Ep. #1034 - Bootstrapping Your Way to the Top
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, there’s a conversation about bootstrapping your way to success. Matt Watson says hello to Payman Taei, CEO and founder of Visme. They tap into our guest’s bootstrapping experience as he makes it to the top of his industry for online presentations.
Covered In This Episode
With millions of users worldwide, the story of Visme is undoubtedly successful.
But how did Payman do it while bootstrapping the business? What are the challenges he conquered while building the platform? And how does Visme empower its users to create beautiful designs even without technical knowledge?
Get the answers from Payman and Matt’s conversation. Tune in to today’s Startup Hustle episode.
- Payman’s background story (01:50)
- What is so special about Visme? (05:06)
- Why others should not create a tool like Visme (06:59)
- Tech available when Payman created the tool (08:52)
- Embedding data into the website (10:58)
- The biggest challenge in monetizing the product (13:34)
- Visme’s go-to-market strategy and its journey to monetization (17:57)
- On being proud of the product you’ve built (23:36)
- Visme is currently hiring for talent (25:09)
- On raising VC funding and staying true to your mission (26:15)
- Integrating AI into the platform (29:31)
- Democratizing graphic design tools (32:21)
- What’s on the roadmap for Visme? (35:20)
- Helpful Visme features to help keep teams organized (37:17)
- Advice for startup founders (38:58)
Many of us learned the hard way, as first-time founders, that it can take two or three years to figure out what we’re doing. And getting that initial traction right, like the product and getting the machine moving, we’ve always underestimated how long that takes.– Matt Watson
I’ve seen a lot of people start companies, and then within two or three years, it’s just not working. Then it’s like, let’s close it down. I guess I understand the reasoning behind that. If there’s absolutely no traction, your market is just not there.– Payman Taei
It’s going to be crazy. It’s definitely going to change and transform. Graphic designers, and even web developers, should [be] and are scared to a certain degree. But I think when you get very specific and very targeted, there’s always going to be a need for that.– Payman Taei
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt Watson 00:00
And we’re back for another episode of the Startup Hustle. This is your host today, Matt Watson. Today, we’re gonna be talking about creating awesome products. And we’ve got an awesome founder here who has an awesome product to talk all about. We have Payman Taei from Visme. Some of you may have heard of them. They have like 11 million customers or something. Very cool product. Before we get started, I do want to remind everybody that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Welcome to the show.
Payman Taei 00:40
Thank you. Thanks for having me, man.
Matt Watson 00:43
So before we get started, I’d love to learn a little more about your background. And I think it’s also worth mentioning that it’s awesome that you started this company a long time ago. And we’ve been doing this for a long time and creating a very successful business without outracing any VC funding, which I think is phenomenal. As a bootstrap company, we don’t hear that a lot around here. So congrats on that, and to hear your story of starting this company.
Payman Taei 01:10
Yeah. So going back, my background was in biology. That’s what I studied in college, and started creating websites to pay my way through college. This is in the early 2000s. And then, I ended up forgetting about going to graduate school and just making this into a little web agency. I fell in love with designing websites and graphics, and short animations. And so I did that for a number of years up until kind of the dotcom crash. Not dot com, the actual housing crash in 2008 or 2009. My business was still okay. And it was a small agency of like nine people. But what did change was the evolution of technology when Apple came out and no longer supported this technology. You would have had to use the internet for at least 15 years to know this. Used to be called Flash, you know, the plugin. You’re dating us now. Yeah, so that was like what was that’s what all the animated interactive right sites used to be based on. And that’s what we specialize in. We did his really cool award-winning flash-based websites and so on. But that plugin was owned by Adobe. Apple decided not to loan on their support for the right or wrong reasons. And then this meeting was just an experiment to create what that technology did. Basically, to create interactive content for websites and so on. But do it on HTML5, which through today in the future is like the fabric of the internet. It’s not a plugin. You can’t get rid of it. Every browser runs on it, right. And so most of the websites today that have interactivity and so on are utilizing different things in HTML5. So long story short, this is in 2013 or so we launched it as a very early beta. Pretty buggy product, but just as an MVP. And at first, it was supposed to be an answer to designers like myself to continue creating interactive, animated, you know, content for the web. But very quickly, we pivoted to solve two problems. One was mine and the other one was the other customers