#PivotStories 04 w/ Marie Prokopets, Co-founder at FYI

Marie Prokopets is one of Silicon Valley top founders & even better human. In this episode Marie opens up about her pivot experiences and gives us wisdom to stay agile with our product roadmap.

#Startups#Founders#Leadership

Follow Marie on @Twitter 👉 https://twitter.com/MarieProkopets

Learn more about FYI here 👉https://usefyi.com

Post-Production by www.instagram.com/renderhausagency/

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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”.

Next thing we knew we started to work with venture capital firms like Bee Partners (see videos here) and SaaS companies like Guru (see videos here), Pattern (see videos here) and many more.

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.

sarah fricke

 

I write you from my couch on a snowy day in Washington, DC as a #millennialwomaninsales.

I, Sarah Fricke, happen to be one of the many many women studied by firms like @CEB, @BCG, and @Deloitte on what makes us tick.

Not only do I happen to be a female but I am also part of the ever so studied millennial generation – only the best combination 🙂

Now onto why you should keep reading. There are so many great resources and blogs on #women #womeninsales #millennialsinsales #millennials.

Continue reading “Millennial and a Woman?”

What a powerful concept. Forgiveness. It’s actually one of the key components of happiness; In my opinion of course.

It’s not actually about the forgiveness of others but more about our ability to forgive ourselves — this is actually one of this hardest things I believe that we face as modern humans.

Learn to simply give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself and you’ll see how working through challenging moments is a bit less heavy on you.

This is a poem that my father has recited to me many times over the course of my life. Whenever I find myself asking questions like “what now?” or “what’s the right path?” I think of this poem:

LOST
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree of a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest know
Where you are. You must let it find you.

David Wagoner

In the past I wanted to start a company just to start a company. To give myself meaning.

To make myself proud of I.
I didn’t care if it was a great idea, really; and just rushed into it head first.
I just wanted to BUILD SOMETHING.
I just wanted to PROOVE SOMETHING.
To Who? — To Myself and The World.
Then it became about proving those who saw me fail, wrong.
I Just wanted them to see that I was indeed great.
I needed validation.
This was the rookie.
The rookie entrepreneur.
My next venture will be done smart.
I will be selective.
I will not loose my mind over it.
And I will not allow it to define who I am, but merely be a component of the balance that I strive to achieve.