#23: Adrien Mennillo

Episode 23 - Adrien Mennillo - uTip, They Benefit

Key Points:

  • This is Adrien’s second round as a startup founder, learned from previous venture

  • Learned to code, to build initial PoC, later partnered with CTO to build out

  • Experience working with banks as a consultant helped form the idea

  • Noticed the growth of creators, but poor revenue options for them

  • Google & Facebook have monopolized ads and keep most of the money, even with limited views

  • Wanted to find an easier way to support creators, concluded advertising was the best method of achieving this

  • Online advertising has applied old TV model, not working well due to poor results and limited views

  • Advertisers spend a lot for limited views, so uTip provides dedicated viewers in return for money to creators. Everybody wins and gives back control.

  • Challenge has been to disrupt the advertising agencies, who know their model isn’t working but are slow to change.

  • uTip is busy trying to create a sense of urgency within the advertising business, which is failing to deliver results and is nearing the end of the current model

  • uTip is providing a new model that provides better access to the market

For anyone who has tried generating revenue from online advertising, you already know that what exists today is a mess.  Google and Facebook own that market and show no sign of giving it up anytime soon.  Like any market monopoly this means they dictate the rules.  Thirty second video ads that show for 3 seconds get counted as a view by Facebook so with environments like that, it’s no wonder online ad prices keep dropping.

For brands this means you’re spending a lot of money to reach out to people who probably aren’t even watching your ads, though you’re still spending money to run them.  The old TV days where viewers were glue to their set simply doesn’t translate to the online market, where viewers hop around and watch what they want to watch, or don’t.

For creators who thought they could run ads on their sites to generate revenue have it even worse.  Their followings hardly translate into money because the the system requires massive numbers to generate any meaningful impact and even then, the pay is so low.  The owners of the online advertising market - mostly Facebook and Google - take the money throw small change to creators.

It’s an ongoing problem even for larger media outlets - pick your favorite newspaper or magazine or whoever - who also are struggling to generate any revenue online.  Their bold plans to trust Facebook with promoting their media outlets has blown up in their faces and they have almost nothing to show for it.

More recently there have been newer options for content creators but even there, while the results have been fantastic for a few, most creators have struggled to earn money.  By combining this issue for creators with the rapidly evolving dynamics of online advertising, uTip is addressing these markets with a creative offering.

Join us as Adrien explains more about this complex issue that is forcing the market to evolve, while providing benefits for creators.  He shares his biggest challenges and how he’s addressing them, as well as future direction.

#4: Sébastien Couture

Episode 4 -  Sébastien Couture - Building the future with blockchain

As much as everyone in Startupland talks about disruption, let’s be honest: there’s not as much disruption out there as there’s cracked up to be.  However, however...blockchain is one of those areas that may be living up to the hype.  We sat down with one of the co-founders of Stratumn, the highest-funded blockchain startup in France.

Sébastien is a great example of someone who proves there’s more than one model for being a successful startup entrepreneur.  As his professors described him, he’s “atypical”: he’s both a self-taught developer, and has a degree in marketing and communications.  What’s more, he was educated in Canada as well as in France.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Sébastien walks us through how he got started in the blockchain world (including launching the very successful Epicenter blockchain podcast) and how the relationships that he’s developed over time have helped Stratumn grow from a vision to a leading blockchain infrastructure business with two rounds of funding.

For technical founders who don’t like glitzy marketing, there are so many lessons to be learned here.  Sébastien is big on relationship development, building a community and listening.  In a world full of so many more pontificators than listeners, he provides some valuable lessons in how to build your business with open communication channels between you and your users.

In addition, we hear about both the upsides and the challenges of building a startup in Paris with a team that looks like the UN.  Communicating across cultures is not always easy, but embracing the challenge is certainly paying off for Stratumn.

There’s so much helpful advice here, you’re going to want to listen to this a few times to get it all.