that used to have. And that was when customers used to come to us and say, why the heck do I have to hire you to constantly make little edits and updates to my presentation and so on? Well, I cannot do most of the stuff on my own. There really isn’t anything out there. And the other one was my own frustration. And that was when I used to create presentations, animated graphics, and so on. I used to have to resort to four or five different tools, professional tools that were fantastic. But they have a high learning curve. So, for example, if I’m using Photoshop, I create a bitmap image, and I go to Illustrator and then take a vector image, and I bring it to another program and other brushes. So every single one is very powerful, but the workflow is different. So Visme was supposed to be an answer to that, basically. The aha moment was in 2013 and 2014. Hey, let’s make this the all-in-one visual communication platform for an all-in-one design platform that you can create virtually anything via presentation and infographics, data visualization, visual document, and even short animations. So it sounds too good to be true. And it actually, you know, that’s what it does, the platform does. So the other thing, of course, about us is a differentiator because people always compare us to a few other tools and so on. We’re not the only design platform out there. And that’s not what’s special about us. We call ourselves a visual communication platform. And the difference between us is that if you were to, it’s geared towards non-design professionals, but it is not meant for the top professionals. I would like two or three people out there. So on one side, you have very dumbed-down easy to get too graphic design tools and presentation platforms that give you the necessities, but they have certain shortfalls. They stop short of giving you more features because they need to be as easy as possible. So they have certain limitations and all we have. The other side is the very powerful professional platforms out there that are really meant for professional designers. In between, there’s this big gray area that’s always me falling until we bring the best of both worlds. So if you want to create, you know, a quick little pitch deck that wants to look nice and dandy, as simple as it can be, you can do it. But if you want to go beyond and you want to have interactivity, you want to record your audio, you want to hover over and show something without any coding skills, you want to tap into the very specific customer presentations and templates in our platform you’re able to do in business. So we basically allow you to create the ordinary or the extraordinary. We give you the foundation to create, you know, highly engaging professional content without having to resort to more expensive or complicated tools.
Matt Watson 05:47
Well, I love this. I think this is awesome. And as you said, there are several tools out there that will help you create static images for social media, or maybe banner ads that you’d use for advertising, like just really simple graphics. But what you guys do definitely takes us to a whole nother level. And I think I think that’s phenomenal. And I’m also thinking I’m like, you know, sometimes founders come up with ideas like this. And it may sound overwhelming, but then one of us is actually crazy enough to go through with this and do it. And that was you.
Payman Taei 06:19
I highly, I would say this flat out loud, I highly would not recommend that you go create another tool like ours for the following reason. It’s not just creating the technology. It’s taken us years to perfect, not just creating in a browser, but, you know, making sure that it’s optimized and was properly in Safari and Firefox and Chrome. And then when you create animations, interactivity when you download as a video, or you download as a PDF, or HTML five, and so on to make sure that it’s just, you know, and then on top of it, you know like you create software. And the software is essentially the code that’s like no hard work there that goes into it. And then, of course, the strategy and so on. But it’s the code that takes a lot of time for us and is also the whole other realm. And that is, we have an entire team that all they do is create icons, graphics, and templates. And we have a team that creates 3D renderings and so on, that’s very unique to our platform because you can actually access 3D objects to give access to your elements. And so you cannot find it anywhere else. It’s only exclusive and abysmal to the stuff that we provide. So we create our own assets. And one of the things we hadn’t done is to open it up to all other designers to just come in and contribute their own templates, which some other competitors have done. But we decided to do that at least yet. Maybe not ever. Because we create things based on user demand, we have very strict control over our template production. Because you can literally go in and change the color scheme to your own brand. And you can make adjustments to your style and grandkid and so on. And those, you know, there’s a lot of work that goes into making sure that actually functions and works that way.
Matt Watson 07:57
So what was, what was it like trying to build this back in 2013? Was it like Canvas and html5 and all the technologies you needed? Were they even available then? Or were they right on the cutting edge?
