home for lunch. Uh, and at least spend some time with them there. But yeah, like it, it varies, but like the normal routine should look like, um, like that or should have those slots reserved.
Gotcha. All right. Then, uh, I'm going to open my Google calendar after this and get surfing, honestly, dude. Well, Hey Kyle, honestly, man, thank you so much for sitting down and chatting with me. Uh, I learned quite a bit from your background and got a little insight on the, uh, the business world from a very big businessman as soon to be YouTube star and million million subscriber plaque.
That's I like that. That's just a selfish goal now. As we want, we of course want the million plaque. Like we, we're not going to be stuck halfway through the million we have to get there, but man, it's been, it's been really fun. It's been really fun. Thanks a lot for having me.
Awesome, dude. Thanks. Have a great one.