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How Felix built an AI Powered App to Help Content Marketers Boost Engagement

Found on Product Hunt

How Felix built an AI Powered App to Help Content Marketers Boost Engagement

Found on Product Hunt

Roger Warner

Roger Warner

Co-Founder

Felix

Ai content transformation for content marketing & publishers. Convert content into videos, audio summaries or Insta stories instantly… and x2 your engagement.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Based in London

📅 Founded in 2018

🏆 2 Founders

💵 Monthly Revenue = NA

Sponsors 📣 GenMDo you want to grow your business? With GenM you can get free marketing from an apprentice as part of their training. The student will work up to 40 hours per month for only $89 🤑 Sign Up Now!

Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Roger, co-founder of Felix, an Ai-powered app that helps content marketers and publishers double their engagement by transforming their standard content into a bunch of cool new formats like video, audio, Instagram-style stories and discovery collections.

We founded Felix in 2018. My background is in tech, content, marketing and publishing. I’d been spending a *lot* of time talking to various people and companies about the ups and downs of all the energy that goes into the creation of great content, and the way that it can often sink without a trace when it goes missing in a social newsfeed… or when people arrive on a page and just bounce off immediately.  Lots and lots of time, energy and hard work goes to waste. So, that’s what we’re doing – fighting the good fight for engagement, to help people’s creative work stick.

We’re a real bootstrapped startup, so an average day is spent on the road, in cafes, in co-working spaces, and at home at my desk. Over the past 12 months I must have talked to over x100 top publishing companies and content marketers about their challenges, so much of my time is in their offices - and I thank them wholeheartedly for all their time and coffee!

Everything we do is validated with real customers first. We spent six months with quite a rudimentary pilot product, and some large customers were even happy to run trials with it. This was huge. We’re indebted to them.

My co-partner is a super-smart guy called James Wood. We met a long time ago when I was running my first business. We hadn’t talked for an age, and by coincidence he was looking to start something new around about the time Felix was getting going. And so, we just cracked on. Our Chairman is a guy called Jonathan Callcut, ex CEO at UK SaaS reviews solution Reevoo. I’ve known him for ages. He’s our ‘grey beard’ – keeps us on track, commercially. He’s one of the finest humans I know. Also, Ellis Taylor, an ex-colleague, is also a shareholder and a legend. He built everything to begin with… and didn’t get much sleep.

How did you launch the business?

To be honest, I don’t think we had a formal launch until now. It’s always been an iterative work in process. Once we got to the point where we had something compelling for both the content marketing world and the publisher business, something integrated and tight, we just said ‘stop, enough now,’ and then we took it on the road and asked people to pay.

Initially, classic lean startup style, we experimented with a bunch of different acquisition channels. Adwords, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, all the usual paid- for ad suspects. We needed to be sensible, to be frugal with budget, just to see what was sticking. Whilst many of those channels were delivering some conversions, they were never going to do it at scale unless we tipped a lot of funding behind them. We soon leaned towards social media, PR and promotions as the best route forward – that’s a lot of my background with my previous business.  And platforms like Product Hunt were just perfect for us – once we got on there. They tipped us into broader, more frictionless distribution. Our product also has a viral element to it to – so people who start using it on a trial create new content formats that carry our branding, and this drives a heck of a lot of traffic. 

Our marketing site we designed and built all ourselves.

Which Apps/ Tools/ Platforms are most important to your business?

We run on Slack for communications. Google for document management. Stripe for commerce. And too many weird and wonderful back end things to mention. Platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media are essential to our marketing.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Benedict Evans is a source of real sanity in the world of Ai and machine learning. Product Hunt is a mind blowing index of everything cool that’s happening right now, especially in the world of apps and content.  Digital Content Next is a super source for inside news in the content and publishing industries. A Smart Bear is simply the best blog for startups – it’s authored by Jason Cohen, the founder of WP Engine. He’s a total legend, and he offers a massive amount of great advice for commercialization of a young software business.

What’s been the biggest business challenge you’ve overcome?

I’ve created and sold a service business is a past life. That was brilliant fun, but hard to scale, especially without a co-founder. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become less uptight, more trusting, and more grateful to the efforts of others. When I started my first business, I was stuck on the idea of the entrepreneur as super-person. Now that I have a few grey hairs, a brilliant family, some experience in really screwing things up, and the gift of a new startup that’s completely different, I look at life and work differently now. 

My best challenge was learning that if you go solo, you can go fast… but if you want to go long, then you need a team. And that team has to be complementary, and they have to be better than you are in so many different ways, in areas that you have zero talent in.

And when you can get there, you realize how liberating it is, and how much more fun. So, giving up on a lot of the cliches of what founding a business is all about it a good thing. I’m lucky with Felix. I can’t code, I can’t design. I can’t do 80% of what the product is about. So I just get on with what I’m half-decent at and let everyone else get on with the rest. I’ve also learned that working a x4 day week should be standard. Time not working allows for good things to bubble up – for work and for all the other stuff in your life. I’m a voluntary director at Lewes FC in the south of England, and this second life gives me so much energy and perspective for everything else. You think running a startup is tough? Try football for a living!

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs?

I’m not a fan of entrepreneurial advice, listicles, and all that. But I do hold a couple of things dear: first, love your business, product or service – if you don’t have a fire inside you, find something else because you’ll end up doing it for the wrong reasons and you may find that it does weird things to your head; second, don’t make a cult of it – it’s work. Enjoy what you do, but don’t pretend that any of your staff will sign up for some strange higher calling. Just hire the kind of people who care about the same things that you do, and have some fun with it. Oh, and don’t do Slack at the weekend. 

How are things today and what are your plans for the future?

Revenue-wise we’re just getting going. Sign-ups are now tipping hundreds a week – mainly from the channels I mentioned above. As soon as we get to bigger numbers, we’ll be giving a little back to good causes, for sure.

Where can we learn more?

Web: www.gofelix.ai

Product Hunt: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/felix-ai

Twitter: www.twitter.com/gofelixai

Medium: https://medium.com/studiofelix

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/28661553/

(We’re always looking for talented people for the team and smart business partners.)

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