Payman Taei 08:12
Matt Watson 09:37
Well, I’m gonna date myself even worse. Now. That problem was nothing compared to IE six.
Payman Taei 09:43
Oh, yeah, I remember. Well, I know because I ran the web agency, right. And we used to do it. Yeah, web websites, Internet Explorer six, and so on. Yeah. Yeah, we’re dating ourselves.
Matt Watson 09:53
Now. I still got scars from that man. So I absolutely love what you guys are doing, so can I remember, like, 20 years ago, maybe 15 years ago, right? When people were using Flash, people would make some kind of crazy website. So we’re kind of over the top with Flash they were. And so if I wanted to do some of that, and let’s not go fully crazy, but I’m gonna go a little crazy. How would I use your guy’s platform to do that? Like, can I have a WordPress website? But I just want to make a certain part of it. Yeah, that way, I can embed part of your guys’ code into my website.
Payman Taei 10:31
So you can do it two ways. You know, now, you know, our use cases, businesses use us heavily for a couple of different things. And I’ll go back to the websites, they use those heavily for presentations for sales and marketing, for data visualization, like, you know, for infographics and taking the marketing data, and so on, or internal communications and using that, because we have a lot of charts and data widgets are stats and figures. And then there’s others that use an app for whiteboarding, which relates to going to the website part for interactivity. We actually do some of that on our own website on our blog, we do embed a decent amount of our own content. So we make a great infographic or a visual and we embed it, our What’s New page on Visme is completely embedded with new content that is interactive, what’s new slideshows that are every two weeks, and we release new features. And so we create our own, you know, what’s new, in Visme, and put it out. So basically, you can do two ways you create the content, and you can get the embed code, you can embed that code into your WordPress or any other websites just like you would embed the YouTube video or anything else, we also go as far as giving you the ability to actually download it as html5. So you can literally download as a zip file gives you all the scripts, CSS assets, and you can just go take a completely off our system and just embedded right within your website. Now the disadvantage of that is an advantage of that is you completely get off our site, you create the content, you’re gone. That’s not what we want, but you can. But the disadvantage is that you lose a couple of things. See a lot of people create content and visit me because they can just go back and edit, it’ll adjust at any time. And our live data is right there. So you could actually connect to a Google spreadsheet and connect it to our charts inside of a document in business or proposal or something. And that data just constantly feeds live from that mechanism. You could go make a change on your, you know, the infographic or presentation and then you refresh the page. Next time is going to have data data. Once you download HTML five, you’re off of our systems if you want to edit it, and you have to go back and download it again. So that’s a disadvantage, but then your company offices. The other thing is we’ve built analytics, our own proprietary analytics into it, so that you can actually go into his me there’s an analytics area, you can actually see how many clicks who’s looking at your document, how many slides, how much time they’re spending from on which slide that that information is there as well.
Matt Watson 12:50
Wow, that’s really powerful information. Yeah, that’s yeah. That’s super cool. So what was what was the biggest challenge creating this business was in trying to figure out how to monetize it and sell it and like get it to market was, you know, like, the challenge of creating it was his own set of problems because of the browsers and all the different stuff, like you said, but what, you know, starting out early on with this, what was what was it like trying to get it to market? And
Payman Taei 13:15
so let’s see here, I mean, we right now, whatever it took, right, I know that you had space at 11 million, we’re about 18 and a half million registered users today that have created an account in Visme. And any given day, anywhere between 18 to 20, something 1000 People create an account in Visme. And so as far as the challenges, I mean, it was zero users. And within the first year, we have about 25,000 registered users, 50 and 100, and so on, and so on. And the challenge, technically, for certainly has been one, and it’s been extremely challenging to fill in this product to function the way it does. And secondarily, the other challenge has been, of course, is that we don’t have an even though we have millions of users and so on, and we get a few million plus visitors to our site each month, we still don’t have the same footprint as some of the other bigger competitors, there’s like two or three out there that are like multibillion dollar operations, very well funded or been around for a while. So we often get compared to those tools. And so on the surface, that’s how we are but people have to really go when I tell people, “Hey, how is your product different than let’s say this product and now one other than when I explain is that you need to spend 15, more than 15 minutes and until just 15 or 20 minutes. And that will show you an open up as far as the magnitude of the things you can do on the surface. I use it as a presentation tool or I can just create my documents in Google Docs or Canva and so on and so on. There’s something we bring to the table that’s similar but also has very specifics inside of it. And so that it continues to be a challenge for us is to kind of differentiate in certain and marketing challenges. The other one that actually been a challenge for us is that our product is used by People from all over the world, from different walks of life, from different business settings, you could be a marketing manager, you could be an executive, you could work at a SaaS company, and you could be working at a manufacturing company. So your use case is very different from somebody else’s. So it’s taken us a long time. And we’re still working on that to be fairly granular when it comes to specific use cases. So for example, it’s not like we’re, hey, our target audience to go after enterprises only, that would make much life much easier, but it’s actually multiple. And that makes it a little bit noisy, and a little bit difficult. And we’re always finding ourselves that we’re pulling from one direction and we got, hey, we stay focused on these two or three ICPs. Because there’s a 10. Others.
