Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Cutnut B2B SaaS product that enables companies to create high-quality vertical video content for both on social media

Please introduce yourself and your startup Cutnut to our readers!
Hi, my name is Philipp and I am the CEO & Co-Founder of Cutnut. Together with my two colleagues Benjamin & Teiko we have built a B2B SaaS product that enables companies to create high-quality vertical video content (also known as “Social Stories“ or „Stories“ from platforms such as Instagram) for both on social media (Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp etc.) & off social media (website, e-commerce store, app etc.) display. Cutnut offers a template-based editing software paired with a mobile app to channel everything Story-related conveniently into one product – making the entire process easier, faster & cheaper than before.

We are currently in development and on track to launch our Beta before end of this year with 60+ test-clients.

How did you get the idea to Cutnut?
Back in 2016 the three of us worked on our first startup (also under the name „Cutnut“), which was focusing on connecting users to create Stories together. Through our time at the Next Media Accelerator in the second half of 2017 we learned that our solution (whilst interesting) wasn’t easy for companies to monetize on and – more importantly – did not solve the biggest problem they faced with regards to Stories:

scalable production of high-quality dynamic Story content across multiple platforms.

It wasn’t until half way through our acceleration program that we decided to entirely change the direction of our product from B2C to B2B as the interest for the new idea heavily outweighed the old one. This put us in a unique position where we had several interested test customers with just a raw idea of our new product. The overwhelmingly positive feedback, paired with the willingness of the companies to sit down with us and design the new software, greatly facilitated our entire development process.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
As with anything you pick up for the first time, starting your own company, too, was a challenging process. However, seeing as our B2B software essentially is the second startup we are building with the same team, a lot of the initial hurdles had been dealt with already (e.g. setting up a company, assigning roles within the team, workflows etc.).

Apart from the challenges that probably every startup faces (product/market fit, figure out monetization, estimate market size, convince investors, find first test customers etc.) probably the most difficult part was to allow and incorporate criticism on your own product – your own baby.

In retrospect, however, listening to the criticism and acting upon the feedback was the best thing to ever happen to us as we suddenly had a huge opportunity at our doorstep just because we took notice off the complaints from our customers.

Who is your target audience?
As we are part of the Next Media Accelerator, our initial focus is on publishers and media agencies and we are building a product tailored to their needs. The more clients we talked to, however, the more we realized that it is not just publishers and media agencies that are looking for a solution. Generally speaking, companies (no matter the vertical: sports, beauty/cosmetics, entertainment, universities and more) who aim to produce Stories on a regular basis – that is 3+ times per week – run into the problem of scalable production without compromising on quality. The niche that we are serving focuses on companies that want to reflect their corporate identity and own style within the Story-Format, without spending a high 5-digit figure per month on it.

For a small fraction of the original cost, Cutnut enables its users to create beautiful stories within minutes – without any prior editing experience needed.

What is the USP of your startup?
Cutnut convinces through two key value-adds:
The first is the distribution of Stories not only to social media platforms but also to the web. Providing the technology to display Stories on the web (with the same look and feel like on social media) allows businesses to continue to ride the success-wave of the Story-Format beyond social. Additionally, Stories built with Cutnut and displayed on the web will soon be searchable by the Google algorithm and thus indexed in the search results.

The second value-add are our templates.

Cutnut lets you create and save your own templates that can be adapted/extended/reduced and then re-used on different Stories – greatly simplifying the production process whilst maintaining an individual style.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I guess the typical answer here would be that there is no typical day. And whilst that is true – for the most part, at least – there are some recurring patterns in our everyday work. Most days span between 10-13 hours of work (all-nighters/weekends not included) and can be very broadly be structured like this: in the morning catching up with work/emails and planning the next few days, and then the afternoons are usually filled with meetings.

The topics that dictate the day-to-day life, however, are so vastly different that there is no red line to follow. One moment I’m dealing with our lawyers about necessary documents for our salaries, the next im reviewing our product or applying for competitions.

And the different events, clients and just generally interesting people you get in touch with on a regular basis are the icing on the cake.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Cutnut in five years?
Hard question. As a startup you realize pretty fast that a „Five years from now“ outlook is nothing but a wild guess of what you’d like to happen. It is our goal with Cutnut to create a software that provides on-going value to many different verticals over the years helping us to set a new standard when it comes to video editing. We envision working on the product throughout its entire life-cycle. That does not necessarily exclude us from taking on other functionalities within Cutnut or even integrating the software into an external (more suitable) ecosystem.

It is our understanding that the technology powering big parts of Cutnut is only just starting to unfold its potential and has a multitude of use-cases that can seem attractive to different industries looking to implement a more dynamic digital appearance.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
– Prove your product/market fit: Find interested test customers as early as possible and get them to commit in some way – ideally financial commitment.

– Be prepared for a rollercoaster ride: Ben Horowitz put it best “You only ever experience two emotions: euphoria and terror. And I find that lack of sleep enhances them both.“

– Be chatty: Don’t be shy and talk to people about your idea and get feedback as early as possible. And don’t worry – no one will steal it.

More information you will find here

Thank you Philipp Nette for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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