I’m laughing to myself as I sit at my family friend’s brunch spot in an area that is known for being a Manila hot spot called Borough (facebook) in the BGC area.
I was laughing because it dawned on me again. The fact that I hit a rough patch of the school of hard knock learnings this year, 2018. I don’t want to write a post about all the rough moments because I’m getting sick of giving them to much attention, however all you founders know what I’m talking about.
FirstCut decided to pivot as we found that investors just don’t really like unscalable or painfully scaled business like services, even tech-enabled services, many times give you; so you’re forced to increase pricing to justify the chaos and stress. Hence the reason why agencies only scale with humans and humans hit their limits quick. Especially us millennials.
After the dust settles and clarity is regained, I’m quite thankful for the leanings.
Pivots are not easy and really test the very fabric of a startup. I’m interested in interviewing founders who have experienced a pivot regardless of outcome.
Now back to go good stuff. So Manila’s been great and being around family has been amazing. It’s so heart-filling to be around people that you are so closely connected to, by blood. It’s such a powerful bound. I’ve been hanging out with my 91 year grandma, who has better dance moves than I.
Anyways, follow me on Instagram for more:
Sorry it’s been a while since I last published a blog post on here. The fact is that I’ve been on a crazy journey the last couple of years and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down; which I love and hate…lol
Without going into “too many details”, in summary:
Since 2010, I’ve traveled-to/lived-in at least 12 countries, launched a company through a world-class incubator in Tomas Korte’s Angelpad.org, helped build and sell a company to a pre-IPO Twitter for hundreds of millions of dollars, partnered with Bitmatica (they are the best product builders on earth) to bring a SaaS sales tech dream of mine to life in Dashtab, partied like a celebrity [thanks to Jim Payne, Bryan Atwood, and Nafis Jamal founders of MoPub!], recorded music in Argentina, lived in a cave in Granada Spain, played guitar with random people on the streets all over the world, fell in love, grew closer to my family, fallen in love with all of my closest friend’s kids, finally think that I understand myself and life a little better.
In addition to many many more incredible experiences, once of the most exciting aspects of my life today is the birth and steady growth of FirstCut.io. I suppose I should give you my one liner so: Freedeo is the best way for a small business to get a professionally -produced customer testimonial video made within budget and on-demand.
How it started? – And Why Video?
My now Firstcut co-founder Tomas De Matteis and I first met at Google’s Campus Madrid in 2015. I was running a workshop on sales and entrepreneurship, and he behind the camera. In 2016, Tomas and his wife moved to the U.S and we decided to formalize a business we had been working on called Sotoventures Media.
Sotoventures was a big experiment trying to figure out how we could monetize our passion for innovation, education, and of course, video production.
I have spent the last 9 years in social media marketing, SaaS, AdTech, and sales education. My partner Tomas De Matteis is the “real deal” audio, visual mastermind from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He comes from a long line of industry directors, actors, and film makers. Tomas literally “grew up behind the camera”. He started making films as a child prodigy and was helping configure sets as a young teen. If you’re ever in Madrid, Spain, try to visit the De Matteis family’s Plot Point Theatre.
In Q1 of 2016 Tomas and I launched a documentary series called #StartupsUnedited, which required that we conducted more than 30 interviews with VCs and entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley area. After a week of running around Silicon Valley with 4 cameras, LED lights, lav mics — we accomplished our goal.
However, the real learning by Tomas and I was how we could operate a scalable, fast-cased camera crew that synced with a post-production that churned out high quality HD video content. We quickly launched a new brand called Firstcut, which stands for our ability to on one side “free the video maker from having to deal with the pain of finding new projects, getting paid, and dealing with post-production heartaches”. And on the other it stands for being able to also “free the sales, marketing, and/or customer success leaders to get testimonials made within budget, on-time, and on-demand”.
After a few months in operation it became very clear that my colleagues in the SaaS tech industry, not only greatly benefitted from but needed customer testimonial videos made on-time, within budget, and without headaches.
So, now I make customer testimonial videos for SaaS sales, marketing, and customer success teams
We want all SaaS sales, marketing, and customer success teams to hire us to film and post-produce (editing) testimonial videos like this or see below.
Using video in all your external prospect and customer communications is no longer a “nice-to-have”; it’s a requirement is on all marketers OKRs/goals this year and moving forward.
What about my travels and global adventures?
I am a traveler and will never stop adventuring. However Tomas and I are obsessed with democratizing professionally-produced video production so that one day every small business in the world will have easy and affordable access.
Building Firstcut has been my #1 focus since Q4 2016 and it will be this way moving forward for as long as it takes to fix this industry for good. We are in the stone ages and enough is enough. Taxis were forced to innovate due to Uber and Lyft. The hospitality industry is having to step up due to AirBnB. Today we are challenging the corporate video production industry to step up and streamline.
The b2b video movement is in great company. We are joined by folks like GoAnimate, Wistia, Animato, Frame.io, TwentyThree, Slide.ly, VidYard, and so many more amazing tech ventures.
We are now based in the Berkeley, CA with teams in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Coral Gables, FL. Our production teams are based in Berkeley, CA and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our sales and operations teams are based in Coral Gables, FL.
I’ll keep you update with how Firstcut is growing, my life is evolving, and of course you gotta check out my new band Scrop Mcgroo.
Entrepreneurship is always glamorized and often misunderstood. No one ever talks about how hard it is to make a decent buck on your own. The media only talks about the billion dollar exits and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world and never shows the reality of this game.
Or how many sleepless often painful nights an entrepreneur encounters.
Or how completely obsessed an entrepreneur can become with “success” that they forget how to live a life not focused on building businesses.
They never talk about the effect of having “some” success or being around massive success has on you.
Well, for people like me, it’s never enough. And that actually sucks.
SIGNUP here –> link
Steli Efti, Founder and CEO at Close.io
Steli Efti is a passionate, courageous, serial entrepreneur. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Close.io. He and his team have helped more than 200 venture-backed startups build and scale their sales processes, and deliver thousands of demos that created millions of dollars in revenue.
He has also trained thousands of founders, sales directors, and sales reps to build sustainable and predictable revenue for their technology companies.
If it wasn’t already obvious, Content Marketing is not just for businesses – it can really help your personal brand. It is essential for anyone who wants to do business in today’s environment.
Most content marketing is funneled through the same old hub-and-spoke channels: Blogs, Medium, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, videos, and Slideshares.
But from my own experience, individuals interested in content marketing are undervaluing and under-exploiting a potential goldmine of marketing promise: events.
Jorge: What is your professional background and how did you get into sales?
Mic: I have been in sales and marketing over the course of the last 35 years. I had natural flow from and to marketing since I am a strong believer in having sales experience as a marketer and vice versa.