Matt Watson 15:44
Yeah. So as you’re so from a growth perspective, marketing perspective of your guys’s company itself, have you guys always been kind of product led growth, where you don’t really do a lot of marketing or advertising, it’s just all users and the network effect of people telling other people about the broad amount of it.
Payman Taei 16:00
Yeah, I think that has been a big portion. But to this day, a lot of our traffic comes from search, you know, so we get a lot, we’ve done a pretty good job on figuring out search and optimization, and creating a lot of good content or blog is filled with all types of content, you know, that are no best pitch decks, and it gives you like 30, fully built pitch decks, and you can apply your branding to it, and so on. So it’s, it’s been product led, it’s not been sales lead, we literally just formed a sales team, just literally less than, less than a year ago. For some of the top and higher tier accounts, you know, that are like literally enterprises, and they have very specific needs. But yeah, the majority of it is still the product lead that comes in most of the user.
Matt Watson 16:47
The reason I asked and so your guys’ price point is, you know, based on your website is somewhere between, say, and $15 a month or $50 a month on the plan and all the and it’s hard, you can’t really have a sales team for that, right. Like you can’t pay a salesperson to sell that. Because enough commission unless it’s a big enterprise deal. And that’s why I asked kind of like, what is your guys’s go to market strategy? Because a lot of people that are listening have the same challenge like, hey, if I sell for $50 a month, how do I sell it?
Payman Taei 17:17
You know, it’s a challenge. Yeah, it is a challenge for us. But also, there are some things that we figured out. So we have the there is a lot of users that are falling through top of the funnel, person happens to be at a business, they’re looking to create their next pitch deck and they wanted something alternative to another product is they want to create something that stands out, then they don’t know they search for presentation software or something and come across ours and they use it and then you know, they may like it enough, they use it in the past to work around. Or what happens is that lead depending on certain scoring, you know, certain activities and like how much how active they are, what they create how long they’re with us, that person is sticking up for our sales to potentially go after at a certain company to then see about how this could work for them as a as an enterprise plan for their department or maybe division or something. So the sales kind of, you know, is that it’s kind of the underlying underlying is that, you know, using the traffic that comes in to product lead, and then there’s little nuggets, you know, there that are leads, which ended up being, you know, teams and so on. But yeah, it makes absolutely no sense, you know, to close deals that are like $500 or $1,000. Yeah, with the sales team. It’s just, it’s just net negative. So that is certainly something that some of those fall through. So our sales, but we try to remain focused on the larger. Well, for those who are salespeople.
Matt Watson 18:41
For those that are listening today that are hearing this, it’s like the number one thing that you mentioned is like, hey, for like the first seven or eight years, we didn’t even have a sales team. Right, I think that’s the, that’s the key lesson is like the product has to sell itself. And you guys have obviously done a very good job without it.
