An Interview With Adriano Blanaru, Co-Founder of Clipik

Adriano Blanaru is the co-founder of Clipik.com, an online platform providing video and photo editing services for individuals. There’s a significant amount of content generated in the form of videos and pictures every day. However, individuals often lack the skills or time to edit their content, make it look good and share it with others. Clipik solves this problem by connecting its users with a global community of freelance editors through a simple yet robust platform. They are currently looking for RoR developers, a HTML/CSS designer and more video editors to join the community. He will be presenting at the upcoming NY Tech Mixer Demo & Drinks event on January 18th.

What is your company/service?

Clipik is an online platform that allows individuals to get their videos and photos edited in the simplest possible way: by having someone else do the editing for them. On one side, users upload their content and fill out a standard but flexible briefing form that details the important aspects of their video. On the other side, artists around the world who are part of our community will take these jobs, complete them and return the finished product to the user. Everything is done through our platform, to minimize transactional friction (file transferring, communication barriers, review, payments, etc.) in the system.

Tell me how it all started, where did your vision/inspiration come from?

Pablo Lema (my co-founder) and I went to business school together, and,] while we both had had previous experience in finance, we knew we wanted to be involved with tech startups. Pablo for example, has a mini Linux farm at home disguised as a home theater (he’s a closet nerd).

The idea was not ours, though. A third friend, also from business school, came to me with the rough concept one day and, since I was working on a bunch of different potential ideas at the time, I slept on it for about 6 months. One day, I told him that I wanted to investigate this further and the more we researched and talked to people, the more it seemed to make sense.

After a few weeks, I had decided that this was something worth pursuing. But as he was going to take a full-time job and leave the US, we invited Pablo (he had become the de facto videographer of our MBA class, making highlight clips of all major events) come onboard and share with me the duties of getting this thing out of the paper. Pablo and I have been working full-time on this since June of 2010.

Why does the world need your product? Why now?

There is a huge amount of visual content (photo and video) being generated by users nowadays, and it will keep on growing quickly as image-capturing devices get better, cheaper, more ubiquitous and the necessity to share increases (thank you, Facebook). However, the quality of this content is usually very low and some amount of post-production would make a big difference.

In videos, the need is even greater: while people can easily live with posting pictures that don’t look that good, this is definitely not the case for videos. Having a bunch of short, disconnected pieces of footage doesn’t do much, and all this content is rendered virtually useless and forgotten. You need to put the story together to make it compelling to friends and family.

The problem is that very few people have the skills, time or patience to edit their videos or retouch their pictures. On the other side of the spectrum, there is a huge number of freelance editors and artists who could use the extra income in between gigs or even as a complement to their full-time jobs.

So you have all this pent-up demand (believe me, after you see your friend’s nice video, you will want a video for your next vacation or your kids as well! You will start recording more videos, now that you know what to do with them…) and all this idle labor supply.
We are making both sides meet and providing the infrastructure so they can interact in a seamless way.

What keeps you motivated?

To know that we are solving a real problem. To know that we are building something new and useful, that two different user markets like and value, and that has a very clear business model.

Also, it is very exciting to learn from our interactions with both sides and to be constantly thinking about better interface design and more efficient ways to do every little thing, while making progress towards what we envision for the project.

What would you consider to be a successful result for your company?

Success for me will be if one day I’m sitting at a coffee shop and overhear people talking about the video the created with Clipik. Success will be to stumble upon one of our videos on a personal blog while surfing the internet. Success will be witnessing all those moments of happiness, hilarity and joy that can come from sharing the memory of an important event with friends and family. It’s not meant to be cheesy, the power of a Clipik video can be that strong.

This upcoming gathering, being a Demos and Drinks event, we have to ask: what’s your favorite drink?

Mine is Guinness. If in a pub and accompanied by a rugby match on the TV, even better. Totally unusual for a Brazilian. For Pablo, a caipirinha. He might live in SF, but nothing beats limes and cachaca and sugar.

Adriano Blanaru will be providing a demo at NY Tech Mixer’s January 18th event at Crimson. Visit NYTechMixer.com to RSVP.

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