Payman Taei 18:59
Yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, to put into context 2010 11 We started coding this as a very little experiment in 2013 or so a very simple Beto of it until 2000. We started monetizing, I think 2014 or 15, very lightly don’t know what the heck we’re doing. You know, I don’t have experience in SAS, I run a web agency, you know, and the web just to continue to kind of be the one that allowed me to invest more into this me, you know, kind of reinvesting into his new versus growing a consulting company, the web company, and then it was really 2000, I would say 15, late 15 or 16, where we’re like, okay, let’s kind of start to go all in, into is me and then just basically the agency, just no longer focused on. So, you know, although people say, Hey, you guys are not your 10 year old company. Yes. But I think it’s really been five, six years that we’ve really, you know, been more dedicated and serious to it, and I think that’s when it will happen.
Matt Watson 20:02
Well, I think I think a lot of us learned the hard way as first time founders that it can take two or three years to kind of figure out what we’re doing. And getting that initial traction, right, like, the product, getting the initial traction and, and getting the machine moving. You know, like, we’ve always underestimated how long that takes.
Payman Taei 20:20
Yeah. Which goes to say that I think, you know, I’ve seen a lot of people that start companies, and then within two or three years, it’s just not working. And then it’s like, let’s close it down. And I guess I understand the reasoning behind that. I mean, if there’s absolutely no traction, nothing, your market is just not there. And, you know, and there’s reasons you can, but I think pretty much, I’m gonna do it, there are not, there are some companies that within you know, three, four years, they just catapult and they grow tremendously. That’s not the norm, I think, at least it hasn’t been for me. thing, it really takes three to five years to just get to that point where like, Okay, this thing can stand on its foot. And when I do, we’re doing the products getting better and more people know about it. So I guess for those that are just starting, you know, starting founders, and so on, and you know, you may have a one out of, I don’t know, 100 chance of starting that company and making it big in the next three or four years, your odds are against you that it’s going to take you longer. So you got to be patient, man, this is something that you got to think of it as I could be in this thing for five or 10 years. Now, that part is that if you’re a fund of that company or it’s not Angel, but it’s like let’s say equity based the season so on, you might get shut down two or three years if it is not working, because it’s not worth it for the other side. But if you’re self funded and so on, you know, you have the control, okay, I’m going to go with the long pattern this one? Yeah, I mean, I guess if I look at it in 2014, and 15, it was like this thing is just growing very slow. You know, let’s just go to something else that could have done that. And would it then you start this cycle over and over again. And I’ve seen people that do that. Sometimes it works. But for me, it’s just that I’m extremely passionate about this product. It’s not about generating revenue, necessarily, that pays the bills. Yes, I would like us to grow fast. So yes, I would like this to be, you know, growing at a faster rate and everything else. But it’s the product that we’re really passionate about. I’ve been doing design for 2320 20 to 23 years now, it just happened to be doing it for others as an agency model, and then now empowering others to do it on their own.
Matt Watson 22:36
That’s awesome. And I want to talk more about that. But before we do, I want to remind everybody that finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs, and then see what developers are available to join your team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Well, one thing I can really tell from talking to you today is you’re really proud of what it is that you have built. And obviously it was very difficult to do. Technically, and it’s a very unique product. And you have to be proud every day of what you built. Right?
Payman Taei 23:13
Yeah, I mean, you know, I am. But I just, you know, every time that you get a little milestone, I’m like, Wow, there’s so much more to do still. So there’s some really cool, amazing features and innovative stuff that we’re working on that I’m extremely excited about. So I’ve had the question asked a couple times: have you guys pretty much built most of this stuff there, what else is secure? Is it that you can build in this way other than more templates, and so on, and then look at our roadmap for the next six months, I’m like, you know, we’re gonna, we’re not gonna be able to do all these things, you know, it’s gonna take longer. So there’s a lot of cool stuff. But that’s, I think, kind of what drives for I think in our tool though, so the other part that’s very satisfying as you see what people create. So you see that they use your platform to create a beautiful presentation and you hear someone say, hey, you know, using a platform it’s 70 to 70% in design costs and it we’re able to it’s improving engagement and we’re doing his pitch decks by our sales team, were able to close deals better because of XYZ reasons. And you know, and it’s costing us a fraction of some of the other enterprise related presentation platforms out there. These are all fulfilling and kind of gives us fuel to go for more.
Matt Watson 24:29
well, and looks like you guys are still growing strong. Looks like you’re doing a lot of hiring right if your website’s correct here.
Payman Taei 24:37
Yeah, so we have a number of positions open. Some of the positions we do keep open because we’re always looking for more talent. So when a time comes because we create a pool of talents in the future when we want to expand that team. Okay, we can tap into that, but yeah, we do have a thing out of the six positions they see and there’s two or three that are, you know, literally immediate hires, the other ones are coming in, in the coming months. Still, we would expand on you know, so yeah, it’s, you know, an hour on our business, it’s not been some exponential growth, it’s been more of a linear now. I mean, if I was to look at a chart base, yes, the numbers are more a little bit more of a hockey stick, but not some crazy hockey stick growth that you would see it’s been just consistent linear at a healthy margin. And just as we generate more revenue, we take some of that profit, then we just put it back into, you know, more innovative stuff, research, development, some marketing, and of course, some sales and so on. So, yeah, so what has it been like to bootstrap this company?
Matt Watson 25:37
From the beginning to this point, have you ever raised any outside VC funds? Right? And so has that made this easier or harder? Like? I mean, for some people, I feel like taking the VC funds also puts me under a ginormous amount of pressure?
Payman Taei 25:55
Yeah, I don’t. So I don’t know exactly how we would feel. On the other hand, I know multiple companies and founders that have raised. And I hear it both ways. There are ones that just regret a lot because they couldn’t do everything that they wanted to do, because they don’t have a full say on all things. And then the other is, of course, great. So I think, for us, if we had been raised very early, because we’re the first few years, we didn’t really like figuring things out. In fact, I’ll tell you a story. When I first I didn’t pitch this in front of investors. But there used to be something in DC that’s very busy. It’s the Washington DC area. And this is like, and I went in before the product was out. And just to put this in front of it was called Tech breakfast. So investors would come and other people would show up and so on. And I talked about, here’s what we’re building, and it’s coming next year, early access, and so on. And there were a couple of investors there and one of them raised a hand and said You guys shouldn’t be doing this, you should just focus on presentations and nothing else. And so that kind of put a bug in behind me and that, okay, so, you know, that means that if we weren’t with the right partner, they would say you need to go this direction. And in fact, this happens multiple times. There are a number of opportunities that come to us to raise funds and so on regularly. And a lot of them have been you guys should pretty much close or not focus on your b2c side, just go enterprise I closed down. And I know it from a financial sense that sometimes makes sense. But that’s not what Disney was about. It’s to empower everyone to create if you’re educators, students are gonna give us student accountability. So it may have hurt us in the aspect that we could charge much higher for this and go full enterprise. But it wouldn’t be in the hands of 80 million people. You see what I mean? So it wasn’t about that question, I don’t know if that answered your question.
Matt Watson 27:48
But well, that’s, I mean, that’s the beauty of you being the CEO and founder, and you can do whatever you want, right? So if that is your mission to do, then you control your own destiny, right? Where you’re right, like a VC might come in and be like, No, you need to fork focus on you know, competing with figma, or whatever, like, go this whole different direction, right? And, and they might try and get you to do that, or force you to do that, right. And this way, you control your own destiny, which is, which is beautiful.
Payman Taei 28:14
Yeah, we just like to allow different people to use it. And if your enterprise, we have Enterprise plans, you know, fortune 500 company, we have solutions for you and your single individual, you know, independent contractor, and you’re looking to create something differently than what looks like everybody else using the same other tools, you know, in our platform, you get something unique and different. And you can make it your own. You know, that’s where we come into play. So it’s for everybody. Yeah.
Matt Watson 28:39
So you mentioned your roadmap, and all these different things that you’re doing? How do you see AI fitting into this? Is there anything around like GPT, and all this stuff that fits into what you guys do?
Payman Taei 28:51
Yeah, there is. There’s some stuff on 2023 this year on our agenda, we are working on one of them that’s a little more image based, I think it’s almost the norm where you’re going to have AI into almost any graphic design platform. So there is some of that coming. But there is the chaplain, there are some things that we’re working on, that’s going to be a little bit later in the year. So yeah, there’s more coming, I think, I think it’s very risky. What’s going on right now is where I see what is happening. I mean, being around I’m sure you remember, like 2001 when everybody was creating a website. And it was all about having an E commerce site. You know, you have pets.com You had all these other names that are generating so I think what’s happening now is this AI thing was everybody is using literally this layer of the same API almost like there’s one big player open you know, open AI or think you know, chat GPD and so on. They’re all from one company and everybody just uses that most people are and just adjusting to their own. And it’s just gonna get flooded. You know, there’s just going to be so many of these doing the same thing. And there to go from that to market as a product that is just AI based, I think it’s a little risky, there’s going to be a handful there are going to be survivors, a lot of them are going to go under. That’s my prediction. But I think for products like ours, and many others that have existing platforms to strengthen and bring the AI aspect into that, you’re just improving the product itself, the foundation has always been there. And we’re just layering some things over it, that’s much less riskier. Well, that’s my thought I could be wrong. But that’s I think, where we’ll be headed, there’s going to be a lot of these AIs that are not going to be around in a few years.
Matt Watson 30:32
Well, I could see being very useful to, you know, you guys have different templates and things, basically being able to put in some directions, and it’s able to say, Okay, I’m going to take this template, I’m going to change the branding and do this or do that or whatever. And yes, and it can automatically kind of do some of those things. And save the user a few, you know, a few step steps. Exactly. I think that would be pretty slick. The thing is that chatting with AI is really cool. But the image generation stuff is also unbelievably crazy to me, like I went into one I’m like, you know, give me a picture of Mickey Mouse holding a banana wearing gold shoes playing chess on Mars. Yeah, and it’s like, it is a pretty name.
Payman Taei 31:11
It is and then we’re just talking about less than a couple years that the beta version came out. So you know, just what it’s going to do over the coming years is going to be crazy, it’s definitely going to change and transform. You know, graphic designers and even web developers to some degree, should and are scared to a certain degree. But I think when you get very specific and very targeted, there’s always going to be a need for that. For example, graphic design tools, democratizing tools, like ours, and others, graphic designers sometimes hated us, or may steal, because Geez, you’re taking business away from us, because I no longer can create, but not as many people are coming to me to hire them for $500,000 to create a presentation deck for them, you know, because they can just go use your tool and so on. That is true. However, when it comes to, you know, more customized and higher end solutions, I think those are the ones that really designers should focus on and let the lower end generic stuff be done by the people and tools. So democratization is good, I think it just allows and frees up time for professionals to focus on the top tier items. So you want to really think about improving your skill set in coding or engineering to a different level, or, you know, when a designer thinks about specialized things that are hard for the system to generate. And at some point, you say it’s going to do anything and everything. Yeah, but you could use AI to your advantage to come up with things?
Matt Watson 32:50
Well, I think to say it another way, it’s like in the past, you know, maybe only enterprises or large corporations can afford to build these beautiful presentations or whatever, right and you’ve made it you’ve you’ve you’ve, you’ve allowed everybody else to have access to the same, you know, the same style and level of presentations, right for $50 A month or whatever, you know, whatever, they end up paying for your guys’s product, instead of paying 1000s of dollars to build the presentation. So that’s given you’ve given access to everybody else, you haven’t necessarily put the person in the big enterprises out of business, you know that they don’t have a job anymore. It’s just you’re given access to other people that otherwise couldn’t afford it.
Payman Taei 33:26
That’s exactly right. That’s right. Yeah, it’s so cool. It’s pretty exciting. You know, and it’s just kind of what really is cool to see what people are creating, and then just challenging ourselves. The other thing for us is like, how far can we push the boundary in the browser? I mean, we’ve gotten into steps where Safari just could not handle some of the things our platform did. And we still sometimes struggle with that with some of the components. And it does in terms of the latest and we’ve gotten much better at just finding those areas. You know, so we have, for example, one challenging, I’m going to do much detail from a tech we had one challenge what it was about, I think is scrolling just a scroll bar was triggering a lot of load unjust Safari, and we ate spend weeks, I think a couple of months, just completely refactoring that. And it just brought up like a huge improvement in that it’s like such a small thing, a scroll bar, what’s that? How’s that thing? So yeah, a lot of those nuggets are very close to the product myself, I probably spent about 40 to 50% of my time on product and features and so on. Some are very hands on in that aspect. You know, so I kind of know in and out what the product is and make sure it’s kind of a division that that was set from the beginning. Yeah.
Matt Watson 34:40
Yeah, the optimization of all that for the browser’s for animation and all that has to be has to be really crazy. So have you guys what else is on your roadmap or things you’ve recently done to get more into stuff that could be related to 3D or Metaverse or things like that where people are trying to push.
Payman Taei 35:00
You are not pushing us, but we got some stuff in the works, that’s all I can say is actually really exciting about some of the things that are going to be coming. So yeah, I think in 2023, there’s certain transportation and transformations in our platform that are going to be tapping into some things that people wish that they could do and their content. And I believe that we’re going to be in the forefront of that when nobody else is doing it to the degree that others will follow and copy some of the things we’re working on. But I think we will always like to push the boundary above so as an example, and Visme, you can actually go and tap into these SVG animated characters. So you can go and say I want this female for skin color is going to be this her shirts color is going to be to the color of my logo that’s blue, and then the animation is going to be like happy jumping up and down, and so on. And you could just drop that in and with a text next to it and make that a social graphic. And, or you can actually make that as a part of the hero image on your website, you know, hey, I’m a doctor, I want to put a doctor in there jumping up and down or saying hello. And so those are things that are what we’re taking to another level. And I think, just keep an eye out for those listening. And probably in Q2, or so of this year, there’ll be some really cool stuff.
Matt Watson 36:26
So I also see on your website that you have some tools to help, you know, marketing teams graphic, you know, graphic design teams with, like tracking and organizing their work and all that kind of stuff, too.
Payman Taei 36:37
Yeah, so there it is. I think you’re referring to the dashboarding area of our platform. So there are two things. If you’re part of a team at a company organization, we have an entire brand kit, you can literally go in and input your website, and it will detect a logo, and the color scheme will generate templates down to like a certain category for you. From there, though, we also have categorization. So similar to Google Docs and other repositories, you can organize and decide who has access to what. So I think we’re kind of the way that you think of us if you take a repository like Google Drive, Dropbox, and so on, and pretty powerful features of those. And then we may merge that with the editor side of things, you know, beyond, let’s say, what you can do in the average presentation platform, and Google Slides, and so on. More layers have more features, more templates, and more assets that you can tap into. And we’re bringing those together. I’m assuming you might be referring to the repository portion. File management, we have a file management system, you know, complete file management for brands.
Matt Watson 37:44
Very cool. Well, if you need to hire software engineers, testers, or leaders, Full Scale can help. We have the people in the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit FullScale.io. All you need to do is answer a few questions and let our platform match you up with a fully vetted, highly experienced team of software developers and testers. At Full Scale, we specialize in building long-term teams that work only for you to learn more when you visit FullScale.io. Well, as we start to wrap up the show today, I’m curious if you have any, you know, final thoughts or words, the words of wisdom for those that are listening today.
Payman Taei 38:18
I guess if you’re a startup and just starting out, stick to it, it’s gonna be a long ride. It’s gonna be challenging and tough, but I think it will be fulfilling in the end. And if you, an individual, you’d like to get in touch with me or just keep in touch on LinkedIn, you can find me. I think I’m the only individual with my first name and last name, so I should get one result or Piemonte. And three, if you are kind of looking to spice up your marketing or internal communications and make it look different from some of the others out there, your competitors and our platform will be worth taking a look at, spend 1520 minutes in the free version, and then see what you think.
Matt Watson 39:02
All right, very cool. Well, again, this was Payman Taei from Visme, which is visme.co. And then also for everybody out there. Make sure, if you’re not a member, to join the Startup Hustle chat on face group face on Facebook groups. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Matt Watson, Instagram and Tiktok, and everywhere else, Matt Watson KC, and thank you so much for being on the show today.
Payman Taei 39:28
Very good. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.